People who want to find a new job in Arizona should seriously consider studying at a welding school. Welding is a very valuable skill, but very few people know how to do it, which means that welders usually have an easy time finding work. It also means that welders tend to earn high wages. In addition to the economic benefits, welders tend to be more satisfied with their jobs than people who work in unskilled positions and people who do not work with their hands. Learning to weld does take a little bit of effort, but the benefits can last through a person’s entire career.
Requirements & Eligibility
Almost anybody can study to become a welder. Students need to be able to see what they are doing and have the manual dexterity to safely use welding equipment, but anyone who meets those physical requirements can take a course on welding. Many programs also require their students to be at least 18 years old, but some of them are open to people who are below that age and want to prepare for a future career in welding.
Application Process & Costs
Most people who learn to weld do so at a community college or technical school. The application procedures vary from school to school, but most of them only require applicants to fill out a form with some personal information and pay a tuition fee. The tuition fee varies based on the details of the program and the specialties that it teaches, but most of them are between 3000 and 10,000 dollars. Financial aid is often available to people who need it, and some businesses are having such a hard time finding qualified welders that they are willing to cover the tuition cost for their workers.
Some online programs are available for people who want to learn how to weld. Welding is a hands-on skill, so not every aspect of the trade can be taught online, but many aspects of it can be, and an online course can be an excellent way to cover the academic aspects of welding. In particular, students can use online course to learn about the different types of welding and when each one should be used before they learn how to actually perform those processes. Online courses are also a good way to learn about safety procedures, since students need to be familiar with them before they can use welding equipment even if they are enrolled in a physical program. Welders also need a basic understanding of metallurgy for their work, and it is often more convenient for them to acquire that understanding online than in a physical classroom.
Maintaining Certification/License & Renewal
A person who claims to be a welder but does not hold a certification is going to have a hard time finding a job. Most welding classes will provide certification to their students, but many welders can benefit from taking an examination from the American Welding Society to get an additional certification. The certification must be renewed every six months to remain valid. Renewal requires proof that the applicant has been continuing to work as a welder for the past six months. People who want to work as a welding contractor in Arizona must also apply for a welding contractor license from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.
Salary & Job Prospects
Most certified welders are having an easy time finding work right now, since the number of jobs is vastly larger than the number of welders available to work on them. Their salaries range from $27,000 for new welders to $56,000 for more experienced workers, with an average of $39,000.