Welding – a Fast-Track to a Career

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For those looking for a good career and good salary, welding should be an option.  According to the American Welding Society (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.

Demand 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 the job growth for over the next decade is projected to continue to rise by 4percent.

There are multiple pathways for students interested in pursuing a high-demand career at MCC. For some, MCC’s Workforce Development division is a great way to get started with short-term training programs and entry level career preparation programs.

The Accelerated Production/Fabrication Welding Skills Certificate program is an example of a fast-track curriculum designed to provide students with the basic skills and knowledge needed to earn American Welding Society (AWS) certification in plate welding processes commonly used in production and fabrication welding.

The program consists of 270-hours of training and education in different courses. Certifications awarded through this program include: a National Career Readiness Certificate; the American Welding Society (AWS) Level One certification; Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 30; and the Mott Community College Career Credential Certificate.

“This is a great opportunity for someone interested in getting into the workforce quickly and continuing their education while they are working,” said Dartanyan Jamerson, Director of Workforce Development–WEC.  According to Jamerson, students who attend Workforce Development programs receive a variety of benefits, including: staff who provide assistance with recruitment, soft skills development, supportive services, and job placement. “These services are available from the first day of engagement,” he said. Workforce Development staff also provide immediate job placement services while also providing transitional advisement for students who desire to move to main campus to take credit courses.

While this is an entry level start into the profession, it is important that students continue on with their education, expand their Welding skills and certifications, and subsequently move up the salary scale.

“We had a student who entered Workforce Development’s non-credit program in September 2015, and completed in December 2016. He then enrolled at MCC and is attending credit courses toward the one-year Welding Certificate while working full time,” Jamerson said. “His goal is to also complete an Associate Degree in Business Management.”

MCC offers both a Certificate of Achievement degree in the Welding Program that prepares welders in traditional structural steel plate welding and a Welding Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree that includes all the skills that are in the Welding Certificate program, and also includes level II AWS (American Welding Society) skills needed to prepare students for careers as certified pipe welders. All AWS standards are approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

For information on how to get started on a career through Workforce Development at MCC, contact the Workforce Education Center at 810-232-2555 to be scheduled for the next available information session. Financial Aid, Grants, and third party sponsorships are available for all programs.  For information on the MCC credit programs in Welding, please contact the Dean of Technology at 810-762-0500.


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