New Degree Targets Demand for Highly Skilled Welders

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Mott_weldingMott Community College welders are in high demand. Companies like Mott graduates, but they also need welders with next-level skills.

welding for TofCMott currently has a Welding Certificate Program that prepares welders in traditional structural steel plate welding.  New this fall (2016) Mott is adding a Welding Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree.  This degree will enable the College to meet the growing demand for highly-skilled pipe welders. It will include all the skills that are in the Welding Certificate program, but it will also include level II AWS (American Welding Society) skills needed to prepare students for careers as certified pipe welders.

The new Welding Technology AAS Degree allows students the opportunity to gain all the skills that are part of the AWS Level II Pipe Welding Industry Certification. “All AWS standards are approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

According to the AWS, “the welding world is growing at an exponential rate.” Salaries are good, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reporting that in 2015, the median wage for welders, cutters, solders and brazers was $18.34 per hour.

As students gain the Welding Technology AAS Degree, and earn the AWS Level II Pipe Welding Certifications, their career potential can soar. “Highly qualified AWS certified pipe welders, with a couple years of experience and willing to travel can make in the $80,000 range,” said Jerald Staley, Coordinator of MCC’s Welding Program, and an AWS Certified Welding Inspector and an AWS Certified Welding Educator. “Certified pipe welders that add more complex skills, specialized certifications, or supervisory roles can continue to reach higher earnings, over $100,000 per year.”

student cutting with torch2Demand for welders is high in Michigan, according to the Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN). In the WIN 2015 Annual Summary, welders, cutters and pipe welder fitters were one of the top six skilled trade and technician jobs in demand in Southeast Michigan. The report showed that 168 welders were needed in Southeast Michigan in 2015. The BLS reported that nationally there were 397,900 Welders, Cutters, and Soldering & Brazing Craftsmen in 2014, and the job growth for over the next decade is projected to continue to rise by 4 percent.

The curriculum in the Welding Technology AAS Degree includes coursework in welding, metal preparation, metallurgy, blueprint reading, welding symbols, inspection and safety. The curriculum combines classroom instruction with hands-on practice in all four major processes used in welding; Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), and Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW).

Students who successfully pass the AWS qualification testing and complete the program become AWS Level I (structural steel plate) and Level II (pipe) certified welders.

Welding is used across most industries; automotive, aerospace, structural & bridges, shipbuilding, pipelines and many other fields. There is almost no limit to what welding can do, especially since technological advancements continually improve accuracy, quality and versatility. “Because the field of welding is so broad, students have an exceptional opportunity to learn a career that can take them anywhere and be designed around their interests,” said Staley. “The addition of a couple of courses in robotics handling at Mott can open up even more opportunities in robotic welding.”

Students who have graduated from Mott Community College, and who have earned AWS industry certifications are in high demand by the industry. They are employed in Genesee, Shiawassee, Lapeer, Livingston, and Oakland Counties; as well as other places in the state and country. And they have opportunities almost anywhere they want to go.

The Welding Lab at Mott houses industry-leading technology and equipment. This provides students the tools and resources for a rewarding and successful welding career.

To tour the welding facility or learn more about the Welding Program at Mott Community College, call 810-762-0500.

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