Welding is an excellent career choice for individuals who enjoy working with their hands and aren’t afraid of heat and sparks. This job depends on a high level of skills, knowledge, and good eye-hand coordination. Welding is a part of everything from aircraft frames, buildings, trains to bridges. The stability and strength of structures made by welders are important to public safety and as such, employers often require welders who have a high level of training and can show their skill through certification.
Each state has its own criteria to qualify welders. Some only require formal education, others require the addition of certifications, and others do not. But even if certification is not mandatory, it is highly beneficial and shows potential employers that you know your trade and can excel at your position.
Welding certification is used to determine if an applicant has the knowledge and skills required to perform designated tasks in compliance with codes specific to the work. Certifications also prove a welder’s ability to work with certain types of welds, specific metal thicknesses, different processes with shielding gas, joint design, different welding positions, and other specific welding considerations.
What Kind of Certificates Exist in Welding?
The American Welding Society (AWS) is one of the leading sources of welding certification for individuals interested in a welding career and want to prove their knowledge. In Hamptons Road, these certifications can be obtained at just about any AWS accredited testing center. There are several welder certifications available and this is certainly not an industry where one size fits all. Typical unified certificates include the Certified Welder program and the Certified Welding Fabricator program. Examples include:
- SMAW Tack Welder Qualification – AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code
- Steel SMAW All Position Plate Certification Limited – AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code
- Steel SMAW 6G Pipe Certification – AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code
- Steel GTAW All Position Plate Certification, Limited – AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code, Steel
- Steel FCAW All Position Plate Certification, Limited – AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code
To complete these certifications, you should be able to follow standard safety protocols, identify the correct materials to use, prepare the joints to be welded, set up a welding machine, correctly position materials, adhere to each welding procedure specification, and show the ability to write clear and concise reports. A test supervisor will inspect and grade your work.
If it meets the set standards, you will receive certification. This rigorous testing process is designed to ensure that you have the knowledge required to meet industry and employer welding specifications. And due to the hazardous nature of welding, certifications test your ability to safely handle complex welding roles.
What is Needed to Obtain a Certificate in Welding?
In order to become a certified welder in Hamptons Road, you’ll need to first learn the trade. Gaining formal education through a dedicated welding diploma program will equip you with basic welding skills and some hands-on experience that will be required when it comes to the certification process.
Welding technology certifications also require applicants to satisfy OSHA safety requirements. Welding presents potential hazards and special challenges that employee must be aware of. Therefore, beginning any hands-on training, you must understand OSHA’s safety guidelines.
How Do Certificates Help Future Welders in Their Careers?
Earning your welding certification is a big step to improve your employment opportunities and quality of life. As already mentioned, most employers in the welding industry want to hire certified tradesmen because they’re typically qualified to handle the challenging career and do a better job.
It also shows your interest and ability to continually learn and improve, which is a critical quality to succeed in this field. Generally, holding one or more certifications gives you a higher employment rate than a welder who holds none.
The certification will apply across different industries, so you can shift from one industry to another, according to your preferences. For instance, welders in the oil and gas industry may be able to find work in the automotive industry. Due to the versatility of welding, you’ll find that more jobs are open to you. What’s more, you have the opportunity to start a business and become your own boss. Certification is a great first step toward better job stability and higher salary potential.
Get Certified in Welding in Hampton Roads
If you’re located in Hamptons Road, Virginia, you can earn your certification at the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI). Our Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Maritime Welding Technology with Service Management provides you with the knowledge and skills necessary to help you build competencies needed in Virginia. Connect with an admissions representative today for more information on our welding programs and certifications.