Combination welding programs are designed to provide hands-on training in mainstream welding industry techniques, such as TIG and MIG welding. Courses require a high school education or equivalent for admission, and basic proficiency in reading and math may be required as well. Certificates can be earned in less than a year and some programs provide the education needed to qualify to take a professional certification test.
Combination Welding Technology and Education Programs
Throughout the program, students gain experience working with various welding machines and metals. Program content covers oxy-acetylene, gas metal arc (MIG), gas tungsten arc (TIG), shielded metal arc welding, layout, fitting skills and blueprint reading. Welding techniques like arc welding may be covered across multiple courses. Common topics covered include:
- Reading blueprints
- Welding fundamentals
- Metallurgy introduction
- Arc welding
- Pipe welding
- Multiple processes welding
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
People who earn a certificate in combination welding are qualified for positions as welders in the manufacturing, construction and oil drilling industries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected 4% growth in employment of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Opportunities are expected in oil drilling, manufacturing, construction and the defense industry. According to the BLS, welders, cutters, solderers and brazers earned a median annual wage of $38,150 in May 2015.
Continuing Education Information
The American Welding Society (AWS) offers certification to welders who demonstrate competency in a performance test. Tests are carried out at AWS-approved testing facilities around the United States. Certification remains valid for six months, after which welders may renew by submitting a form verifying that they continue to perform the techniques for which they were tested. Associate's degree programs with a concentration in welding and fabrication are also available.
Graduates of a certificate program in combination welding can pursue employment as welders in the oil drilling, manufacturing and construction industries. Professional certifications and advanced degrees at the associate's level help welders to continue training and increase their employment opportunities.