by Jason Becker
So, You Want to be a Welder
So, you are thinking about a career in welding huh? Good on you. I can tell you first hand that this career has taken me places I’ve never thought I would go and given me thing I thought I’d never have.
I am going to tell you the truth straight up so that there is no misunderstanding about what you are getting yourself into. Welding Sucks. That right, I said it. Everything you touch is sharp, hot and heavy. You’re going to sweat, ache, and work long tiresome hours. But I’ll tell you this as well. It is so worth it. I love my job and I love welding. There is no greater satisfaction than to stand back after the project is over and say “look what I built, look what I did with my own two hands”. You take a pile of solid metal and cut it, form it, shape it and mold it to your will. There’re very few people in this world that can do what we do at a proficient level. It takes patients, time, dedication, and determination to master this craft. It’s a long hard road but in the end its worth everything you put into it. Just like everything else in this world, you’ll get back what you put in.
Over the past few years I have taught and instructed over one hundred people how to weld. Some of them have gone off to make a good life for themselves, some have wasted the skill and chose a different career path, and a select few have exceeded all of my expectations and have gone on to do great things in the industry. It’s all about what you put in to it. I am going to cover some things in this article that will be very valuable to anyone looking to get into this industry. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. It’s up to you.
Find a Good School
How do you find a good school? What makes a good school? Well, I am glad you asked. First thing you want to consider is what is available in your area. Get on the Google and type in Welding Schools in my area. Search through the schools and do some research. Look up reviews on the schools. Of course, if you call up the school they are going to tell you that they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Do your own research though. Check out reviews from past graduates. Get on some Facebook welding groups and ask if anyone has gone there and what their experience is.
Once you’ve locked down a couple potentials, schedule an appointment to tour the facility and ask to speak with the instructor. Find out what is covered in the course, not all welding programs are created equally. Find out the hours required and make sure they fit your schedule. Find out the cost, we will discuss that more in-depth later on in the article. Now, the school will most likely try to get you signed up that day before you leave the facility, especially if it is a for profit institute. Some of them are as bad as a high-pressured used car salesman. Take your time, this is your future we are talking about. No need to make a hasty decision because the school has some state-of-the-art equipment and a fancy student lounge. Visit all the schools on your list and speak with the instructor if you can. Most of the time the counselors and recruiters have no idea about what’s really involved in the program. Selecting the best school will be up to you. It’s a good idea to write out a list of questions you want answers to before you even go to the school. Some good questions to ask are:
What are the hours?