This is the second post in our series of career advice posts and the information here comes from Tony in our metal work shop which we proudly opened just 18 months ago. Since then Tony has created a great amount of tutorials, course work and practical projects that have become very popular with our students. So let’s hand it over to Tony to discuss some of the details.
We opened the metal workshop just about 18 months ago after we were getting increasing requests from students who enjoyed learning about different trades. I was pleasantly surprised how many of you were interested and immediately signed up for some courses.
Many students have been asking about how to start a career as a welder and what kind of options there are after high school. So I thought I might add this information to the website for all those interested.
1) Complete High School
This is very important as many technical colleges and apprenticeship programs will require some sort of GED. As well as doing well in your high school diploma you should sign up to as many of my classes as you can. This will provide a solid basis and when you apply for your first job you will have some very relevant experience that you can put on your resume.
2) Apply For Welding Course
Most technical colleges offer designated welding courses where at the end you will be a certified welder. Course length can vary from intensive 3 month courses to more experience based 6 to 12 month course. A lot of focus in the courses will be on health and safety as it is a high risk profession.
While welding classes and training generally covers a specific set curriculum, I would suggest researching some course at CareerWelder.com to make sure you choose the course with the latest technology and best chances for employment.
3) Apply For A Union Apprenticeship
This is very popular option that will see you through a welding training program while at the same time gaining experience in the real world through union jobs. Your training will be paid for by a combination of union and employer contributions. You will also receive a small salary for the work you perform.
The advantage is that you will have a direct road into a union work environment which has benefits of union contracts and better pay and benefits.
4) Join The Military
This is also a great option especially if you want to get into the highly specialized area of underwater welding. Commercial diving courses for welders can cost upwards of $20,000. Even though you will very quickly recoup that investment, you may not be in a position to have access to that sort of money.
If this is really something you would like to do then consider signing up to the Navy with the express intent of becoming a Navy diver welder. All your education will be provided by the Navy and once you finish your stint in the military you will be a very highly sort after certified professional.
If you want to find out more about welding, then please call into my office. I can provide you with industry contacts so that you can see with your own eyes what it is all about.