Welding can be a well-paying job, but it requires that you get certified in the right kind of welding before you can get to work with a reputable employer. Depending on what type of welding job you wish to do, a variety of educational institutions offer programs that can help you prepare for and get the certification you need to start your career in welding.
Welding certifications are courses, seminars and tests administered by a welding certification organization. Welding certifications are intended to make sure that certified welders maintain a level of skill, knowledge and technique that is consistent and appropriate for the job required of the welder. Two major types of welding certifications are structural welding and pipe welding. Welding certifications need to be maintained, and welders must be recertified if their certification lapses.
When acquiring your welding certification, you will need to learn about the tools of welding, including how to weld, materials and chemicals used in welding, safety and building codes for welding. Specific requirements vary for each type of certification. For certain types of welding certifications, you may need to take a vision test to see if you are able to see well enough to accurately and safely weld.
Welding certifications can open you up to a variety of career options that pay well for skilled workers. With the right certifications and experience, you can qualify to get work as a welding professor, a welding instructor or a senior welding engineer, among many other construction career alternatives. Welding certifications make sure you have the knowledge you need to do quality welding jobs safely and effectively, including knowledge of materials and building code requirements. As such, certified welders are better paid welders.
Welding certification programs are available in community colleges and vocational schools. Welding vocational programs are usually two-year programs during which you attend classes training you in the process of welding a variety of materials. These welding programs supply a comprehensive training during which you will acquire certification and a degree. For example, at Columbia Basin College, the two-year welding program ends with acquiring a pipe welding certification. Welding education programs can benefit you by giving you access to a career center and a professor with contacts in the construction industry.
The American Welding Society offers 16 programs for certification in specific welding areas. Their programs include certification renewals and re-certifications for welders who have have lapsed certifications. The American Welding Society also keeps a verification database online for contractors who wish to have clients or employers verify their credentials online. Each certification has prerequisite requirements with respect to education and experience that need to be met before you can take the certification course.
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