Last Updated on January 2021
There are plenty of commercial and industrial welding jobs available on the market today, and your qualifications and experience are what will set you apart from other candidates who are also competing for them. Having a welding certification is one such qualification that ought to be indispensable to you if you hope to contend for a professional welding position in today’s competitive job market.
We’ll first walk you through several categories where these cutters perform differently before rounding out the comparison with an across-the-board look at where they are broadly similar. When we’re done, you should see your motivating factor clearly: the bottom line or a pricier cutter that packs an incredible punch.
What Will A Certification Do For Me?
Welding is a profession which requires knowledge and expertise, and you’d be hard-pressed to find an employer that would take you on without solid evidence that you have both these qualities. Official certification is industry-standardized, which means putting your money where your mouth is if you want to prove your qualifications as a welder. Although the process isn’t an easy one and will take time and effort, you can trust that it will be a highly advantageous venture toward your welding career aspirations.
Whether you’ve welded a bit here and there as a hobby or never laid your hands upon welding equipment in your life, there are a plethora of valuable learning programs available to help amateur welders of all levels get certified; and then to become a welding professional.
What Does A Professional Welder Do?
In a nutshell, a welder is a trade professional who is trained to join metals together through a process called welding. This involves heating metals to such high temperatures that they become softer and more malleable. Some common types of metal which welders use include brass, steel, and aluminum.
Welding work involves understanding the differences between various kinds of metal, knowing how to maintain the proper welding flame temperature, and following all safety protocols while on the job.
Where Do I Start If I Want To Become A Welder?
For starters, you’ll want to have a high school diploma prior to dedicating yourself to this profession. Many high schools and community colleges offer introductory courses to welding, but having a solid grasp of physical science and basic mathematics (such as algebra and geometry) will prove invaluable once you’re on the job. Welding involves a lot of calculation as you work and understanding the process from an academic perspective can only make you a better professional all around.
Once you’ve attained a diploma, it’s time to investigate which welding school or trade program would be right for you. There are many basic welding certification programs that can be completed in as short at six months, while others may last a year or longer. It all depends on which program is best aligned with your goals and plans, so do your due diligence by choosing a school that’s going to help you achieve your own success.
Depending on what niche interests you, you’ll find there are welding education programs to teach you the necessary skills or to specialize in just about any aspect of welding imaginable. These specialization programs include courses in robotic welding, welding quality control, and even fatigue and fracture analysis. By assessing your own strengths and weaknesses, alongside your passions as an aspiring professional, you can choose the right certification program for you.
What Kind Of Certification Programs Are There?
There are many different certifications programs, and with a bit of focus, you will surely find one to meet your needs. The American Welding Society is a great place to start your search, as they have several accredited programs for both basic certifications and more advanced and specialized programs. If you’re not satisfied with the courses this popular welding society has on offer, their friendly staff will also happily guide you toward other reputable institutions.
No matter which certification you go for, you’ll be required to take a test in order to get it. 6G pipe welding is a typical exam task, and for this, you’ll be expected to weld around a pipe which is held at a 45-degree angle. This is a deceptively difficult task, but with plenty of practice, you can complete it in order to demonstrate your welding prowess.
Regardless of which test you take, bear in mind the importance of completing welds that are aesthetically pleasing. After all, many jobs will not only expect you to join metals properly and maintain the structural integrity of the metal, but the final product will also need to be aesthetically pleasing to show your level of professionalism.
How Much Does A Certification Cost?
On average, you can expect to pay between $150 and $300 in order to get your welding certification. While it may be off-putting to invest this kind of money before you have even had a chance to enter the workforce, rest assured, it’s a worthy investment. The money you spend on certification is returned with interest when it comes back to you in the form of opening new job possibilities in the welding industry.
Beyond that, you may need to invest in certain tools and even a welding booth for you to practice. You will also need to pay a small amount every few years in order to renew your certification, but it’s significantly less than the cost of the original certification.
How Much Can I Expect To Make As A Welder?
Obviously, this amount will vary depending on where you work, how much experience you have, and your exact position and specialization. As a point of reference, lower-paid welders make around $40,000 per year, and more experienced, specialized welders can make six-figure annual salaries of up to $150,000.
Becoming a welder is a profession that demands an investment of time, energy, and money up front, but that initial investment can come back to you many times over if you commit yourself to the process. Above all, be sure to have an idea of which niche of the welding industry you might wish to specialize in when you start practicing and studying. This will allow you to properly research which programs and certifications can help you to attain your goals.