Welding is a technical profession that is well insulated from the rise and fall of economic demands – no matter the state of the overall economy, industrial manufacturers always need welders working for them, and the profession is set for steady growth in the next decade. One of the dividing factors between those who think about the benefits of a welding career and those who actually do it is the education involved. Welding programs require dedication and commitment, but feature excellent job prospects upon graduation; seeking a career in welding, and seeking the education for that career in Alabama, means setting yourself up for real employment opportunities as soon as you graduate.
Requirements & Eligibility
To get started in a welding education program in Alabama, you don’t need anything but a high school education or its equivalent. You’ll be able to take your pick from several highly ranked programs in Hamilton, Mobile, and Gadsden, including the unusual opportunities of boiler tube welding and orbital welding classes from Gadsden State Community College. These programs are difficult to find in other places, helping Alabama stand out among its peers in welding education.
Application Process & Costs
To get started applying for welding degrees, figure out which schools are in your price range and reach out to their admissions departments. For an added boost in the process, you can get in touch with the director of the welding program themselves and introduce yourself either in person or via email; attaching a personality to a name can go a long way toward landing a spot in a welding training course. Once you’ve completed the application process and started the schooling itself, your costs will be relatively low, especially if you live in-state. Most of Alabama’s courses are offered by community college programs, which helps keep the cost low and the admissions accessible. Contact the department of the school you’re interested in for more specific information.
While welding is a very hands-on profession and requires guided and practical experience, you may be eligible to complete some other required classes online. When required by your degree, classes in the humanities (such as literature, art, and so on) are often offered online, letting you move at your own pace when it comes to those subjects in particular.
Maintaining Certification/License & Renewal
Keeping your training up to date in the world of welding is an excellent way to keep your job prospects wide open. Welders with modern training and a wide variety of skills are employable virtually anywhere, and many programs in Alabama offer hard to find areas of technical training. Gadsden State Community College, for example, offers training in less common areas of welding practice, helping you become a go-to figure for a particular field; other locations, such as the Bishop State Community College and Build Mobile Welder Training program, offer copper nickel and Flux core arc welding classes, highly specialized areas which are difficult to learn in most locations. Make sure to browse Alabama’s offerings for welding training and certification – there are several unique opportunities available.
Salary & Job Prospects
The median salary for welders in 2012 was about $36,000 a year, or about $17/hr. The field is growing relatively slowly, but it is a profession that hires very consistently, an evergreen job market that stays steady in any economic climate. Some offers include further on-the-job training for extra specialization, further increasing your marketability, but no matter what level of experience they provide, job offers for welders tend to be steady and plentiful. Graduates from welding schools in Alabama report that they have little trouble finding work, setting you up for success in your daily life and career.