Welding is a career that is in extremely high demand despite the volatile condition of the economy. Once trained, a person can expect to make a very good income working in this field. The first step is to secure an education to get a certificate or a diploma. South Dakota has accredited training programs that will put you on the right track to successfully learning the field of welding. Once you familiarize yourself with the steps involved in securing training for this lucrative field, you will be on your way to determining the best school and the best type of certification needed to meet your specific interests and goals.
List of Welding Programs in South Dakota
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Requirements & Eligibility
When deciding on the right educational program to secure a diploma or certification, you must first find out what type of background if any, is required. Many welding programs require that you at least have a high school diploma or a GED. Also, there is often an application fee required to apply. Furthermore, transcripts from any other post-secondary schools may be needed along with any formal test scores. The test scores may not be a requirement if you have not completed any standardized tests. However, if you have, those scores may need to be submitted as well.
Application Process & Costs
The process of applying to a welding certification or diploma program is quite similar to the application process for a traditional college or university. There is generally an application fee and proof of completion of a GED or high school diploma is usually required. Additionally, if you have completed any secondary education classes or an ACT or SAT test, scores and proof of any additional courses might be a requirement. The cost of securing training in the field of welding can be similar to that of a convention college education as well. The cost can vary greatly. If you decide to go through a certification program at a community college it could cost mere hundreds. However, attendance at a college with a degree program could cost thousands. The cost is largely dependent on where you go for training and whether or not you are pursuing a certificate or a diploma.
The welding and fabrication field is flourishing in the South Dakota region. There are online programs available for those who may find it difficult to attend an on-campus program. If you are someone who fits into this category you need not look any further than your computer for formal training. Most programs offer a certificate that takes less than a year to attain, usually 9 months. An Associate of Applied Science degree can be achieved by attending classes for an additional year. A 9-month education will generally allow you to receive a degree in Welding Technology. Once a graduate of a formal training program, you are eligible to test for the American Welding Society Certification. Most online degrees are structured to allow students to get non-hands on training before the student is required to learn by actually applying what he or she has studied.
Maintaining Certifications & License Renewal
There are 3 basic welding certifications: the API, ASME, and AWS. An API certification requires renewal every 3 years. The ASME requires completion of an ASME-approved course and is good as long as industry code doesn’t change. An AWS certification is the most common welding certificate. You must pass an AWS certification test and renew every 6 months.
Salary & Job Prospects
Although welding is a money-making field, within the South Dakota region, there is a lot of variation in income. A lot of the variation depends upon the population of the area and competitiveness. The average salary for a welder in South Dakota is about $23,000 annually, although it can be much more; upwards of 40K yearly. Once training and certification have been completed, many programs offer help with job placement by locating prospective employers.
Clearly, deciding to pursue a career in the field of welding is a progressive and promising choice. Taking the time to explore all the educational opportunities and programs required to begin a career in this exciting and growing field is a necessary step. South Dakota has both online and traditional programs to help make the training process a custom fit for your lifestyle and goals. Most programs require prerequisites like a high school diploma or a GED, some may even require standardized tests like the ACT and the SAT. Once you decide on a program and familiarize yourself with the requirements of maintaining a certification and a license, you have armed yourself with information needed to focus on classes and an education program that will set you on a path to have a fruitful and satisfying career in welding.