Becoming a Welder in Idaho
Working as a welder, or welding technician, can provide you with a fast-paced, creative and hands-on career. Welders typically work to repair and build various metal structures, such as factory equipment, buildings, ships, automobiles and other items. Understanding metal properties, how to read blueprints and how to use basic design skills is essential in welding. Welding technicians often feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in their work, and the career is ideal for people who enjoy seeing daily progress and remaining active.
Before Beginning Work
Most entry-level welding technicians have some prior experience in the field, including part-time work, independent projects or a formal education program. Some employers may offer paid apprenticeships or on-the-job training, which can help new welders jumpstart their careers or begin to learn a specialized area of welding technique.
Welding Certifications in Idaho
Welding technicians are not required to obtain any specific certifications or licenses prior to beginning work in Idaho. However, individual employers may require that workers have an American Welding Society (AWS) certification, especially if they will be working with specific techniques, such as robotic ARC welding. The AWS offers several training programs in various areas of welding, and they are sometimes available online.
Idaho Training Programs
Community colleges, technical schools and educational centers throughout Idaho offer training programs for beginning welders as well as more experienced technicians who would like to learn new skills. The following programs are available in Idaho:
- Pro-Weld Welding School. Successful graduates of Pro-Weld’s programs can become certified welders after passing an exam. Located in Nampa, Idaho, the school provides job assistance to give students the opportunity to begin working as quickly after graduation as possible.
- College of Western Idaho. Students in the College of Western Idaho’s program learn how to complete a variety of welding techniques and use different types of welding equipment. They can also visit industrial partners for job shadows and informational sessions.
Average Salary and Career Expectations
The welding industry in Idaho is steadily growing, with the Projections Managing Partnership anticipating growth of 17.5 percent in the state from 2016 to 2026. As a result, jobs for welding technicians should be readily available.
Welding technicians in Idaho make an average of $36,500 per year. Higher salaries are typically awarded to technicians who have specialized skills or more years of experience.
Working as a Welding Technician in Idaho
Welding technicians work their minds and bodies each day, completing physical tasks and using their design and problem-solving skills to succeed. They often work in factories, at construction sites, machine shops and as independent contractors. Jobs will likely be easiest to find in large cities, such as Boise. These jobs typically have higher salaries to match the higher cost of living in urban areas. However, welding technicians are in high demand, and work can be found anywhere in the state.