Moraine Valley Community College’s Combination Welding Program, students will
learn to perform a variety of welding skills, including how to:
Students in this program will have the advantage of participating in hands-on laboratory courses in Moraine Valley’s modern Center for Contemporary Technology. This certificate program, which requires fewer credit hours to complete than an associate’s degree, is intended to lead to employment. If you are considering transferring to a four-year college or university to obtain a bachelor’s degree using the courses from this program, make an appointment with an academic advisor to review your options.
Nature of Work—There are about 100 different types of welding. Arc welding is the most common type. Standard arc welding involves two large metal alligator clips that carry a strong electrical current. When the welding rod touches the workpiece, a powerful electrical circuit is created. The massive heat created by the electrical current causes both the workpiece and the steel core of the rod to melt together, cooling quickly to form a solid bond. During welding, the flux that surrounds the rod’s core vaporizes, forming an inert gas that serves to protect the weld from atmospheric elements that might weaken it. Welding speed is important. Variations in speed can change the amount of flux applied, weakening the weld, or weakening the surrounding metal by increasing heat exposure.
Related Job Titles—Welding, soldering, and brazing workers are skilled metal workers. Other metal workers include Machinists; machine setters, operators, and tenders—metal and plastic; computer control programmers and operators; tool and die makers; sheet metal workers; and boilermakers. Assemblers and fabricators of electrical and electronic equipment often assemble parts using soldering.
Employment Outlook—Employment of welding, soldering, and brazing workers is expected to grow by 6% over the 2010-20 period. Despite this, job prospects should be excellent as employers report difficulty finding enough qualified people. In addition, many openings are expected to arise as a large number of workers retire over the next decade. Earnings – Median hourly earnings of welding, soldering, and brazing machine setters, operators, and tenders were $15.34 in May 2010. The middle 50 percent earned between $13.20 and $17.61. The lowest 10 percent had earnings of less than $9.96, while the top 10 percent earned over $23.51. Median hourly earnings in motor vehicle parts manufacturing, the industry employing the largest numbers of welding machine operators in May 2010, were $16.13. Many welders belong to unions. Among these are the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers; the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America; the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing, Pipefitting, Sprinkler Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada; and the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics: 2010-2011. bls.gov/oco/ocos226.htm (welding)
The median salary in Chicago for welder I is $36,688.
Salaries range between $27,471 to $47,114.|
For job listings and job search assistance, contact the Job Resource Center, S202, (708) 974-5737, www.morainevalley.edu/jrc.
Gainful Employment Information—The college provides information about the number of semesters and expected costs to complete this program, as well as the current job outlook. Visit www.morainevalley.edu/programs/employment.htm.