Becoming a Welder in Rhode Island
Being a welder demands a high level of technique and practice. Welding is the fabrication and fusing of different types of metal and metal components according to a client’s needs. This occupation is perfect for someone who enjoys working with heavy machinery or who likes working outdoors. A welder can work in many industries, including working as a boilermaker, tool and die maker or even a plumber. They’ll need to excel in subjects like math and communication. Rhode Island is projected to be the state with the highest demand for welders over the next 10 years, despite its size.
Being a Welder Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island doesn’t have any laws that require specific welding licenses. However, like the rest of the U.S., welders are encouraged to get certifications to aid in their career trajectory. Know that most business will require welders to have some certification depending on the type of work involved. Rhode Island does not have any accredited testing facilities available for welders, but many job opportunities will open up once certification is acquired.
Becoming a Welder
Although the state does not require welders to have a degree or license, businesses in Rhode Island will have a high preference for those who have completed the Certified Welding Educator Program, which is the only nationally recognized certification.
The American Welding Society (AWS) provides potential welders basic knowledge and preparation in the field of welding. Entry-level welders in Rhode Island must take the exam in another state. The AWS certificate offers students a solid foundation for pursuing a welding career and subsequent certifications. Welders must renew their certification every six months by sending in a renewal form to the AWS.
Learning to Weld in Rhode Island
To increase your chances of securing work as a welder in Rhode Island, you’ll want to complete training in three major welding types: Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG), Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) and Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW). Once you’ve become certified in these types of welding, you’ll likely be able to work anywhere in the U.S., including Rhode Island.
Here are some schools in Rhode Island that will help you gain certifications in these types of welding careers.
- Rhode Island School of Design, Providence. The Rhode Island School of Design offers a summer welding and metalwork program for its students. Specifically, this is an introductory class on furniture design using welding techniques. While welding is a lucrative career, it also lends itself to artful expressions such as metal sculpting and furniture design. Students will learn basic techniques in metal fabrication and welding to complete a final project of a finished piece of metal furniture.
- New England Institute of Technology, East Greenwich. This school offers students a program that ends with an Associate in Science in their Welding Engineer Technology program. Students will learn basic techniques like Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) and others. New welders will also learn to read blueprints, precision measurement and industrial OSHA safety policies and procedures. This program is a significant initial step in entering the welding field.
Welding Technician Overview and Wages in Rhode Island
Rhode Island is the number one state when it comes to job growth in the welding industry. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Rhode Island welding career opportunities will increase by a whopping 31.8 percent over the next seven years. The demand for welders will continue to grow with about 250 new openings annually. Even though the state is small, this number is much higher than the national average. Rhode Island a great place to work as an entry-level or experienced welder.
A welder’s salary in Rhode Island is in the top half of welders’ salaries throughout the United States according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average annual pay was $45,160 in 2017. That same year, the average hourly rate for Rhode Island welders was $21.71. But pay can vary widely. The type job, experience and certifications determine salary. Entry-level welders can expect to make about $32,660 in the early phase of their careers, while an experienced welder can earn as much as $58,780 per year.
Working as a Welding Technician in Rhode Island
Rhode Island is the smallest state in the U.S., but it is not home to the lowest population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the only city in Rhode Island that has a population of over 100,000 people is Providence, followed by Warwick and Cranston. Most welding jobs will be found in these densely-populated areas. Welders are needed for the boat building industry, manufacturing, construction and many others.
Although a Rhode Island welder’s salary is average for the U.S., the state has an increasing job growth rate for welders. There are plenty of jobs to go around for welders with all types of experience.