The Welding Technology program is designed to provide training in a sequential pattern for various welding processes. Those processes include: shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, flux cored arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, oxy-acetylene cutting, brazing and welding, and the use of plasma arc cutting equipment. Students progress at their own pace. The program is designed to produce skilled welders in the millwright, structural welding and pipe welding areas. Students receive practical and theoretical training in the weld ability and identification of metals and alloys, use of equipment, manual and automatic cutting, blueprint reading, shop mathematics, and other related subjects. A large portion of each seven and a half hour workday is spent in the welding lab practicing each task in accordance with AWS standards. Students complete all lab assignments in accordance with industry standards, using the tools and equipment of the profession with an emphasis on safety and quality.
The job outlook for welding graduates is excellent. Students have been experiencing nearly 100% placement in the field. In addition to welding positions, graduates are also able to fill technical positions associated with welding, including inspections, sales representatives, and quality control assistants. Graduates may also increase their marketability by continued education in underwater welding, metallurgical, or welding engineering.
The work environment varies from outdoors in all kinds of weather to enclosed clean, room work. The opportunity exists for travel throughout the U.S. and the world.
Welders must have good manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Students should enjoy working with their hands. The minimum reading comprehension level is tenth grade. Good eyesight, no respiratory problems, good physical condition, and a strong math background are all highly recommended. High school chemistry, physics, and mechanical drawing are very helpful.
Union journeyman welders earn between $25.00 and $30.00 per hour. Apprentices earn from 45 to 65 percent of the journeyman rate to start, depending on the union with which they are affiliated. Entry rates for non-union welders are around $20.00 per hour. These rates depend on the complexity of the welding done and the experience of the welder.
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