Welding is one of the oldest professions, dating back to when Sumerians and Egyptians alloyed copper with silver and tin to make bronze. In the 19th century, the development of arc welding, which uses an electric arc between an electrode and base material to melt metals at the welding point, became prominent. This led to the modern welding profession.
The greatest demand for welders is within the manufacturing industry, since the art of welding is an integral component to manufacturing processes. Since the basic skills of welding are uniform across a variety of industries, welders fluidly shift from industry to industry. So, someone could start in the automotive manufacturing industry and shift to work in the oil and gas industry with ease. Welders are also in demand to help infrastructure as aging bridges, highways, and buildings require rebuilds and repairs.
As technology evolves, so do the effective welding techniques and devices. This means acquiring a strong education. The demand for robust welders with the knowledge and capability of working new equipment is growing, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 15% growth rate in jobs through 2020.
Kirtland’s Welding & Fabrication program provides students with the knowledge of the technologies spurring a shift from the traditional welding techniques. While obtaining your associate’s degree in this program, you’ll get lots of hands-on experience at Kirtland’s state-of-the-art facility, Gaylord’s M-TEC. There, students will have instructors with a wealth of experience teaching as they progress through a series of modules. Each module hones in on one specific topic. Students learn the topic at their own pace, take a test regarding the topic, and upon passing they move on to the next module.
Many of the students find employment before the program’s completion, as welders are becoming hot commodities in northern Michigan. Completing the welding program signifies you have both the knowledge and commitment for a career in welding — setting you up to gain employment quickly.