Community colleges and technical schools typically offer welding technology certificate programs lasting less than a year as well as diploma and associate's programs that can take up to two years. These programs require a high school diploma or equivalent to enter. Graduates have the potential to directly enter the job market as welding technicians.
Certification in Welding
A welding technology certificate program usually includes extensive hands-on learning. Students are taught about different types of welding techniques as well as how to use welding equipment and navigate standard safety methods. Some topics that may be covered in a program include:
- Metal arc welding
- Fabrication welding
- Blueprint reading
- Flux-cored welding
- Pipe welding
- Gas tungsten arc welding
Popular Career Options
A welding technology certificate program is designed to teach individuals to work as welders or in other occupations using welding technology. Jobs may also be found in related fields, including plumbing, steel fabrication, construction, automotive manufacturing and maintenance. Possible careers include soldering workers, brazing workers, and welders.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Through the AWS certified welder program, individuals are tested in different welding techniques and processes. To become certified, a person must complete the certification test at an accredited test facility. Maintaining certification involves submitting certification maintenance forms every six months. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some employers may implement their own independent certification testing for employees (www.bls.gov).
An individual who has completed either a certificate or diploma program may go on to complete an associate degree program in welding technology. These programs may include additional welding courses and welding experiences, as well as general education courses that may be relevant to bachelor's degree programs.
Entry into a welding certification program can be obtained with only a high-school diploma or equivalent, though interested students may also seek related education through diploma/associate's programs. These options train students to enter various fields involving welding technology.