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Career and Education Opportunities for Welding Operators in Huntsville, Alabama

There are many career and education opportunities for welding operators in the Huntsville, Alabama area. Currently, 2,940 people work as welding operators in Alabama. This is expected to grow by 39% to about 4,090 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for welding operators are expected to shrink by about 7.0%. Welding operators generally set up, operate, or tend welding, soldering, or brazing machines or robots that weld, braze, or heat treat metal products, components, or assemblies.

Welding operators earn approximately $16 per hour or $35,230 yearly on average in Alabama. Nationally they average about $15 hourly or $31,610 annually. Welding operators earn more than people working in the category of Foundry and Metal Work generally in Alabama and less than people in the Foundry and Metal Work category nationally.

There are eleven schools of higher education in the Huntsville area, including two within twenty-five miles of Huntsville where you can get a degree to start your career as a welding operator. Given that the most common education level for welding operators is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a welding operator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Welding Operator

In general, welding operators set up, operate, or tend welding, soldering, or brazing machines or robots that weld, braze, or heat treat metal products, components, or assemblies.

Every day, welding operators are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they move quickly in order to hold onto or control objects and devices.

It is important for welding operators to give directions to other staff regarding machine set-up and use. They are often called upon to prepare and tend welding machines that join or bond components to fabricate metal products or assemblies. They also load or feed workpieces into welding machines to join or bond components. They are sometimes expected to correct problems by adjusting controls or by stopping machines and opening holding devices. Somewhat less frequently, welding operators are also expected to read blueprints and production schedules to establish product or job instructions and specifications.

Welding operators sometimes are asked to observe meters and machine operations to insure that soldering or brazing processes meet specifications. They also have to be able to tend auxiliary equipment used in welding processes And finally, they sometimes have to prepare and tend welding machines that join or bond components to fabricate metal products or assemblies.

Like many other jobs, welding operators must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Huntsville include:

  • Bindery Worker. Set up or operate binding machines that produce books and other printed materials.
  • Solderer. Braze or solder together components to assemble fabricated metal parts, using soldering iron, torch, or welding machine and flux.
  • Tool and Die Maker. Analyze specifications, lay out metal stock, set up and operate machine tools, and fit and assemble parts to make and repair dies, cutting tools, and machinists' hand tools.
  • Welder. Use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Welding Operator Training

John C Calhoun State Community College - Tanner, AL

John C Calhoun State Community College, 6250 U S Highway 31 N, Tanner, AL 35671. John C Calhoun State Community College is a medium sized college located in Tanner, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,754 students. John C Calhoun State Community College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated nine and five students respectively in 2008.

J F Drake State Technical College - Huntsville, AL

J F Drake State Technical College, 3421 Meridian St N, Huntsville, AL 35811. J F Drake State Technical College is a small college located in Huntsville, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 780 students. J F Drake State Technical College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated five and two students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama photo by Anivron

Huntsville is located in Madison County, Alabama. It has a population of over 176,645, which has grown by 11.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntsville, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntsville are valued at $44,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,004 new homes were constructed in Huntsville, down from 1,558 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Huntsville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 36.1% of Huntsville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Huntsville is 7.6%, which is less than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Huntsville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Whitesburg Church of God, Whitesburg Church and Maple Grove Church are among the churches located in Huntsville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Huntsville is home to the Valley Hill Golf and Country Club and the Lowe Industrial Park as well as John H Steigerwood Field and Milton Frank Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Madison Plaza Shopping Center, Madison Square Mall Shopping Center and Memorial Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntsville can choose from King's Inn, Candlewood Suites and Economy Inn for temporary stays in the area.