So you’ve just made one of the smartest decisions of your life, and decided to seek opportunities to enter the profession of welding in South Carolina. Who could argue with that choice, when welding has such a promising field for growth? Steady, high-paying jobs are the norm for welders, while some even travel abroad and work for multinational corporations, earning even more perks and benefits. The job is hands-on and active, bringing a level of excitement to the job that few can match.
Requirements & Eligibility
There are very few requirements for eligibility for welding education. Arclabs, a premier welding institution in South Carolina, only requires you have a high school diploma or GED equivalency, and be 18 years old, or 17 with the consent of a parent. These are standard requirements for entry into most welding programs. Beyond those stipulations, the only requirements are a desire to enter a fruitful career as a welder, and the ability to handle the physical stress of the job. No welding experience is needed. Many schools in South Carolina require the same basic level of admission standard, opening the doors to more potential learning establishments that can best suit your needs.
Application Process & Costs
The application process and costs will vary slightly from school to school, but in general you can expect a similar circumstance. For Palmetto Training in Charleston, SC, you’ll fill out a few forms, either online or in person, and be asked in for an admission interview. You can discuss financial aid in at this point, or bring tuition with you, which will be in the range of $5,000, depending on the number of certifications you wish to receive. Once you’ve paid your tuition and been accepted into the program you will begin work on your training right away.
Due to the hands-on nature of welding, online courses are quite limited. Information can be found about welding materials, blueprints for welding patterns, and even advanced scientific details about the metallurgy on an atomic scale. There are courses behind the theory that makes welding possible at every level of the education ladder, from Associate’s degree to Master’s degree classes. However, for practice with the actual art of welding you will have to seek out something beyond an online option.
Maintaining Certification/License & Renewal
Keeping your certification up to date is of paramount importance, because once it expires, it is gone. However, the renewal process is painless and simple. Every six months you must submit the certification maintenance forms, which essentially state that you are only performing the welding for which you have been trained. There are no retests or renewal examinations you must take. A small fee is required, generally in the range of $20. Late renewals are only allowed within the first thirty days past due, and you will incur an additional late fee on the order of $50. As long as you stay on top of your six month renewal schedule, you’ll have no problems staying a certified welder indefinitely.
Salary & Job Prospects
As with most professional, certified positions, welding offers starting competitive starting salaries with many opportunities to grow. Salary ranges for welders can go from 30k up to as much as 48k domestically, and foreign options will sometimes offer even greater salary and benefit packages. Many welders choose to find a more experienced welder after they graduate to apprentice with, while some others partner together after graduation to start their own companies. The best thing about the situation for the welder is that, no matter what path they take, they will have access to lucrative work into the far future.