Welding is an attractive career tract for many young students for several reasons. Not only does welding offer a solid chance of landing a job, but there is also the opportunity to work with your hands. Many people today would rather build something than spend all of their time in an office. However, there are some requirements from an education stand point before a person can become a welder. Here are several of those requirements and how students can maximize their earnings as a welder.
Requirements & Eligibility
There are several different tests that must be passed if a person is going to be a certified welder. Although these are not written tests, a person applying for the test still needs to practice ahead of time. Usually a person that is certified in welding will be there to grade the test. In the state of Illinois, there are several different levels of certification for people that are going in to the welding industry. Anyone that is going to be a certified welder must pass the exam. Generally anyone that has a high school diploma and the means to pay for the test is eligible.
Application Process & Costs
One of the best things about becoming a welder is the fact that the application process is fairly simple. For under $1,000 a person can sign up and take a welding exam. It is important to remember that this exam is not an easy one. There are several welding schools in Illinois that will prepare a student to take the exam. However, some people have done enough welding in their life that they are comfortable without going to a formal school.
Due to the fact that welding is mostly a hands on activity, there are far fewer online options than many other career paths. However, there are still some online based programs in Illinois that students can look in to. All of the terminology and background of welding can be explored through an online program. This is important for many students simply because it offers a lot of flexibility in the process. Towards the end of the program, most students will have to go in for hands on training for welding.
Maintaining Certification/License & Renewal
There are several different levels of being certified as a welder in the state of Illinois. If a student wants to work for a welding company, these higher levels can increase the base rate of pay that they receive. However, if someone wants to start their own welding business these different levels will not be as important to get. Becoming a welding teacher is also an option later on in a career, and the higher credentials will certainly help in this capacity. It is important to remember that paper certifications will only take you so far in your career.
Salary & Job Prospects
There is currently a lot of construction and population growth in the state of Illinois. With that being said, there are many companies that need experienced welders to do work for them. There is often a waiting period in finding an good welder in Illinois. Students that are graduating with a certification will generally have good job prospects in this economy. The average rate of pay for a new student is going to vary wildly. All of this will depend on the skill and experience level of the welder, as well as if they are working for themselves in business or for a company. However, with the increased demand for welding many students are making around $45,000 their first year.