When looking for a new potential career path it’s hard to deny the positive benefits from pursuing a degree in welding and metal fabrication. It is a position that is constantly in demand, pays well, and is virtually recession-proof. Anyone who holds a passing interest in metalwork should pursue this line of work by getting a degree and certificate from a local technical college in the Minneapolis area. Thankfully, many options are available, and a new job can begin in just four semesters.
Although this varies depending on the specific campus that is attended, most classes in Minneapolis which provide welding tech certifications begin with entry-level courses. As a result, there are usually no basic requirements, as the courses are designed to provide potential students with the skills to enter the industry as a welder. Poor attendance, low grade point average, or a lack of payment from the student may prevent certificates from being awarded at the end of the term. In general, as long as a motivated student is showing up for class and putting forth a good effort the coursework should be able to allow any individual to succeed and obtain the degree.
List of Welding Programs in Minneapolis, MN
- Universal Tech Institute
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- Automotive Technology
- Collision Repair
- And more...
Application Process & Costs
Before applying at an institute in Minneapolis, such as the Dunwoody College of Technology, some research should be done beforehand to ensure that the program is a good fit. Many of these places offer open houses so people hoping to enroll can tour the facilities, meet relevant faculty and staff, and talk to a representative about financial aid options. Otherwise, contact the front office during normal business hours and ask about admissions; typically a member of the staff will be able to provide class information and a cost break-down.
Typically there is going to be an application fee of around $50. Across the Twin Cities attending courses for welding will cost on average about $5,000 a semester (or $20,000 in all).
When it comes to obtaining welding education, many of the classes require hands-on experience. Because of this, there are very few program options which are available online. A basic class such as English or Math may be available online, but a core requirement will require on-site lab work.
Maintaining Certification/License & Renewal
Upon completion of the coursework a student will be certified by the American Welding Society, as well as certificates in MIG, TIG and stick welding. Also, it is possible to take specialized courses in specific fields, such as jewelry making or blacksmithing. Once a license has been achieved, no further registration or programs are required, though from there it is easy to begin the process to upgrade to a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI).
Salary and Job Prospects
In the city of Minneapolis, a worker who has achieved licenses in welding can be looking forward to an astounding 100% job placement rate within six months of graduation. Welders and metal fabricators are in high demand, as manufacturing positions are needed for all shifts as businesses are looking to expand. Furthermore, many long-term welders are getting to be retirement age and replacements will be needed quickly to fill the gap they will leave behind. GE, Graco, Braun, and Caterpillar are just a handful of examples of large companies in which having a welding license is in high demand.
With any degrees in welding it’s easy to cast a wide net and specialize in a variety of professions. Blacksmithing, pipefitting, soldering, and metal fabricators all find gainful employment and are continuing to hold steady jobs.
Overall, it is very hard to go wrong by pursuing a career as a welder. For a relatively low amount of time and money invested compared to most other professions, a very successful job can be obtained in as little as four semesters. Many jobs are located directly in Minneapolis as well, which is hard to compete with.