As you get ready to graduate from your welding school program, you are probably thinking about a new career in this exciting field. You have a lot of options from working in construction to pipe welding and even shipbuilding. First, you need to prepare yourself to be hired by working on your resume, interview skills, and passing the National Construction Career Test in welding.
The education you get from a welding training program will set you off on an exciting and lucrative new career path. Welders work with their hands, creating new things every day on the job. It is rewarding and interesting with room for advancement and growth.
There are plenty of opportunities for welders right now and by getting a job in this field you can look forward to earning more. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were nearly 400,000 positions for welders in the country and these workers earned a median salary of over $38,000 per year.
Welding school is what will put you in a position to join the ranks of these skilled workers. If you are preparing to graduate from your diploma program, now is the time to think about what your options are. Start thinking about what kind of career you want, where you would like to work, and how you will achieve your career goals.
Career Opportunities after Welding School
As a welder, you will find that you have a lot of different opportunities for your future job. Welders may all do approximately the same work, but they do it in different settings, working with different materials, and in all kinds of industries. The main industry that relies on welders and employs the most workers in this field is manufacturing. The manufacturing industry relies on welders to make metal products, machinery, vehicles, and other types of equipment.
The construction industry also needs skilled workers who have been through welding school. Professionals in this fieldwork on joining girders, beams, pipes, in both commercial and residential properties. Welders are needed to build and do maintenance work in power plants and oil and gas refineries.
Welding trade school can also lead you in a direction you never expected. Welders are needed in the shipbuilding industry, for instance. You could be a part of building new ships and repairing existing ships. You may also work in the aerospace industry working on aircraft. Imagine working underwater. Underwater welders are particularly skilled workers and are in demand for jobs building and repairing bridges and other structures.
Advancing Your Welding Career
Fresh from welding school, being new in the industry, you are likely to start out in an entry-level position, but there is plenty of room for growth. Welding training through your initial diploma program is just the beginning. You will continue to learn on the job and you can even advance to better positions by learning new, more specific welding skills.
For example, once you have mastered basic welding, you may want to train as an underwater welder. This would involve learning how to dive and learning the specialized skills for doing welding work underwater. You might also just want to advance your skills and your experience enough to be able to become a self-employed or freelance welder. This can give you the chance to move around, to take jobs you like and avoid others, and to earn as much or as little as you want.
Professional organizations like the American Welding Society can help you advance your career beyond basic welding training. Through groups like this you can earn extra certifications, take professional development courses, and learn specialized skills such as using robotics, teaching welding courses, or welding inspection.
Your Next Steps after Welding School
Once you have given some thought to what kind of career and future you want in welding, you need to start preparing to get that first job. It’s time to think about finding open positions, how to apply, creating a great resume that showcases your skills, and learning how to have a good interview that impresses prospective employers.
Start with your welding trade school’s career services department. Here you will find the resources you need to get started on pursuing your career post-graduation. The best place to start is with job placement. Professionals in career services can give you a leg up on finding the open positions. They can help you find specific types of jobs. If you know exactly what kind of position you want, let these career helpers from your welding school find it for you.
Crafting the Perfect Resume
Next, start to work on your resume. This is the one thing that has to represent who you are and what you have to offer employers. Again, career services can help you, but only you can provide the necessary information. Include past and current jobs, even if they are not related to welding. These experiences tell an employer that you have what it takes to hold down a job and be a good employee, no matter what kind of work.
Your resume should also be specific about what you learned in welding school. List the courses you took, so a future employer knows exactly what you can do and what your skillset is. Another great thing to include in your resume is proof that you can do the work needed for welding. You can do this by including pictures of some of your projects from welding classes. Pick a few that showcase specific skills you learned.
A resume represents you on paper, but to land a job you also have to represent yourself and your skills in person. A lot of people feel nervous about interviewing, and you may too, but the way to overcome that is to practice. Do mock interviews with friends or family to get better at being interviewed. It’s a skill, and the only way to be good at it is to practice.
Your career services department can help you here too. Learn interviewing skills and get important tips. When you’re ready to interview for a job, be sure to dress nicely. You won’t be wearing nice clothes for your job as a welder, but an employer will want to see that you made an effort for the interview. It shows that you are serious about getting the position.
Skills Welding Employers Are Looking For in Welding School Graduates
As you get ready to find your first post-welding training job, keep in mind that you want to make yourself a desirable candidate. You need to know what employers are looking for, and what they want to see in a new hire. When you know what they want, you can prove to your future employer that you have what it takes:
- A good education and technical skills. Welding is a skill, so employers want to see that you took welding courses, finished a welding school program and got the hands-on training that will allow you to start working on day one.
- Physical strength and stamina. Welders work not just with their hands, but with their whole bodies. This is a very physical job in which you may be expected to lift heavy objects, stand for long periods of time, and do a lot of bending, stooping, and reaching.
- Attention to detail. Welding work may involve a lot of strength and stamina, but it also involves precision. An employer wants to hire someone who will take the time and pay attention to enough details to do a job right the first time.
- Good spatial skills. A good spatial ability is crucial to being able to do welding work. You have to be able to read designs, both two-dimensional and three-dimensional plans, and use them to create something out of metal. Your welding training should be proof that you can do this.
- Ability to take direction. Even if you end up as a self-employed welder, you will always be creating things for someone else, and to their specifications. An employer wants to know that you can listen to and follow directions and learned these types of skills at welding school, not just the technical ones.
Now that you are so close to finishing your welding training through Florida Technical College’s welding diploma program, you are finally ready to join the workforce. You are facing an exciting time. You get to experience a new job, but also a new career that comes with a lot of perks: better working hours, more meaningful work, and a better income.
To give yourself the best chance of getting into the welding job of your dreams, make sure you take the time to be prepared. Take advantage of career services, build up a resume that sells you to employers, and really practice interviewing so you can make a good impression. Preparation is everything once you have the actual skills to do the job and with it you will be sure to land a job that sets you off on your new career path.