Welding is the process of uniting two metal parts thorough extreme heat and hammering in order to repair or manufacture industrial parts and supplies. This booming industry is filled with many promising and lucrative job openings in various industries such as, manufacturing, oil and gas, and automobiles just to name a few. There are many different specialties one can study when it comes to the field of welding, including, custom fabrication, structural ship building, and machine repair.
With so many options to choose from and a deep pool of job openings, the welding industry has become a top choice for a potential career path. If you’re looking for a job that is thrilling, challenging, and rewarding all at the same time, then this may be the right career choice for you! Employers are looking for welders that are focused, detail oriented, and have strong manual dexterity to perform these high profile and vital projects that are key to building some of the most monumental components in our society. Luckily, there are an abundance of top-notch schools and programs in Arkansas designed specifically for their welding programs that are applicable to any industry or specialty!
Requirements & Eligibility
Many Arkansas certification programs require that the participant be at least 17 years of age or able to provide parental consent before pursuing the application process. Also, obtaining a high school diploma or GED is a necessary when being considered for the training or education program. Often times, pre-requisites are a part of the curriculum and it is required that students participate in admissions exams to gauge their academic standing. Overall, the admissions process is a fairly simple one and many Arkansas welding schools vary in their process. Not to mention, compared to other educational programs, obtaining a welding degree is fairly inexpensive. The average annual tuition for a welding degree is $4,700 and many institutions offer financial aid to students.
While it is recommended that potential students enroll for hands-on training obtained through a college or trade school, there are online opportunities for students. These are usually introductory classes that cover the safety, history, and education of welding which can be used as transferable credits to many of the Arkansas welding colleges.
Maintaining Certification/License & Renewal
After graduating the welding program, students are required to take a mandatory certification test which is performed in an AWS training facility. This ensures that students have learned all the required procedures and can identify the proper tools and skills necessary for their expectant job. Once students have received their evaluation and have passed the certification assessment, they can then apply for their welding license through the Arkansas Department of Labor. The expiration is listed on the license and welders received a 60 notification prior to the expiration. It is the holder’s responsibility to renew their license accordingly or else there will be a hold issued. Any other additional information can be found at the Arkansas Department of Labor.
Salary & Job Prospects
There are hundreds of job prospects for welders throughout Arkansas each varying in different specialties and fields. With welding being an industry that is in high demand for their services and known for their expandable specialties that can cross over into any industry, there should be no issue for a student coming out of a welding school to find a job. There are many factors employers are looking for when it comes to determining a reasonable salary for their employees. The most common factors that determine salary include, company size, experience, education, and the type of industry the business is involved in. The Arkansas state average for entry-level welding positions ranges from $35,400- $46,650.