Welding has become one of the most popular and sought after jobs in the manufacturing and construction industry because of its overflow of job prospects and fast-paced, ever-changing dynamic. Welders do more than just repair pipes and steel, they work directly with engineers to ensure that every detail of the project has been followed through to perfection. There is a wide assortment of industries that are in dire need of experienced welders that range from automotive companies to ship building and manufacturing.
That is why the job market in Virginia Beach, VA is so rich with open positions due to their high demand of ship equipment and repairs. Known for being the largest naval base in the United States, Virginia Beach is a host of many outstanding and accredited welding programs. Looking to start a career that requires hands-on experience with the opportunity to help construct some of today’s most important infrastructures? Then a degree in welding may be the perfect avenue for fast tracking a career as an entry-level welding technician.
In order to be successful within the welding industry, applicants or prospective students must be within a good physical standing. This includes having above average vision, and the ability to be on their feet for hours at a time, and also the ability to lift and carry large or heavy objects. All applicants must be at least 18 years old, and have earned a high school diploma or GED to be eligible for the program.
List of Welding Programs in Virginia Beach, VA
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Application Process & Costs
Many welding schools in Virginia Beach, VA require that students meet with an admissions consultant to help guide them through not only the admissions process, but also with choosing the proper curriculum needed to successfully transition into a career or specific industry. Many of these welding certifications require that students take an entrance exam to gauge their basic understanding of math and English concepts prior to beginning the certification process. Many of these institutions require a small application fee to begin the process. The average annual tuition cost for welding colleges in Virginia Beach, VA is $11,100. Luckily, each school offers financial aid and scholarships to students in need of assistance.
There are few welding programs that are offered online due to the requirement for in-class labs and training, but students can gain specific certification through online classes. These classes are usually used to enhance the student’s learning of the business of welding, becoming an AWS certified welding technician, and other welding background information.
Maintaining Certification/ License & Renewal
After students have received their diploma from an accredited welding school, they are then required to take a certification test at an AWS testing facility. Most institutions will have this set up for students upon approaching graduation, but all information can be found at the AWS online directory or website. It is recommended that students have a clear understanding of the industry they will be applying for as AWS certification varies depending upon which industry or job type they choose. After students have obtained their certification, it is wise to register within the AWS system so employers can identify their skills and capabilities within the welding industry.
In addition, license renewal requirements can differ depending on the company, but all information about maintaining license and renewal can be found at the Virginia Department of Labor. Usually, welders are notified by the state or their employer when the expiration of their license is approaching.
Salary & Job Prospects
The average salary for entry level welders ranges from $27,000 to $34,000 depending on the industry and the size of the company. Due to there being such a high demand for welders in the Virginia Beach, VA area, there are approximately 108,500 job openings in the welding field with manufacturing and construction being the leading industries for entry level employment.