A welding career can extend endless opportunities! Welders are tradesmen who join metals together and they work in many different settings. One can find welders in such diverse places as automobile manufacturing, ship building, many types of construction and creative arts. Welding is an ever-growing industry with new developments occurring frequently. Becoming a welder can happen in several different ways such as apprenticeships, different types of trainings or full-time welding colleges. In the state of Delaware, there are several options that a person can choose.
Requirements and Eligibility
Students who wish to become welders can choose to start their welding education in high school in Delaware through the New Castle County Vocational School District (NCCVSD) Those who already have earned a diploma or GED can also attend the NCCVSD through the Adult Education Division. Either way, there are no formal requirements to be able to attend. The program requires 4 years to complete and students attend classes for 6 hours per week from September through April at their Delcastle location which is located on Newport Road in Wilmington, DE.
Another option is Delaware Technical and Community College (Del Tech). At Del Tech, a student can earn a “Welder’s Certificate of Achievement,” sponsored by the American Welders Society (AWS), an Associate of Science in Welding or a Bachelor of Science in Welding Engineering.
While not requirements, it is helpful for any welder to have certain qualities. Good hand-eye coordination and superior manual dexterity are beneficial. One should be in excellent physical condition as much of the work can require strength and stamina. Additionally, it has been noted to be advantageous to have better than average communication skills and to be successful at problem solving as these are talents one will need to flourish.
Application Process and Cost
The application process and cost will vary greatly depending on one’s choices. A decision to attend NCCVSD will cost about $700 per year for 4 years, a total of about $2800. The application is simple and all students are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis, assuming they can pay the fee.
To complete the Certificate of Welding Achievement at Del Tech, a potential scholar simply has to complete the required curriculum which takes approximately 4 months of full-time attendance. The fees total approximately $4800. The Associates Degree takes longer, 2 years, and necessitates an outlay around $8000.
The American Welding Society does offer online courses for welders. One can access a variety of online options that will further their knowledge of welding. There will be an expense of between $350-$470 for each set of lessons and one does receive documentation of completion. Some options are: welding fundamentals, math for welders, metallurgy, and many others. Other organizations have similar offerings but the AWS is the most widely recognized and respected resource for those looking to learn more or advance their careers.
Maintaining Certification/License and Renewal
There is no one recognized welding license or certification. Different employers require different titles and types of study. It is, however, in one’s best interest to continually learn more about welding, especially the advancements in the field. One way of doing this is to frequently read some of the many different manuals that are available. Another method is to study online or to accrue higher status such as with a Bachelor of Science in Welding Engineering that is offered through Del Tech in Delaware.
Salary and Job Prospects
Welders salaries can be very good. Welders can earn an average of $30,000 per year to start but many earn much more. There is high demand for welders in many different areas.