Many aspiring students are turning to welding school as they transition into the work force, and sources have shown that this leading industry is rich with employment and opportunity. There are some people that correlate welding with just physical labor, but in most instances, that’s not the case. Welding takes extreme focus and attention to detail. With welders committing to projects such as ship building or underwater bridge construction, these laborers are dedicating their own lives and safety to guarantee these infrastructures are structurally sound and safe for those who cross them.
Since the industrial era, welding has become a significant source of income for many people and continues to expand its specialties into an enormous amount of industries. Many manufacturers rely on welders to construct products such as automobiles, machinery parts, ships, bridges, and buildings. Welders often work with engineers and set the foundation of the construction process. Considering the vast amount of options and paths to take in this industry, it’s no wonder there are so many excellent welding schools in Ohio. Obtaining a welding certification is the first step toward landing a job that is challenging, and rewarding at the same time.
Requirements & Eligibility
Although welding is not just a job strictly based upon labor, most welding colleges in Ohio require that the student be in good physical condition when applying and participating in the program or any other activity that includes welding. Students must have perfect vision as the job requires employees to have a strong sense of attention to detail. Also, students must be at least 18 years old to be eligible for most courses. It is also required that students have obtained a high school diploma or GED to meet the eligibility of the program.
Application Process & Cost
The application process varies depending on the institution. Some colleges may require an entrance or admissions exam to evaluate whether or not a student must take pre-requisites prior to entering the program. The average annual tuition of welding college ranges from $4,951 to $15,340 depending on the type of school. Private institutions tend to cost more than public programs. Almost all colleges and programs offer some type of financial aid and scholarships to those in need of assistance. There is usually a small application fee ranging from $20 to $50 and most school recommend that students take a tour of the facility prior to applying to the program.
The majority of classes offered online for welding certification consist of continuing training and informative courses. Much of the degree is practiced in class through lectures and labs to ensure students are learning the proper techniques and procedures. Online courses consist of the business of welding, safety and hazard prevention, and welding inspection certification.
Maintaining Certification/ License & Renewal
After attending an accredited welding program it is wise to become a certified welder by taking an assessment through an AWS certified testing facility. Many experienced welders have advised those seeking to begin a career in welding to choose a specific industry or area they would like to work in because there is not just one general assessment for welding, but many different types. After students have received their evaluation and have become certified, it is wise to register as a certified welder through AWS. This will give students all the paperwork they need to provide to employers and sometimes moves them toward the top of the list as opposed to those who have not yet become AWS certified. Renewing a welding license is simple as the Ohio Department of Labor will issue a renewal 60 days prior to the certification’s expiration date. It is also some employer’s responsibility to make sure all employees participating within their company, or on their project are certified and up to date with their licensing.
Salary & Job Prospects
The annual income of an entry level welder is $35,967, but there is an increase in earning potential after gaining more experience. This is an industry that has constant work available and is easy to gain experience and develop skills. There are hundreds of welding jobs available in Ohio, but it is up to the student to decide which specialty or field they would like to pursue.