Welders are in demand all across the country. However, the Hampton Roads, VA area is home to a multitude of businesses that rely on welders to help them manufacture and repair ships, airplanes, and consumer goods. Why is education an important part of building a welding career? How does a formal welding education help those who are interested in the field?
The Importance of Education in Welding Careers
It is possible to get an entry-level position or apprenticeship in welding with nothing more than a high school diploma. Your employer will provide on-the-job training. Under the instruction of an experienced guide, you will learn how to safely use equipment and perform certain types of cuts, folds, and welds that you will perform in your daily duties.
Employer-sponsored apprenticeships and low-paying entry-level positions are a great way to get your foot in the door. However, there are several advantages to starting your career with a formal education.
- You will learn more than just one technique. There are a number of different welding styles and techniques that are used in different industries and applications. With on-the-job training, it’s likely that you’ll only learn what the employer needs you to know. If you decide to move on to another company or position, you may be forced to start over from the beginning as a low-level apprentice. Attending a formal welding school exposes you to many of the most popular types of welding, which gives you more career options.
- You will be more valued by your employer. Starting your career as an apprentice with no training means your employer will have to invest significant amounts of money and time to teach you how to perform your job. A welding degree proves that you already have a strong knowledge base to build on. This can translate into positions with more responsibility, higher pay, and greater respect from your peers and coworkers.
- Your on-the-job training period will be significantly shorter. Even with a degree, its likely that your new employer will want to train you on the specific rules and procedures of their business. During this period, new employees are often paid an introductory rate that is lower than what they could be earning. With your diploma, you’ll be able to skip weeks of repetitious instruction and start making the money that you deserve right away.
Starting your welding career in the Hampton Roads area with a welding degree gives you more career options, makes you a more valuable employee, and helps you reach your highest earning potential more quickly.
How a Welding Degree Helps You Build a Better Career
The benefits of your welding degree last far beyond the beginnings of your career. While it does help you to get a good start, your degree gives you the power to shape your own future.
- Welding is used by a variety of industries. If you have a passion for a certain type of business, you can use your welding degree to get your foot in the door. Whether you’ve always wanted to build luxury passenger ships or want to be a part of a team of world-class automobile assemblers, welding could be the key to finding employment in your dream industry.
- What happens if you decide to change careers a few years down the line? You may be able to transfer many of the credits you earned from your welding degree to a new program of study. Talk to a school counselor for more information on accelerated degree programs.
- You won’t be limited in your job. On-the-job apprenticeships only prepare you for one job. In order to learn more, employees often need to actively seek out learning opportunities. However, your degree qualifies you to work on the production floor, assembly lines, or with face-to-face with customers. You’ll be able to move more easily between duties, ensuring that your work is always interesting.
A welding degree opens the doors to a lucrative, long-term career in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area. Get started building your dream career with the Associates in Occupational Science degree in Maritime Welding Technology with Service Management concentration from Advanced Technology Institute. Connect with a helpful admissions advisor today for more information.