Becoming a Welding Technician in South Carolina
Working as a welder, or welding technician, provides you with a physical but creative job. The work requires the use of design skills, creativity, blueprints and knowledge of metal properties to be successful. Welding techs work on a wide range of projects, including constructing and repairing factory equipment, buildings, cars, airplanes and other metal structures. The career generates a sense of accomplishment and pride in one’s work, and it is an ideal career for people who enjoy working with their hands and having a visual marker of their progress on their jobs.
Prior experience as a welder, including knowledge of techniques or completion of a formal training program, is typically required to find a job as a welding technician. Certain employers may offer new hires with paid training, such as apprenticeships or on-the-job education. This can let newer welding technicians begin their careers immediately and learn about specialized areas of welding.
Welding Technician Certifications
Welding technicians working in South Carolina do not need to hold any specific certifications or licensing. However, some employers may require that their workers have an American Welding Society (AWS) certification. AWS certifications are available in a variety of welding techniques and disciplines, including robotic ARC welding, engineering and inspection.
South Carolina Welding Technician Training Programs
Community colleges, educational centers and technical institutes typically offer training programs for welding technicians. The following programs are available to students in South Carolina:
- Midlands Tech. Students at Midlands Tech can typically complete the program within six months. Courses are available for beginner-, intermediate- and advanced-level welders, and each one prepares students for AWS certification tests.
- Arclabs Welding School. Arclabs has several locations throughout the state. The school provides hands-on job training and assists students with job placement after graduation. Arclabs also provides financial aid packages and accepts VA benefits for veterans.
Salary and Career Expectations
South Carolina’s welding industry is rapidly growing, with the Projections Managing Partnership predicting 14.8 percent growth during the 10 years from 2016 to 2026. Jobs are therefore likely to be plentiful during this time period.
Welding technicians in South Carolina average an annual salary of $43,310. This amount may be affected by each person’s level of experience, area of specialization, education and location within the state.
Working as a Welding Technician in South Carolina
As a welder, you will likely work in a factory, construction site or machine shop. Some welding technicians may decide to work as independent contractors and take on work based on their schedules and interests. The job comes with daily mental and physical challenges and is a good choice for people who would prefer to work in an active environment. Jobs are generally easier to find in big cities, such as Charleston, South Carolina, though they are available throughout the state. Roles in cities typically pay higher salaries to match the higher cost of living.