Entering its second century, the welding profession is maturing, with many employers requiring more exposure to robotic automation, advanced equipment, exotic materials, specialized code certification, theory, welding procedure specifications and more. With advances and specialization, there is a growing need for welders who understand more than how to hold a torch and join metal.
As a result, public, private and skilled trade schools at every level are developing new education programs to designed to deliver the workforce industry is demanding today to remain globally competitive. In parallel, the need for skilled welding instructors and appropriate curriculum is growing as workforce development partnerships take hold and federal and state grant funds become available.
7 Essential Components of a Successful Welding Program
1. Curriculum – A well-designed welding program will include curriculum that covers technique, industry trends, and introductions to the different areas of welding.
2. Training Equipment – welding is a hands-on course, so real world training opportunities are a must. Training equipment should include an introduction to ARC welding, TIG welding, MIG welding, and FCAW welding.
3. Welding Safety -- For an ARC welder, safety practices and personal protective equipment, when used properly, protect against potential hazards. A robust training program will inform and remind students about safe shop welding practices.
4. Hands-On Practice – Many welding programs teach with a mix of virtual and hands-on training. Welding simulators, like the RealWeld Trainer will teach essential skills in a controlled environment, while Robotic Education Cell 2.0 will educate students on robotics in welding.
5. Apprenticeship Opportunities – Different techniques widely vary in the field. Pairing an inexperienced welder with a more seasoned professional will allow students to gain industry knowledge while working toward certification. Apprenticeships often set up long-standing mentor relationships.
6. Certification – industry recognized credentials, like certifications offered by Lincoln Electric, will add credibility to students as they enter the workforce.
7. Career Connections – According to Chron, welders have a strong career outlook in the coming years, anticipating 15% growth in the field. Welding programs should have strong ties to the local workforce and supply a steady stream of qualified labor to local employers.
Welding programs are a significant part of Career and Technical Education. Need help assessing your program? Contact Moss for a free consultation or to set up a live demonstration*.
*Demonstrations available in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota.
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