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Welding Technology - Overview


Welding technology programs prepare people to join and cut metal surfaces. Students learn arc welding, resistance welding, brazing, and soldering. They also learn cutting and heat-treating and study metallurgy.

Even if you've never seen it, you probably know what the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO looks like. As wide as it is tall (630 feet), its unique shape is visible for 30 miles. What is little known about the Arch, but perhaps most fascinating, is that it was put together primarily through welding. It is made of 142 steel triangular sections welded together and set in concrete.

With a degree in welding technology, you can work in many different industries. This includes construction, food production, drilling, and manufacturing. Some welders even work underwater, repairing bridges and pipelines. You can even work for NASA, building the latest spacecraft. Or, you can use your technical skills to become an artist. Who knows, perhaps you can create something even more spectacular than the Gateway Arch!

In welding programs, you learn several welding and cutting techniques. These include gas, arc, Mig, Tig, and pipe welding, in addition to plasma and gas cutting. You also learn testing and fabrication methods. You study welding safety and how to set up welding tools and machines. You also study metallurgy and learn to use heat to weld different pieces together.

In addition, you study technical math and hydraulic systems. Many programs teach you significant construction skills. A significant part of your instruction takes place on actual job sites or in the shop, and involves much hands-on, practical experience.

Many private vocational schools and community colleges offer short programs in welding technology. Many community colleges also offer one-year certificate and two-year associate degree programs. Some high schools coordinate vocational programs with community colleges. This allows high school students to take welding courses before they graduate. In some cases, they are prepared for entry-level work as welders and steel construction workers after they receive their high school diploma.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.
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