Good welders are in high demand in the United States and this can be a rewarding and lucrative career if done right.
The projected growth rate for this profession is 3 percent in the next 10 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Welding is needed in a variety of industries, from building construction to the automotive sector.
If you’re located in Arkansas and you want to start a career in this profession we invite you to read on for more information about your career path as a welder.
Job descriptions for welders vary depending on the employer, the industry of employment, and their experience level.
Welders are usually responsible for:
- Joining metals and other materials using welding equipment
- Reading blueprints
- Igniting torches
- Starting power supplies
- Monitoring the welding process
- Maintaining equipment
- Calculating the dimensions of the parts that will be welded together
If you want to become a welder in the state of Arkansas, you first need to become certified by the American Welding Society.
This credential will prove to potential employers that you have the required skills and knowledge needed for this profession.
AWS offers different types and levels of certification:
- Certified Welder- this is the basic certification
- Certified Associate Welding Inspector
- Certified Welding Inspector
- Senior Certified Welding Inspector
- Certified Welding Educator
- Certified Resistance Welding Technician
- Certified Radiographic Interpreter
- Certified Welding Supervisor
- Certified Welding Sales Representative
- Certified Welding Engineer
- Certified Robotic Arc Welding
The type of certification employers usually required is basic certification but for supervisory positions, you will also need additional credentials.
To earn the basic certification you will have to prove that you know the procedures used in welding across different industries: structural steel, sheet metal, chemical refinery welding, and petroleum pipelines by passing a written and practical test.
The application fee for the Certified Welder exam is $50.
Before applying for certification you will need to learn the skills needed for this profession through post-secondary education.
Welding classes are available at many trade schools in different regions of Arkansas so it shouldn’t be hard to find one near you.
Although costs vary widely depending on the type of program and the duration, on average, welding classes range from $5,000 to more than $10,000.
If you enroll at a school in another region then you should also take into account housing costs which can vary between $1000 and more than $10,000 depending on the region and the program duration.
Before choosing a school, you should first make sure that it is accredited by the appropriate institution and covers all the topics that you need.
Some of the most common classes included in the welding training curriculum are:
- Safety and Health Training
- Blueprint Reading
- Shield Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
- Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
- Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
- Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)
Depending on the complexity of the program, you may also learn other techniques.
Welding classes should also include a significant part of hands-on training.
To help you research the school that best meets your schedule and educational needs, we have compiled a list of top schools that offer welding classes in the state of Arkansas.
Many of the schools also offer online or hybrid classes to accommodate students who need to learn at their own pace, from the comfort of their homes.
15 Welding Schools in Welding Schools In Arkansas
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the welder profession is projected to grow 3 percent from 2019 to 2029- about as fast as the average of all occupations.
Welding services will be in demand, especially on infrastructure projects such as rebuilding bridges, buildings, and highways.
Job prospects are determined by the worker’s skill level and experienced welders who are up-to-date with the new technologies are expected to have the best job prospects.
Workers may find employment in a variety of industries, from car manufacturing to construction.
BLS reports that welders held approximately 438,900 jobs in the United States in 2019, most of them holding jobs in the manufacturing field.
Welders may also be employed by specialty trade contractors or in the repair and maintenance field.
The same report states that 5 percent of all welders are self-employed but you will need a few years of experience before being ready to venture on your own.
Salaries in Arkansas
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage reported by welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers in the United States was $44,190 as of May 2020.
This tells us that half of all workers in these professions earned less than this amount while half earned more.
Wages vary between less than $30,000 and more than $66,000, depending on the job description, experience level, specialty, industry, and a variety of other factors.
An entry-level worker will earn a salary that is close to the minimum for this profession but the wage will increase after earning a few years of experience in the field and additional certifications.
Salaries vary depending on the state and the region of employment.
According to salary.com, the median annual wage reported by mid-level welders in Arkansas was $46,153.
Entry-level welders, on the other hand, earned $39,960 on average per year, while senior-level welders reported a median annual wage of $55,892.
In the table below we have compiled information about salaries reported by medium-level welders in the top 10 cities of Arkansas.
If you live in a small rural area, you can improve your earning prospects by relocating to an area that offers higher salaries.
Being promoted to a supervisory position is another way of improving your earning prospects but this will also imply additional responsibility and training.
To qualify for a promotion, you may need to earn additional certifications- such as Certified Welding Supervisor.Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Welders in Welding Schools In Arkansas