What Can I Do with a Welding Certificate?

welding a tire

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Are you interested in becoming a welder? Hearing a lot of buzz about certificates? You might be confused about what role certificates play in welding, and that’s ok. Let’s dive in.

There are many levels of welding specialty, and some levels require a certificate to attain. However, before we talk about welding certificates, let’s look into what a welder does on the job.

What Does a Welder Do?

A welder cuts, fills holes, and joins metal parts together. They often read blueprints, sketches and specifications to understand a welding project.

Mathematics is an important skill for a welder, as you will calculate and measure the dimensions of parts and welds. Attention to detail is another important skill, as you will need to manage the heat of the weld to create slag and keep metals at optimal temperatures during the welding process.

Lastly, you will maintain and service welding equipment to make sure it is preforming properly.

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How Much Does a Welder Make?

Welders make a good living and have a median annual wage of $47,010.*

Those who start out as an apprentice may make less, while journeyman and master welders will make more than the median wage.

Most welders will work full-time for 40 hours a week. This offers a good work/life balance for those welders who have other responsibilities.

Working evening and weekends is always an option for those that have other responsibilities during the day. The job of a welder is flexible and can fit any schedule.

Do I Need to be Certified as a Welder?

While you can become an apprentice welder without a certification, you will need a certification to move up to journeyman. The journeyman level certificate requires either 4 years of apprenticeship under a certified welder or 3 years of experience and the completion of a welding diploma program.

On the other hand, the Welding Specialist program at RSI can be completed in as little as 7 months, attending full-time.

A certificate exam is offered by the American Welding Society (AWS) for apprentice welders to become journeyman and master welders.

Certifications are offered in traditional welding, inspection, supervising and engineering.

Earning your certification from AWS helps you to request a higher salary and have better job stability. Plus, specialty welding certifications open up additional opportunities to move up the ladder.

Certification is an important milestone for most apprentice welders.

How Do I Get Certified as a Welder?

A great way to becoming a certified welder is by attending RSI for 7 months and completing the Welding Specialist Training program. Then, you will be prepared for apprenticeship under the supervision of a licensed journeyman welder. The completion of the required years of apprenticeship will qualify you to take the AWS welding certification exams.

Another perk of attending RSI before becoming an apprentice, is that we will help you find a job opportunity after graduation. Welder job opportunities can be competitive, so allow us to help you find an apprenticeship that you are passionate about. We prepare you with plenty of hands-on training, interview prep and resume building. Our career services staff is ready to help you find a job after you graduate from our Welding Specialist Training program.

What Can I Do with a Welding Certificate?

You can start a rewarding and challenging career with a welding certificate. If you want to start a business or work solo for a welding company, you must get a welding certificate after completing the necessary requirements to take the certification exam. The different levels of certification include:

Journeyman Welder – A highly skilled welder who has completed the necessary years of apprenticeship and passed the welding certification exam. They are able to work solo, start a business, or manage other apprentice welders. You can work in many different industries from manufacturing to automotive or help out the government with infrastructure projects. The sky’s the limit!

Master Welder – With additional work experience and some continuing education, you can become a master welder. As a master welder, you will be a leader and have advanced knowledge of welding. You will have managed other welders and perfected the craft. As a master welder, you are at the top of your profession.

How to Become a Welder

That path to becoming a great welder starts with enrolling in RSI’s Welding Specialist program. We offer hands-on training with classroom lecture to prepare you for entry-level job opportunities in structural, alloy, and pipeline welding. To learn more, contact us.

*Average annual median wage for Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers (514121) reported by BLS for May 2021 http://data.bls.gov/oes.