Innovation. Precision. Technique. These are just some of the many words one might use to describe a welding career. On the day to day, professional welders are crafting and creating the products of tomorrow. They are working with a mix of machinery, technology, and manual dexterity to turn plain sheets of metal into important parts and products that we use in everyday life – automobiles, as well as the roads and rails we drive on, boats, buildings, and bridges, medical devices and computerized products, even everyday household appliances like your dishwasher or kitchen sink.
There is no doubt that the welding field is an ever-flourishing one. Across the nation, welders can expect more than 22,000 jobs to open by 2026. But, how do you land one of these jobs and become a welder? Which welding requirements do you need to fulfill to be considered by employers today?
Welding Education Requirements
There are no formal educational requirements for welders, in most states including Connecticut. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a high school diploma or equivalent, combined with technical or on-the-job training, is enough to qualify for a welding job. However, this is the bare minimum for entry-level positions. The BLS continues to explain that, “Although numerous employers are willing to hire inexperienced entry-level workers and train them on the job, many prefer to hire workers who have been through training or credentialing programs.”
You may be here now as you’ve sifted through online job postings, looking for an entry point to launch your welding career. You may have found that many employers are specifically seeking candidates with months or even years of experience in the welding field. And like many other aspiring welders, you may be thinking: How can I land a job without any on-the-job experience? If no one hires me, how will I ever get the experience I need? What if I go to a specialized welding school—does that count?
What a lot of places and people don’t tell you is that yes, education is experience. And you don’t need to meet any crazy welding requirements to get into a good program. All you need is a high school diploma or GED, and a readiness to learn the ropes. At Goodwin College, the welding program is open enrollment with zero wait lists, so that you can get into the program and into the workforce as fast as possible.
Welding schools like Goodwin College typically offer certificate-level programs, which can be completed in just a matter of months. The coursework combines a blend of technical training, classroom learning, and hands-on experience, where you will actually work with professional welding equipment. As an example, Goodwin’s welding students learn on state-of-the-art machines and resources, including a CNC plasma table, virtual reality welding machine, and innovative Bluco table. Students also take courses in welding safety, welding fabrication, thermal cutting, and the different types of arc welding to round out their knowledge base.
If you are still in high school and researching welding requirements, though – you may consider taking elective courses in shop, mechanical drawing, and welding (if available), as well as supplemental math and science courses, like chemistry and physics.
Welding Certification Requirements
While there are no nationwide or statewide certification requirements, some employers and job titles will require professional welding certification. For example, a Certified Welding Inspector will typically require certification from the American Welding Society (AWS). Highly-advanced industries, such as aerospace and defense, may also require their employees to maintain the proper credentials. Overall, welding certification is voluntary and can be pursued by any aspiring welder looking to stand out in the job market. Certification (and the Certified Welder credential) shows that you have mastery in the field.
With a Welding Technology certificate from Goodwin College, students leave well-prepared to pursue voluntary certification or entry-level employment in the welding field.
Which Skills Are Required to Become a Welder?
With experience and education comes skill. As you work through your welding training program and study under active welding professionals, you will begin to hone a very specialized skillset in this manufacturing sector. You will learn the ins and outs of technical drawing, blueprint specifications, thermal cutting, gas metal arc welding, flux core arc welding, and more.
In addition to practical welding techniques, a good welding program will also equip you with the other professional skills employers are looking for today: effective communication, teamwork, troubleshooting, problem-solving, and more. In fact, over 90 percent of Connecticut manufacturers cite problem-solving and critical-thinking among the most important skills to have in a new hire. However, the majority (70%) of Connecticut manufacturing companies do not train new employees in the skills.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the top in-demand skills for welders as:
- Attention to detail and precision work
- Manual dexterity and good hand-eye coordination
- Physical stamina to carry out repetitious movements
- Physical strength, to left heavy metal equipment and materials
- Spatial-orientation skills to understand and interpret blueprints or 2D and 3D diagrams
- Technical skills, such as manual and semiautomatic equipment operation
Ultimately, welding requirements will vary employer to employer, and industry to industry. However, it is safe to say that the majority of modern manufacturers and organizations will place high value on a candidate who has invested time into their education. With a certificate from a welding college, you will have what it takes to meet welders’ requirements and beyond. Visit Goodwin College online for more information, or call us at 800-899-3282 to get started.