Welding
Area of Study

Welding Technology

Overview

The Welding Technology program provides students with basic and advanced welding training for each of the major welding processes (GMAW, SMAW, FCAW, GTAW, OAW) on steel, stainless, and aluminum, pipe and plate, in all positions, as it pertains to each course.

Upon successful completion, each student should be able to pass a Welder Performance Qualification Test (Certification), be able to read and interpret welding blueprints, and use their skills to earn entry level or advanced welding careers.

For someone to enter into the workforce as a welder, or a welding related occupation, you should be able to answer yes to the following questions. 

Do you have:

  • Good hand-eye coordination?
  • The ability to follow written and verbal direction?
  • The ability to catch on and learn quickly?
  • The ability to concentrate for extended periods of time?
  • Physical agility?
  • The ability to lift up to 50 pounds or more?
  • The ability to work independently or with a team?
  • A high level of common sense?
  • The willingness to show up to work every day?

Currently the welding program resides at the Applied Technology Campus in a separate building to the South of the baseball diamond. It consists of 14 arc welding bays, 8 oxyacetylene welding/cutting stations, and 1 classroom, as well as various equipment used in most shops and manufacturing environments.

With the upcoming expansion project and unification of all Applied Technology Campus programs in one building, the welding program will expand to allow for additional space in both the lab and classroom.   Facilities can be visited by either attending a discovery day or by scheduling an individual tour.

Welding work environments can vary from one extreme to the other. They can be very clean and quiet to very dirty and noisy. Indoors, outdoors, in space or underwater; welding can take place in almost every environment present on Earth or outside Earth’s atmosphere.

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers held about 404,800 jobs in 2016. The largest employers of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers were as follows:

  • Manufacturing 61%
  • Specialty trade contractors 7%
  • Self-employed workers 5%
  • Repair and maintenance 4%
  • Merchant wholesalers, durable goods 4%
Work Schedules:

Most welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers work full time, and overtime is common. Many manufacturing firms have two or three 8- to 12-hour shifts each day, allowing the firm to continue production around the clock if needed. As a result, welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers may work evenings and weekends.

Injuries and Illnesses:

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. They are often exposed to a number of hazards, including very hot materials and the intense light created by the arc. They wear safety shoes, heat-resistant gloves, goggles, masks with protective lenses, and other equipment to prevent burns and eye injuries and to protect them from falling objects.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that welders work in safely ventilated areas in order to avoid danger from inhaling gases and fine particles that can result from welding processes. However, they can minimize injuries if they follow safety procedures.

Being a part of welding in aspect of activities and clubs outside of regular welding classes is important for students to help with socializing and networking with other people in the welding world. We participate in American Welding Society activities and Skills USA welding competitions here at Northeastern. 

American Welding Society Skills USA

Required items (Will be needed by second class session):

  • Medium shade, full-face shield and headband (#5 or equivalent)
  • 1 Arc welding shield (Auto Darkening Optional)
  • 1 Clear face shield and headband for grinding
  • Clear cover lenses for the welding helmet (2)
  • 1 shop cap (optional)
  • 1 leather or flame retardant cotton cape or jacket
  • 1 pair of light leather gloves
  • 1 pair leather welding gloves, gauntlet type
  • 1 set of tip cleaners (long style optional)
  • 1 spark lighter
  • 1 slag hammer (chipping)
  • 1 wire brush-plain, long handle
  • 1 pair slip joint pliers
  • 1 pair vice grips
  • 1 pair of wire cutters
  • Boots or high top shoes (no tennis shoes allowed, steel or composite toe preferred)
  • Ear plugs
  • Soap stone
  • 1 pair safety glasses (with side shields) *Required. If you do not have eye protection, no shop work will be permitted*.
  • 12' Tape measure, minimum, 25’ preferred
  •  Adjustable square 12”
  • Fillet weld Gauges
  • 3/32 2% Thoriated (Red) OR 1.5% Lanthanated (Gold) Tungsten 10 PK (or individually from bookstore)
  • 1/8” Pure (Green) Tungsten 10PK (or individually from bookstore)
  • Handheld grinder (with 4 cut-off wheels and 4 grinding wheels per quarter)

Optional items

  • Welders gear bag  
  • Soap stone holder/pen (round or rectangular) - optional
  • Welders cap - optional but recommended

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Employment growth reflects the need for welders in manufacturing because of the importance and versatility of welding as a manufacturing process. The basic skills of welding are similar across industries, so welders can easily shift from one industry to another, depending on where they are needed most. For example, welders who are laid off in the automotive manufacturing industry may be able to find work in the oil and gas industry.

The nation’s aging infrastructure will require the expertise of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers to help rebuild bridges, highways, and buildings. Also, the construction of new power generation facilities and, specifically, pipelines transporting natural gas and oil may result in new jobs.

Welding is unique in a way that it is the only skilled trade that a person who has never welded before can take one welding class and earn an entry level job in manufacturing.  Job titles can vary from company to company, with varying relations to welding. A great example of this can be presented by the “Welding Career Path Tree” by Lincoln Electric. 
https://m.lincolnelectric.com/assets/US/EN/literature/mc04211.pdf

Or by the American Welding Society:
http://awsweldlink.org/careers/page/career-pathways

Wages are always dependent upon individual experience, education and qualifications but may range from $11 per hour entry level to $50-75/hr as an inspector, engineer, or underwater welder, to upwards of $150+ per hour owning a business.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median annual wage for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers was $41,380 in May 2018

Gainful Employment Disclosures – 2019

Program Name Welding Fabricator Certificate

This program is designed to be completed in 30 weeks.

This program will cost $5,210 if completed within normal time.  There may be additional costs for living expenses. These costs were accurate at the time of posting, but may have changed.

Of the students who completed this program within normal time, the typical graduate leaves with $3,000 of debt.

  1. Program meets licensure requirements in the following States: N/A
  2. Program does not meet licensure requirements in the following States: N/A
  3. Program qualifies students to sit for licensure exam in the following States: N/A
  4. Program does not qualify students to sit for licensure exam in the following States: N/A
  5. The following States do not have licensure requirements for this profession: Colorado

For more information about graduation rates, loan repayment rates, and post-enrollment earnings about this institution and other postsecondary institutions please click here: https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/

American Welding Society (AWS)