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Diploma in Metal Working: Program Overview

Metal working diplomas are not common; instead, most schools offer welding technology diploma programs that train students in the skills needed to pursue metal working careers. Learn about common courses and certification information for graduates.

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Essential Information

Students in welding technology diploma programs learn about techniques, terminology, and tools in a classroom and then put what they learn to use in a practical setting. Hands-on training is a large part of welding programs. Graduates may attain certification through professional organizations. In order to enroll in one of these programs, students need a high school diploma or GED.


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Diploma Programs in Welding Technology

Students get the chance to perfect their welding skills and learn how to use different materials to create desired outcomes. Topics covered in a program may include these:

  • Hand tools
  • Drilling machines
  • Blueprint reading
  • Measurements for metal working
  • Milling machines
  • Computerized methods in welding

Popular Career Options

Graduates of a welding technology program are prepared for entry-level positions in welding and metal working. Students may find work in a variety of fields that include the following:

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Fabrication
  • Auto repair

Individuals may also start their own businesses or go into related positions in management, sales, and quality control.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers earned an annual median wage of $38,150 in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). From 2014-2024, the BLS expected jobs for these professionals to expand by 4%.

Job growth and salary vary widely for other metal workers, depending on the area of specialty. From 2014-2024 the highest job growth of 19% was predicted by the BLS for computer numerically controlled machine tool programmers. The lowest growth rate at that same time was for foundry mold and coremakers, for whom the BLS projected a job loss of 28%. The highest annual median wage of $48,990 was earned by computer numerically controlled machine tool programmers in 2015. At that same time, molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders earned the lowest annual median wage of $29,340.

Continuing Education Information

No licensing or continuing education is required for a career in metal working, but according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some specialized welding positions or employers may require professional certification (www.bls.gov). Certification for welders is available through professional organizations, such as the American Welding Society. The BLS states that certification may help individuals to find more work, since certification is often sought after by employers. In this field, experience also plays a role in finding employment with more job opportunities for those who've worked in the field and proven their skills.

Welding diploma programs teach students about the equipment and techniques needed to effectively work with metals in a professional environment. Several careers are available for graduates, who can also earn the professional certification required for some jobs.

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