While the answer to this question might feel obvious, many people are surprised to discover a variety of welding and manufacturing professions available with a welding certificate in hand.
A welding career can involve working outdoors, indoors, and even underwater in a wide range of industries. Plus, this career is not slowing down any time soon.
In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that there will be an average of about 42,600 job openings each year between 2022 and 2032. Statistics like these make many interested candidates ask, “What can you do with a welding certificate?”
Below, we discuss the specific welding career possibilities available after earning a specialized certificate, including different types of welders and other manufacturing careers that require and benefit from this level of education.
What is a Welding Certificate?
While a welding certificate is not required to become a welder, most employers prefer to hire candidates who have been through a welding training or credentialing program over those who only have their high school diploma and on-the-job training.
Welding certificate programs allow prospective welders to obtain an education and formal training in their specialty within a short period of time, often in a matter of months. For example, at Goodwin University, our Certificate in Welding Technology can be completed full or part-time in as little as eight months.
Welding schools typically provide technical training, classroom learning, and hands-on experience where students work with professional welding equipment, such as:
- CNC plasma tables
- Virtual reality welding machines
- Innovate Bluco tables
Additionally, the course curriculum in these programs includes:
- Welding Safety
- Welding Fabrication
- Thermal Cutting
- Introduction to Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
- Introduction to Flux Core Arc Welding (FCAW)
- Introduction to Gas Tungsten Metal Arc Welding (GTAW)
- Introduction to Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
All of this training and knowledge prepares candidates to work on-site safely as they prepare for an exciting, fulfilling, and hands-on career in the manufacturing industry.
Did you know? Goodwin University’s Welding certificate program is now offered in Bridgeport! Learn more about how you can secure a rewarding, in-demand career closer to home.
What Careers Can I Pursue With a Welding Certificate?
Combining your passion for welding with a welding certificate will open you up to various welding careers in multiple roles, workplaces, and industries.
Likely, the first and most common career people think of in the welding industry is that of a welder. While their job description will vary depending on the role and industry, welders are generally responsible for fusing metals.
In order to do so, welders should be extremely familiar with all types of metals and the processes and conditions in which those metals can be welded.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), welders can expect to make a median annual salary of $47,540, with the highest ten percent earning more than $68,750.
2. Sheet Metal Worker
Sheet metal workers fabricate, install, and maintain products made from thin metal sheets, including the ducts used in heating and air conditioning systems, rain gutters, and outdoor signs.
Additionally, these workers will weld thin sheet metals and similar materials, fasten metal seams, create supportive frameworks, and bolt materials together. Candidates typically work full-time in manufacturing plants and small shops and often find themselves lifting heavy materials, standing for long periods of time, and in noisy or dusty environments.
Sheet metal workers earn a median annual wage of $55,350, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with the highest ten percent earning more than $99,560. The top industries for this welding occupation are government, specialty trade contractors, and construction of buildings.
3. Structural Iron and Steel Worker
This big-picture occupation allows candidates to set the stage for large buildings or girders (bridges, buildings, and roads). They create and weld large beams and columns to install later to ensure tall buildings and bridges stay structurally sound.
Iron and steel workers will typically work outside in all weather conditions and at great heights. Most of their workday is spent carrying, bending, cutting, and connecting iron or steel, making the work dangerous. Thus, it’s essential for these workers to be trained, skilled, and qualified through a Welding Certification program.
The median annual salary for iron and steel workers is $60,500, with the highest ten percent earning more than $100,930.
Boilermakers are a particular type of welder that fabricates, installs, maintains, and repairs large tanks that store liquids and gas. They are also known for producing the pipes and custom steel plates that make up hot water boilers, steam generators, and storage tanks.
Boilermakers use hand tools, power tools, and even flame-cutting torches to ensure these containers can withstand extreme pressure in buildings, factories, and ships. In addition to creation and installation, boilermakers inspect systems and their components for optimal performance.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a median annual wage of $66,920, with the highest ten percent earning more than $95,700.
Cutters use hand tools and hand-held power tools to cut and trim a variety of manufactured items, including carpet, fabric, stone, glass, and rubber.
Rather than bonding metals together, cutters will use electric arc torches, plasma cutters, and oxy-gas cutters to separate and divide metal parts through heat. Additionally, cutters may utilize machines to cut larger metal parts in cars and boats.
Cutters earn a median annual wage of $36,130, with the highest wages earned in furniture and product manufacturing, cut and sew apparel manufacturing, and plastics product manufacturing.
6. Welding Inspector
As the career name suggests, welding inspectors inspect the work that other welders have done to ensure that it is of top quality and ready for the next part of production.
Welding inspectors closely investigate the metals, welds, and repairs for cracks and pits, as well as perform stress tests to ensure the weld’s strength, quality, and durability. Hence, these professionals must be detail-oriented and knowledgeable of the welding process they learn by earning their Welding Certification.
While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not explicitly report on welding inspectors, construction and building inspectors, which welding inspectors fall under, earn a median annual salary of $64,480, with the highest ten percent earning more than $104,110.
Certificate in Welding Technology at Goodwin University
If you are interested and passionate about putting your creative thinking to the test and acquiring a set of specialized skills in order to create and improve today’s most advanced machinery, the Certificate in Welding Technology at Goodwin University is an excellent program for you!
Our twenty-four credit program teaches everything you need for a thriving welding career, including welding safety and fabrication, standard welding methods, and hands-on, practical training with state-of-the-art equipment and machinery.
Contact us for more information about our Welding Technology Certificate program today and start your journey toward many exciting careers in the welding industry.
We’re ready when you are!