Welding is a rewarding career choice with a high demand and excellent wage opportunity. Welding jobs vary from a beginner welder to a welding inspector. Welding is part of just about everything you see and touch every day: the car you drive, the bridge you drive over, and the school or mall you drive to. Welding is also part of making airplanes, ships and all kinds of manufactured products, from lawn mowers to earthmoving equipment. Welding plays a huge role in building and maintaining offshore oil rigs. The same goes for pipelines, powerplants and even those big wind turbines. There are real out-there jobs, too – the kind of jobs you may never think have a welding angle.
The Welding program at WATC allows students to gain knowledge and skills in cutting, shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) and provides some exposure to oxy-acetylene cutting and welding. Program includes classroom and lab instruction in safety; blueprint reading and sketching; tools and materials used in the various forms of welding; machine adjustments and rod selection; skill requirements for various welding positions; weld testing and qualifications; and fabrication and layout of various welding projects. An understanding of electricity also is helpful, and knowledge of computers is gaining importance as welding, soldering, and brazing machine operators become more responsible for programming robots and other computer-controlled machines. You can obtain a Certificate of Completion in as little as 12 weeks, a Technical Certificate in as little as 1 year or an Associate of Applied Science in as little as two years.
Overall job prospects in the welding field will vary with the worker’s skill level. Welding job prospects should be good for welders trained in the latest technologies. However, welders who do not have up-to-date training may face strong competition for jobs. The most common jobs in the welding field are for welders, cutters, solderers and brazers. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers use hand-held or remotely controlled equipment to join or cut metal parts. They also fill holes, indentations, or seams of metal products. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers may work outdoors, often in inclement weather, or indoors, sometimes in a confined area. They may work on a scaffold, high off the ground, and they occasionally must lift heavy objects and work in awkward positions. Although most work full time, overtime is common. If you are interested in a career where every day is something new, welding may be a great option. The 2014 placement rate for WATC welding graduates was 94%.
Welding Salary (Wichita, KS)
Median U.S. salary range for welders is $29,000 to $84,000 annually based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The U.S. median annual wage for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers was $37,420 in May 2014 based on Bureau of Labor Statistics. The earning potential for a welder combined with the short time necessary for training makes welding a great choice. Get started today at WATC. Classes start soon, apply now.