Hampton Roads, Virginia is home to many shipbuilding and maritime-related companies that rely on the skills welders provide. You might be wondering, what are some common job duties for maritime welders? What are some of the places welders can work in the Hampton Roads area? Why is a formal education the best way to start a welding career?
A Day in the Life of a Maritime Welder
Maritime welders use the same techniques and tools as other commercial welders. However, they focus their knowledge on processes used in marine ship building, repair, and maintenance. Some duties a maritime welder could be expected to fulfill include:
- Using torches, chemicals, or mechanical devices to cut and shear metal tubes, sheets, and components to fit design specifications.
- Pipe forming and punch pressing using notchers and bevellers.
- Applying gas, submerged arc, and other welding techniques to form secure metal structures and components.
In larger shipbuilding firms, welders usually specialize in one aspect of the building process. However, welders may be required to complete other duties and special projects at the employer’s discretion.
Maritime Welder Employers in Hampton Roads, Virginia
The unique location of Hampton Roads, Virginia makes it ideal for shipbuilding and repair services. Some of the largest maritime vessel firms in the country have headquarters in the area. These companies are the largest employers of maritime welders in the Hampton Roads area.
- Huntington Ingalls Industry Inc. (Newport News Shipbuilding)
- Norfolk Naval Shipyard
- BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair
- Earl Industries LLC
- Maersk Line, Limited
- AMSEC Corporation
- Colonna’s Shipyard, Inc.
- CMA-CGM America, Inc.
- Q.E.D. Systems, Inc.
- Tecnico Corporation
- Lyon Shipyard, Inc.
- East Coast Repair & Fabrication, LLC
These companies employ welders that help them provide maritime vehicles, parts, and services to businesses, governments, and private citizens all over the world.
The Benefits of a Formal Education for Welders
Most entry-level welding positions require a high school diploma. Welding and shop classes in high schools teach some of the fundamentals of these arts and may be enough to help an applicant land their first job. However, there are many benefits to attending a formal welding training program before applying for these jobs.
- Higher starting pay. New hires with no experience must complete long hours of on-the-job training at reduced wages. Only after proving their skills and knowledge are they eligible for higher paying positions. Those who complete a welding school program before applying for jobs don’t require as much on-the-job guidance. That means they may be trusted with more responsibility from the first day of employment. Employers are generally willing to pay higher starting wages to welders with degrees.
- More options. With on-the-job welding experience, those who want to advance their career may find it difficult to move into different industries or positions. This is due to the limited scope of their knowledge. Welding school graduates have a wider knowledge base that can be applied to a variety of job titles and business types. That means graduates have a wider field of opportunities when choosing entry-level positions and throughout their careers.
- Less competition. Welders in the Hampton Roads area sometimes enjoy high pay and long-term job security. Because these positions are so desirable, applicants can expect a lot of competition for open positions. A degree from a welding school sets the applicant apart from other candidates, which might give you the best chance possible of landing your dream job.
Prepare for your welding career in the Hampton Roads area with the Maritime Welding Technology with Service Management degree from ATI. This course offers a thorough introduction to maritime welding techniques and procedures. Students also gain a firm understanding of business management, customer service, employee relations, and other important aspects of running and maintaining a commercial welding operation. Upon graduation, students should be ready to fill a variety of entry-level welding management positions. Contact our counselors now to find out more about this job-training program.