Life as a Welder in Nebraska
Welders, the workers who specialize in joining, cutting and repairing metal parts, are an essential part of the industrial world. Welders may work in the automotive, manufacturing, construction or agricultural industries, depending on their area of specialty. There are hundreds of techniques to be mastered in the art of welding, with the most common including:
- Carbon Arc Welding (CAW)
- Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
- Metal Inert Gas (MIG)
Now is the perfect time to begin your career as a welder in Nebraska, as the profession is growing steadily, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
How to Become a Welder
To become a welder, it’s beneficial to start taking shop classes that teach welding in high school. At the very minimum, welders should hold a high school degree or equivalent. Further experience in welding through training or apprenticeship is also valuable when entering the field.
Nebraska Welding Classes and Skills
Welding programs of study vary in length, cost and format. Some options for welding training in Nebraska include:
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis offers an Agricultural Welding Certificate. By completing just 15 credit hours of study, students can prepare for a career in agricultural or industrial welding.
- Central Community College. The Columbus, Grand Island and Hastings campuses offer an Associate of Applied Science (two years), Diploma in Technical Welding (32 credits) and Certificates in advanced, manual and production welding (12 credits each). Techniques taught at this school include GMAW, SMAW, Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) and Oxyacetylene Students also complete welding classes in brazing, cutting, blueprint reading, welding robotics and welding safety standards.
Required Welder Certification
While Nebraska does not require welders to hold licensure, welding certification through programs accredited by the American Welding Society (AWS) helps welders gain employment. Businesses and companies save money by employing AWS-certified welders. The AWS Certified Welder (CW) credential is purely performance-based (no prerequisite schooling required), and AWS certification is transferable to any state.
Welder Pay and Career Projections
In 2016, the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) reported 4,390 welders, cutters, solderers and brazers employed in the state of Nebraska. Welding employment is expected to continue growing through 2026, with a projected 11 percent increase.
While welder salaries generally depend on the type of welding you do for a living, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a mean income of $19.83 per hour for all Nebraska welders in 2017. This income is right on track with the national welder income of $19.35 per hour that same year.
Where to Work as a Welder in Nebraska
If you are wondering where the best place is to work as a welder in Nebraska, consider these statistics: the highest number of Nebraska welders were employed in the Omaha-Council Bluff and Northeast Nebraska nonmetropolitan areas in 2017. These areas were also reported as the highest paying for Nebraska welders that year, with mean incomes reported at $20.53 and $20.51 per hour, respectively.
With increasing employment rates and a broad variety of training options, the career of welding is an ideal option for Nebraskans who want to enter a fast-paced field where they can work with their hands and various tools.