Welding is a very different career choice. Sparks firing, metal attaching to itself, and the thrill of making it all work makes this an interesting path. There are many areas a welder can go into and still make a great living.
Requirements and Eligibility
To be a welder in Oklahoma, you must pass a test. This test is given by certified weld test facilities. A list of these facilities can be found on the Oklahoma government’s site. Once you have passed this test, you will be given a card to show that you are certified.
Application and Costs
The applications and costs of the different courses will vary from college to college.
One college you can take classes at is the Four M Welding School. Each instructor has 15 students apiece, and no more. It only takes four months to finish, and 95% of the graduates are hired. Depending upon what course you take, the tuition could be as little as $5,693.50 or as much as $15,673.50. There is a shop welding class (the least expensive class). A field welding class costs the same as the shop welding class. Advance shop and advanced field welding classes cost $10,573.50. Professional welding costs $15,673.50.
Another place to go is Caddo Kiowa Technology Center. They have five areas of welding to offer: career majors, cutting processes technician (180 hours), pipe welder (915 hours), structural welder (840 hours), and the new industrial fabrication technician (1260 hours). For high school students in the district, the program is free. In district adult students pay $2.50 a credit hour and supply costs. Out of district students pay $5 a credit hour and supplies. All that apply must have a WorkKeys certification, and NCCER and AWS certifications as well.
A third program to look into in Oklahoma is via Central Tech. There are six areas of welding that you can look into: combination welder, cutting processes technician, entry level welder, structural/pipe welder, welder/fitter, and welding/metal fabrication workforce. The tuition costs are $2,017/$1,905, $712/$800, $1,229.50/$1,117.50, $2,579.50/$2,467.50, $2,017/$1,905, and $585 respectively. The classes with two costs have two different times they can be taken. The hours per class are: 1050, 180, 525, 1425, 1050, and 390, respectively.
There are currently no online programs to learn welding. The skills needed include using tools correctly, and must be done under supervision. Welding is a difficult skill to learn, and doing it online does not cut it.
Maintaining and Renewing Your License
To renew a welding certification in Oklahoma, you must send in the $25 renewal fee. If the renewal fee is being sent late, you must send in an extra $10. However, you can only renew the certification up to a year after it has expired. After that, you must take the certification test again to renew your license. Fee must be paid to the Department of Labor.
Renewal notices are not sent out. Instead, the licenses are set to expire on the last day of your birth month. Licenses must be renewed every year.
Salary and Jobs
Welders earn an average of $37,720 a year. In Oklahoma, the average wage a year is $38,780.
A welder can work in many different fields. Some of these include architecture, agriculture, construction, mining, boilers, tanks, natural gas distribution, and ship building. The wages vary from each job. A postal service welder can earn an average of $57,990 a year while motor vehicle welders can earn $35,140 a year.