Becoming a Welding Technician in Massachusetts
Welding techs use blueprints and their knowledge of metal properties and design techniques to build and repair factory equipment, buildings, cars and airplanes, among other metalworking projects. They are constantly working on new projects, making this an excellent career choice for people who want to be doing something new at work each day.
Requirements for Working as a Welder
The majority of employers in the welding industry will require that applicants have prior experience in the field or education through a formal training program. Other employers may offer hands-on training and paid welding apprenticeships, depending on the type of job.
Becoming a Certified Welding Technician
Welders do not need any formal certification or licensing to begin work. Some Massachusetts employers may require that applicants hold a certification from the American Welding Society (AWS). The society offers several certificates in fields like robotic ARC welding and welding engineering, and courses are sometimes available online.
Massachusetts Schools for Welding Technicians
Community colleges and technical schools offer welding programs that can teach students the skills they will need to begin working in this industry. Most will require applicants to have a high school diploma or equivalent. The following programs are available to students in Massachusetts:
- Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston. Wentworth’s welding program prepares students for careers in construction, pipefitting, facility maintenance and more. The main program takes one year to complete, with a second optional year of continuing education courses available to graduates.
- Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, Fitchburg. Students in Montachusett’s AWS-approved program learn oxy-fuel cutting and welding, shielded metal arc welding and other metalworking techniques using manual and semi-automatic equipment. Successful graduates have found work as welding technicians and inspectors.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
Jobs for welding technicians have been growing in recent years, with the Projections Managing Partnership predicting further growth of 4.9 percent in Massachusetts during the 10 years from 2016 to 2026.
While salaries can vary according to a welder’s certifications and experience, the average salary of a welding technician in Massachusetts is $51,240, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Working as a Welder in Massachusetts
Welding is a rewarding career for people who enjoy working with their hands and take pride in creating useful objects. Welding techs typically work at manufacturing facilities, machine shops and construction sites. Some may also work as contractors and take on work on a per-project basis. The current construction boom in Boston makes the city a perfect location to begin your career, though jobs are also available in other large cities in the state, such as Worcester, and in more suburban and rural areas as well.