Welding is an ancient practice, and it plays an important role in the daily lives of Americans. Computers, medical devices, cell phones, bridges, and ships are all produced by welding. In fact, it has been discovered that more than half of all U.S. products undergo this process. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough welders to help in the production of essential goods.
Welders working in shipyards are among the most important part of the skilled workforce, and they play an important role in the shipbuilding and repair process. According to the Harvard Business Review, the qualities of welders working in shipyards contribute to the time the projects are undertaken. Welders are responsible for welding together all metal parts that make up a ship, and they can include ship hull plates, girders, frames, foundations, tanks, and pipes among others.
Because shipyards are loud and can be dangerous, they are no place for amateurs. This means that you need to go to a welding school and become certified. Shipyards employ only trained and certified welders and the quality of their welds are tested before they are hired.
Shipyards in Virginia
Norfolk Naval Shipyard
Located in Portsmouth, Virginia, NNSY is one of the largest shipyards in the world that specializes in overhauling, repairing and modernizing ships and submarines. Owned by the U.S. Navy, it’s the oldest industrial facility, and it’s also the most multifaceted. The NNSY also follows the latest OSHA Voluntary Protection Program. To apply for a shipyard welding job in NNSY, you will have to go through the job website, USA Jobs.
Newport News Shipbuilding
The NNS is the sole designer and builder of all aircraft carriers for the U.S. Navy. They build and service each carrier through its lifetime including refueling the nuclear reactors. The NNS partners with General Dynamics Electric Boats to build the most advanced ballistic missile submarines that have replaced the aging Ohio class. They also provide fleet services to several submarines around the world including installation, modernization, and repair.
Inside Look: What are the Responsibilities of Welders Working at Shipyards?
Welders working at shipyards are mainly assigned to the task of joining metal parts. There are several welding processes welders follow, but the most common are acetylene and arc welding. This means that you must learn both MIG and TIG welding which are the most common types of arc welding. MIG involves utilizing a continuous spool of wire while TIG is used for stainless steel and aluminum applications and it involves melting rods to the pieces. Other essential job shipyard welding responsibilities include…
Getting Formal Training
A few years ago, shipyard employers could hire entry-level workers with little or no formal training at all and provided them with training on how to use welding equipment and different ways of welding. However, today most shipyard employers require potential candidates to have formal training in chemistry, physics, blueprint reading, welding equipment care, and metallurgy. You can acquire these skills through a technical college.
Inspect Your Environment
Because most of the shipyard welding processes take place in enclosed places, it’s your responsibility to ensure that there are adequate firefighting tools and that your working environment is free from any combustible materials. It’s also important to inspect all your tools before you begin working to ensure they are in proper working condition.
3 Fun Facts about Working at Shipyards
You have several career paths to choose from: As a welder, you have endless choices of industries to work in as well as advanced opportunities. Possible career tracks include soldering, brazing, operators, and tenders. Through additional training, you can find career opportunities in other fields such as robotics, inspection, and engineering.
Travel opportunities: Welding is done almost everywhere, including the bottom of the ocean. As a welder, you will have several travel opportunities. Travel shipyard welding jobs typically pay more.
There is always a high demand for skilled welders: Welding is one of the careers that are always in high demand. Because welders are needed in almost all industries, you can easily switch industries without changing your career. Unlike most careers, welding has endless opportunities that always fuel the demand for skilled welders.
Educational Requirements for Shipyard Welding
Employers have different educational requirements. Some require a high school diploma and successful completion of employer-based welding tests, but others look for undergraduate degrees or certification from a technical college. Welding education programs can provide you with a welding certificate of achievement or an A.O.S. (Associate in Occupational Science) degree. Formal welding educational programs can take anywhere from a few week to a few years.
Are you Ready to Take the Next Big Step?
In less than two years, you could finish school and start working as a maritime welder. Visit Advanced Technology Institute today to get started on your Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Maritime Welding Technology with Service Management.