Driven by continuous growth in the construction and manufacturing industries, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the demand for experienced welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers to rise by 6% over the decade. Job seekers looking to take advantage of these solid career options benefit from a welding school education in multiple ways.
What is the difference between on-the-job and formal training? How can a formal education increase career options? How can you start a welding career in the Hampton Roads area?
Formal vs On-the-Job Training
Many welders begin their careers with little or no formal training. They learn their trade by working with more experienced professionals as an assistant. This method seems like the best route for those who are eager to get started. However, there are several advantages to attending a formal welding school program.
- Apprenticeships offer real-world experience right away. However, these positions are often poorly paid or provide no compensation beyond training. Those who choose this path can spend years proving their skill and earning a higher-paying spot. A formal welding program condenses those years of knowledge into a compact format that gets you ready to take on better-paying positions.
- On-the-job training is incomplete. Trainees are only provided the information that applies to their specific position. This limits their ability to apply for positions in different industries and types of businesses. A welding program gives applicants a broad knowledge base. This varied experience gives graduates more flexibility when searching for entry-level openings.
- Employers have a difficult time validating previous experience. Since every operation is different, it can be hard to understand what an applicant really knows. A certificate from a welding school is a standardized way to prove your skills and knowledge.
Welding school is an investment that pays off in increased pay and career options.
Career Options for Welding School Graduates
Welding and soldering are versatile skills used by a variety of businesses. A formal training program could allow you to customize your career.
- Welders are an integral part of new building construction. Their knowledge of creating solid bonds in metal joints, frames, and structural elements ensures the safety and durability of commercial, residential, and special use buildings.
- Manufacturers of electronics, large equipment, and all types of consumer goods need welders to shape and create their products. From toaster ovens to new cars, the manufacturing industry relies on welders, cutters, and brazers.
- Some welders dedicate themselves to helping people maintain their existing equipment. They service and repair a variety of equipment for business owners and private residents. In addition to welding expertise, these professionals need to have top-notch customer service skills for dealing with the public.
The opportunities for trained welders are nearly endless.
Welding in Hampton Roads
The area surrounding Hampton Roads, Virginia is home to numerous businesses that rely on capable welders. Some of Hampton Roads major employers include:
- Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., which builds and repairs ships.
- NASA Langley Research Center, which employs welders in the creation of futuristic equipment and transportation.
- TE Connectivity LTD, which manufactures sensors for the aerospace industry.
These businesses are the backbone of this community, as they employ a large portion of the working population. The welding industry contributes greatly to the continued economic viability of the area.
Are You Interested in Taking the Next Step?
Are you ready to start a welding career in the Hampton Roads area? An Associate in Occupational Science in Maritime Welding Technology with Service Management is your first step to a lucrative, flexible, and long-term career. Our expert instructors teach the basic knowledge and skills employers look for in entry-level applicants. Contact our admissions team today to discuss your future.