Welders perform a wide range of duties. In addition to welding, they may also be called upon for cutting and soldering projects in an effort to seal and repair irregularities in different types of metal. Nearly all industries require some type of welding during the building process; buildings, boats, planes, trains, equipment building, and various other industries require the expertise of skilled welders.
Each state has their own criteria for welders. Some require formal educational programs and certificates of completion, others do not. What you need to remember is, if you’re considering a career in welding and formal education and certification is not a requirement, it is still beneficial. If you have graduated from a program with different certificates of achievement, it shows potential employers that you know the business and have achieved the skill level to excel at your position.
What Certifications are Important in Virginia?
While you may not be required to have welding certifications, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those that have certifications typically “will find jobs faster and demand higher wages than those that don’t have certifications.”
Students have a wide selection of certifications available through educational outlets that adhere to the curriculum of the American Welding Society. It’s important that certifications are gained through an accredited body to ensure quality and your own ability to perform these welds.
Different Types of Welding Programs
If your think welding is the career path you want to take, you need to research all the different types of welding programs available and determine which best meets your skill set.
- SMAW Tack Welder Qualification – AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code
- Steel SMAW 6G Pipe Certification – AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code
- Steel SMAW All Position Plate Certification Limited – AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code
- Steel FCAW All Position Plate Certification, Limited – AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code
- Steel GTAW All Position Plate Certification, Limited – AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code, Steel
Diploma programs should offer training programs that concentrate on both classroom and hands-on lab work using the newest, state-of-the-art equipment and tools used to repair equipment, pipes and structures. The programs also offer a real-life setting where students demonstrate key learnings and proficiencies as well as safety procedures.
Most educational programs take a minimum of two years, but many institutes offer accelerated courses, which can often cut the time in half, so you can begin your welding career faster.
Choosing the Right School
If you’re located in the Norfolk, Virginia area, you are close to Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) which offers accelerated welding programs that provide the appropriate certificates required in Virginia. If you’re interested in earning an Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Maritime Welding Technology with Service Management, consider ATI for the education you will need. For more information about this exciting program, connect with an admissions representative today.