Are you excited about studying to become a commercial welder in Maryland? There are several welding schools in Maryland that are ready to provide you with the best courses in welding. These institutions have welding programs that are designed to offer you the training you need to start working immediately after graduation. With the help of welding education, you can find yourself riding high in any welding position not only in Maryland but also across the nation.
Requirements & Eligibility
Welding course requirements and eligibility vary by institution. Some institutions require applicants to have high school diploma while others require the completion of entrance-based welding tests. Other welding institutions may require applicants to show proof of undergraduate degrees from community colleges, vocational institution or technical institution. If you have a high-school diploma or any equivalent at the minimum, you can start your journey to becoming a successful welder.
Application Process & Costs
The application process is fairly simple but also varies by institution. Some institutions require applicants to fill online registration forms or submit copies paper-based registration forms. Proof of prior educational background is also needed. Some welding schools in Maryland also require applicants to pay certain amount of registration fee, proof of identity and financial documentation after submitting application forms. International student can also apply to study welding in Maryland. If you are one of them, you will need to provide proper documentation and show proof of financial evidence to get admission letter and I-20 form. This form is needed when applying for a student Visa.
A welding program is typically taught in a 2-year college class. However, there are a few universities, private institutions and community colleges that teach welding online. The reason behind this is that welding is a hands-on activity that cannot be taught entirely through online. You will find that courses that are taught online are not part of certificate or degree requirement but only for noncredit continuing education. Though not common, if you have a bachelor’s degree that you earned from college-based classes, it is possible to find online institution that can enable you study up to Master of Science in Welding Engineering completely online. Just like collaged-based welding learning, online welding study may culminate in a Welding Letters of Recognition, Welding Certificate of Achievement or Bachelor of Science in Welding Engineering.
Maintaining Certification/License & Renewal
As stated earlier, you could earn letters of recognition, certificates of qualification, degrees or certifications through various types of welding projects from beginning to advanced skills. The most important qualifications that can enable you practice welding or considered as a professional welder are certifications. There are several institutions that certify welders upon graduation. The most common one is the regional welder’s certification offered by the Maryland State Highway Administration, Office of Materials Technology. The department tests and give licenses to welders who are practicing in the field of SMAW (shielded metal arc welding process). Through this department and many other recognized one, you can receive welding licenses that you need to maintain the entire period you are practicing welding. If your license expires, you will need to contact your testing department to request for renewal.
Salary & Job Prospects
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment growth for welders increased to 15% across the country. In Maryland alone, more than 5000 welders were employed as of January 2014 pocketing an average annual income of $53,000. So, the future of welders is as bright as the sunshine.
You will need to find a welding program that will jump start your career in MIG welding, TIG welding, pipe welding, underwater welding and welding inspector.