How To Start A Welding Career
Welding as a career choice is a very underrated and overlooked option for many people trying to change or start their first career. Whether you are just about to finish high school or have years of experience in a particular industry, welding is a fantastic option with incredibly good work prospects.
What most people do not realize is that there almost no industries that do not require the services of a professionally qualified welder at some stage. Here is just a taste of some of those:
- Residential construction
- Commercial construction
- High-rise steel frames
- Bridge building and maintenance
- Pipeline fitting
- Oil and gas drilling
- Industrial machinery
- Motor vehicle production and repair
What this means is that even though you will have to go through a training course you will be able to work in a very large selection of industries and ultimately you can specialize in a certain field that interest or excites you most. For example, a lot of welders have moved to the northern states due to the boom in the shale oil and gas sector where there seemed to be an endless demand for the profession. And this ultimately resulted in way above average wages as well.
How you decide on stepping into this career will very much depend on your personal circumstances. For example, a family man dependent on a full time income may not be able to go on a full time course or 4 year apprenticeship. Nevertheless, there are some great options available for all circumstances.
For anyone fresh out of high school the best thing you can do is apply for an apprenticeship through a local union or training program. The best way to approach this is to ring a local office of United Association which is the most dominant and widespread union for welders and pipefitters. Just like with any training and job application, you will have to go through an interview process to determine your suitability.
The apprenticeship will usually last for four years during which you will go through formal training and job placement and the great thing is that you will earn money from day one. But you will also end up with a level of training that cannot be outdone making you a lot more employable once you have completed the program. And of course you will be embedded in a union from the start making your benefits packages a lot more attractive.
If you don’t like the idea of being tied up for four years and would rather get to a full paycheck faster, then you should look into applying for classes at a welding school. Typically these courses are offered through local colleges and trade schools and will run for 9 to 12 months. During this time you will learn a lot more than just welding, with a large focus being on health and safety and the various industries that you could look for employment in.
You will have to pay for these course but many states have financial assistance programs that will allow you to take out a loan and repay it once you are employed. Prices will vary from state to state and also between schools. Best practice is to contact a few schools and have them explain to you why you should consider them. A very important question to ask is what the employment success rate of past students is, as this will show how highly employers value the course.
Another alternative for the more adventurous is to consider joining the military. For certain amount of dedicated service to your country you will have access to some of the best training and highly sought after expertise. You will not have to pay for the training and you will earn a full time soldier’s income which will greatly depend on what you sign up for.
The best training you can receive would be with the Navy where you can undergo formal education to become a welder diver, which is by far the highest paid area of welding. Not everyone is suitable or phy7scally capable, but the military will probably be your best chance of succeeding. It will also save you the $15,000 it can cost for commercial diving and welding training.
Over at www.CareerWelder.com you will find a lot more detailed information about how to best kick start your career and maximize your success rate at the same time. Do not hesitate to consider this profession, as the pay and job prospects are very good.