To work as a welding or soldering machine operator, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or equivalent; and
- complete moderate-term, on-the-job training.
Education after high school
Some welding and soldering machine operators learn their skills through formal training programs. 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 how to set and operate welding machines. An increasing number of welding machines are automated so courses in computers are very helpful.
Many welding and soldering machine operators learn their skills on the job from an experienced worker. You begin by helping and gradually learn to operate welding machines. As you get more experience, you learn to operate computer-controlled machines. Some employers will send you to a training program to learn additional skills.
On-the-job training can take anywhere from one month up to a year. This varies by employer, your skills, and what you are welding.