Welding is a versatile profession. Career opportunities include working in inspection, robotics, engineering, education, project management and sales, notes this infographic developed by Tulsa Welding School. Working as a self-employed welding sculptor or traveling with NASCAR racing teams repairing custom cars are two other exciting avenues one can pursue, reports The Art Career Project. However, these careers often require formal welding training. Following are three considerations for choosing a welding program that is right for you.
1. Welding Career Goals
Vocational training schools offer welding programs that take as little as seven months to complete. Such programs are not only inexpensive in comparison to four years of study at a university but also allow you to start work fairly quickly. Some welding careers require that you receive additional specialized training. For instance, a welder who is interested in working as a sculptor may need to complete courses in welding, design, electronics and woodworking. Underwater welders need welder and scuba diver certification, while a welding engineer must hold a bachelor’s degree.
2. Program Length
Course duration is yet another point to consider when choosing a welding school. While a longer program may lead to the ideal career, it may not be an option if you have family obligations that make it hard for you to study full time or for other reasons concerning time or money. Thankfully, it is possible to receive welder certification from a technical school and then further your studies in the future.
3. Accreditation and Course Requirements
Accreditation from the American Welding Society is often an indication that the school’s curriculum aligns with industry standards. If you intend to study welding engineering, make sure the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology accredits the school of your choice.
It is also important that the school have either national or regional accreditation. The latter type of accreditation is best if you want to transfer credits from a vocational school to a two or four-year college or university. Even so, it is not impossible to transfer at least some of your credits if your vocational school has national accreditation.
Finally, make sure the course of your choice meets your needs. If you need to study part-time, find a welding school that offers a flexible class schedule and allows you to take some courses online.
A Promising Career Choice
Welding is both an exciting and potentially lucrative career. Many welding jobs offer the opportunity to earn well over $100,000 a year, and there is set to be an acute shortage of trained welders in the future. If you are interested in a career in welding, consider potential job opportunities carefully, assess your needs and capabilities and then choose a school that can provide the training necessary to fulfill your dreams.