There are several different training pathways to become a welder. Training can begin prior to employment or while on the job if an employer offers welder training courses to their entry-level welders. Accredited welding schools, vocational schools, postsecondary institutions, private employers and some high schools offer welder training programs that when completed provide you with a welder's certificate.
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If you have yet to complete your high school educational requirements, you may be eligible to sign up for welding classes if your high school offers a welding course. If this is the case, you can begin your welder training prior to employment. Another pathway to becoming a welder prior to employment is to locate the vocational-technical institutions and/or trade schools in your area to see if they offer welding courses and certification classes.
Public and Private Institutions
Additional pathways to becoming a welder are to enrol in a community college or private welding school. Some, but not all, community colleges offer welding courses as a curriculum option. To find out if your local community college offers welder training classes, contact the admissions department and ask about what programs they offer toward welder certification and/or if they offer welding courses at their campus. Private welding schools can be found online and will provide you with information on if they have an extension campus for welder certification courses in your area.
Another option for getting started on the pathway of becoming a welder is through military training with the United States Armed Forces, who also operate welding schools. If you are interested in joining a specific branch of the United States Armed Forces you can contact your local recruiters office to inquire about their welder training programs or visit each branch's main website to help you locate a recruiter near you. However, this pathway requires you to enlist with one of the branches of the United States military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard) to be eligible for welder training.
Job Site Training
There are many industries that employ welders that offer on-the-job training and certification. Although this is a pathway for welder training, training classes offered by employers are up to the discretion of the employer. Welders work in a wide variety of industries such as racing cars, manufacturing, ship building, building construction, car manufacturing and repair, bridge building and aerospace technology. If you are interested in employment with job types that hire welders, contact a potential employer and ask if they have on the job training for the welders they hire.
While examining your pathway options for becoming a welder, keep in mind that there are several types of welding that require different types of training and certification. The simplest type of welding is called arc welding, which uses electrical currents to create heat and bond metals together; however, there are hundreds of types of processes a welder can employ. Additionally, there are advancement opportunities with most employers for welders who become certified welders.
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