What is the job outlook for graduates?
The national rate of hire is expected to increase over the next several years due to projected retirements. Certified welders will have much better employment opportunities than non-certified welders. Manual welders will increasingly be needed for sophisticated fabrication tasks and repair work that do not lend themselves to automation. Welders can expect to find more jobs in the business services industry as companies increasingly contract out repair and maintenance functions.
What kind of salary can graduates expect?
Welders are in high demand in our area and jobs are plentiful. Starting salaries in East Texas range from about $12 to $15 per hour. Experienced welders are making $20 locally. Many employers also pay health, medical and other benefits. Independent welders who are willing to travel to national jobsites can earn significantly more.
How long does it take to complete the program?
The traditional welding certificate offers a basic and advanced certificate. The basic consists of four courses and 16 hours of course work while the advanced is nine courses and 34 hours. An associate’s degree can be obtained in 64 semester hours. Note: The Associate degree is pending approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
What do graduates of the program do?
Most welders work in manufacturing plants, on construction projects, with service companies or wholesalers, or in repair shops. Some do manual welding and use a great deal of creativity to fabricate unusual or unique pieces. Welding machine operators commonly work in factories and perform the same task every day. Some operate their own repair shops.