Students who want to pursue a career as welding estimators, inspectors and technicians can enroll into welding courses. The skills learned in the classroom can be applied by students in a supervised shop environment. Welding programs leading to associate degrees and certificates are offered by community colleges and vocational schools. In this article, we will take a close look at some of the welding courses offered by schools in the United States.
Course in Basic Welding
A majority of welding programs begin with a foundational course covering cutting and welding processes. Initially, welding theory is discussed; thereafter, students are given an introduction to oxyacetylene, gas tungsten arc, gas metal arc and shielded metal arc welding, in addition to plasma and oxyacetylene cutting. Students gain a firm grasp of general processes through basic welding courses that they can build on through more advanced programs.
Course in Welding Safety
Safe welding practices, including safe tool and equipment operation are taught to students through safety courses; students learn to ensure safety when they set up job sites. Welding programs usually cover safety courses at the beginning to ensure that safe practices are used by students in their shop courses.
Course in Metal Arc Welding
Instruction in manual gas tungsten arc welding, shielded metal and manual gas metal is provided through individual courses in welding programs; alternatively, all three techniques may be covered in a class. As students are already aware of safety and basic welding skills, metal arc welding courses usually feature at later stage of a welding program.
Course in Pipe Welding
Students’ metal arc welding skills are refined through pipe welding courses, and they are taught to weld pipes in horizontal-fixed, vertical and horizontal positions. Classroom discussions concentrate on decision making process and pipe layout that welders move through before selecting the techniques to use on a complex pipe. Then, students fit pipes and weld in the shop.
Course in Drawing and Draft Reading
Topics like freehand sketching, orthographic projection and blueprint interpretation are covered in draft reading and welding drawing courses. Interpretations of common welding symbols are taught to students. A welding program usually begins with these courses to ensure the successful reading and drawing of drafts by students in future classes.