Becoming a Welder in Missouri
In Missouri, a career in welding can be a profitable vocation. Welders specialize in fusing pieces of metal and are responsible for reading blueprints and conducting work using heavy machinery. Welders typically need to have excellent hand-eye coordination and be good at math. Welding is a career path that is perfect for someone who likes to work with their hands. This modern profession is in high-demand across the U.S. but expected to slow somewhat in Missouri over the next six years.
Requirements for Being a Welder in Missouri
The law in Missouri does not require specific certifications to work as a welder. Prospective welders in the state can find companies that offer apprenticeships. During that time, welders will need to acquire a post-secondary certificate from the American Welding Society (AWS). This Certified Welding Educator Program is the base requirement to work almost anywhere in the state. Welders will need certifications for each type of welding they plan to pursue. Each employer will have specific requirements regarding the necessary qualifications for entry-level welders.
Becoming a Skilled Welder
There are many degrees and certificate options to become a welder in Missouri. After graduating with the AWS certificate, welders have many career paths to choose from. The AWS certificate is merely a passport to better-paying and higher-demand jobs. After demonstrating a basic understanding of welding concepts, you can go on to acquire more certifications for specific jobs. The more certifications you have, the more welding career opportunities you’ll have.
Missouri Schools for Welders
Missouri has many trade schools and technical colleges at which students can earn welding certifications. Your credentials are suitable for any employer once you receive an official certificate from one of these schools. You may even qualify for financial aid. Costs for each program will vary by the agency offering training.
- Missouri Welding Institute, Nevada. The Missouri Welding Institute employs 25 highly skilled and knowledgeable trainers. The school offers students instruction in a variety of welding career tracks, like master pipe welding. Students can also take custom courses in which they increase their welding proficiency based on their needs and goals.
- Midwest Technical Institute, Springfield. This technical school in Springfield, Missouri, has scholarship opportunities for students who want to become welders. Midwest Technical Institute is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools & Colleges (ACCSC) and is permitted to participate in federally funded financial aid programs. They offer several types of welding training programs with a focus on careers in infrastructure.
Career Potential and Salary Outlook
According to welding job outlooks and The U.S. Department of Labor, Missouri can expect to see a 4.9 percent increase in average annual openings. This number is slightly lower than the national average. It also appears that welding jobs in Missouri will decrease over the next few years. However, welding certificates obtained in one state are typically considered valid credentials in other states.
The annual average welding salary as of 2017 was $36,130, according to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Figures show that the typical hourly rate for a welder, solderer or brazer was $18.62 during the same year. These incomes are about the same when compared to Missouri’s surrounding states. Furthermore, salaries are varied based on certifications and welding jobs.
Employment as a Welder in Missouri
Large cities that surround St. Louis have the most welding jobs available. Most of the trade schools and technical colleges can be found in the same areas. Even if the number of welding jobs continue to decrease in Missouri, welding is a hands-on profession that will always be needed across the United States. The variety of accreditations is so diverse in the welding occupation that a welder can find work in all kinds of careers, such as blueprint reading and infrastructure.
Becoming a qualified and highly-skilled welder will allow you to find employment in Missouri and many other states for the foreseeable future.