To work as a welder or solderer, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or equivalent; and
- complete moderate-term, on-the-job training.
Education after high school
Some welders and solderers learn their skills through a formal training program. High schools, professional-technical schools, and two-year colleges all offer welding programs. There are also private welding schools and training programs offered by unions. In a training program, you learn:
- equipment use;
- flame cutting;
- arc welding; and
- brazing and soldering.
Training can last a few weeks for low-skilled work. It takes many years to be fully trained.
Welding or soldering experience is helpful.
Most welders and solderers learn their skills on the job from an experienced worker. You begin as a helper and gradually learn to operate welding equipment. Some employers will send you for additional training. Training may last up to one year.
Some branches of the military train people to be welders and metal workers. Training lasts four to 15 weeks, depending on your specialty. Additional training occurs on the job.
If you receive this type of training in the military, you may earn credit for previous work experience when you enter a civilian apprenticeship program.