Career and Education Opportunities for Welders in Little Rock, Arkansas
If you want to be a welder, the Little Rock, Arkansas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 6,280 people are currently employed as welders in Arkansas. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 21% to 7,620 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for welders are expected to shrink by about 1.6%. In general, welders use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.
Welders earn approximately $13 hourly or $28,780 annually on average in Arkansas. Nationally they average about $16 hourly or $33,560 yearly. Incomes for welders are not quite as good as in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work in Arkansas, and better than the overall Foundry and Metal Work category nationally.
The Little Rock area is home to twenty-five schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Little Rock where you can get a degree as a welder. Given that the most common education level for welders is less than a high school diploma, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a welder if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Welder
In general, welders use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.
Welders bolt components to set required configurations and positions for welding. They also remove rough spots from workpieces, using portable grinders or scrapers. Equally important, welders have to chip or grind off excess weld or spatter, using hand scrapers or power chippers, portable grinders, or arc-cutting equipment. They are often called upon to weld components in flat or overhead positions. They are expected to operate safety equipment and use safe work habits. Finally, welders recognize and operate hand and power tools common to the welding trade, such as shielded metal arc and gas metal arc welding equipment.
Every day, welders are expected to be able to control objects and devices with precise control. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they visualize how things come together and can be organized.
It is important for welders to ignite torches or start power supplies and strike arcs by touching electrodes to metals being welded, completing electrical circuits. They are often called upon to examine workpieces for defects and measure workpieces with straightedges or templates to insure conformance with specifications. They also ready all material surfaces to be welded, ensuring that there is no loose or thick scale, slag or other foreign matter. They are sometimes expected to monitor the fitting and welding processes to avoid overheating of components or warping or expansion of material. Somewhat less frequently, welders are also expected to operate manual or semi-automatic welding apparatus to fuse metal segments.
Welders sometimes are asked to operate metal shaping and bending machines, such as brakes and shears. And finally, they sometimes have to decide on and install torches, torch tips and flux, in line with welding chart specifications or types and thicknesses of metals.
Like many other jobs, welders must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Little Rock include:
- Aircraft Parts Assembler. Assemble, fit, and install parts of airplanes, space vehicles, or missiles, such as tails, wings, fuselage, bulkheads, stabilizers, landing gear, rigging and control equipment, or heating and ventilating systems.
- Buffing Machine Operator. Set up, operate, or tend grinding and related tools that remove excess material or burrs from surfaces, sharpen edges or corners, or buff, hone, or polish metal or plastic work pieces.
- Heat Treating Equipment Operator. Set up, operate, or tend heating equipment, such as heat-treating furnaces, flame-hardening machines, induction machines, or vacuum equipment to temper, harden, or heat-treat metal or plastic objects.
- Layout Technician. Lay out reference points and dimensions on metal or plastic stock or workpieces, such as sheets, plates, or machine parts, for further processing. Includes shipfitters.
- Machinist. Set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments. Includes precision instrument makers who fabricate, modify, or repair mechanical instruments. May also fabricate and modify parts to make or repair machine tools or maintain industrial machines, applying knowledge of mechanics, shop mathematics, and machining procedures.
- Solderer. Braze or solder together components to assemble fabricated metal parts, using soldering iron, torch, or welding machine and flux.
- Welding Operator. Set up, operate, or tend welding, soldering, or brazing machines or robots that weld, braze, or heat treat metal products, components, or assemblies.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Welder Training
Pulaski Technical College - North Little Rock, AR
Pulaski Technical College, 3000 W Scenic Dr, North Little Rock, AR 72118-3347. Pulaski Technical College is a medium sized college located in North Little Rock, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,092 students. Pulaski Technical College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated nineteen and twelve students respectively in 2008.
University of Arkansas Community College-Morrilton - Morrilton, AR
University of Arkansas Community College-Morrilton, 1537 University Blvd., Morrilton, AR 72110. University of Arkansas Community College-Morrilton is a small university located in Morrilton, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,955 students. University of Arkansas Community College-Morrilton has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated thirteen and two students respectively in 2008.
Ouachita Technical College - Malvern, AR
Ouachita Technical College, One College Cir, Malvern, AR 72104-0816. Ouachita Technical College is a small college located in Malvern, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,600 students. Ouachita Technical College has a less than one year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated seven students in 2008.
Arkansas State University-Beebe - Beebe, AR
Arkansas State University-Beebe, 1000 Iowa Street, Beebe, AR 72012-1000. Arkansas State University-Beebe is a small university located in Beebe, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,458 students. Arkansas State University-Beebe has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated twenty-three, thirteen, and two students respectively in 2008.
Radiographic Interpreter: The program, based upon requirements contained within AWS B5.
For more information, see the American Welding Society website.
Certified Robotic Arc Welding: The Certification Program for Robotic Arc Welding - Operators and Technicians (CRAW) allows many welding personnel employed in various welding sectors to measure themselves against standards for their occupation.
For more information, see the American Welding Society website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Little Rock, Arkansas
Little Rock is located in Pulaski County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 189,515, which has grown by 3.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Little Rock, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Little Rock cost $236,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, three hundred sixty-one new homes were built in Little Rock, down from seven hundred thirty-one the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Little Rock are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 35.5% of Little Rock residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Little Rock is 6.1%, which is less than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.
The percentage of Little Rock residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 59.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Macedonia Spiritual Church, Baseline Christian Church and Baseline Missionary Baptist Church are all churches located in Little Rock. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Little Rock is home to the Rock Creek Golf Course and the Barton Coliseum as well as McArthur Park Historic District and Meriwether Park. Shopping malls in the area include Mainstreet Market Shopping Center, Market Street Plaza Shopping Center and Markham Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Little Rock can choose from LA Quinta - Inns- Medical Center Area, Hampton Inn & Suites and Acme Motel for temporary stays in the area.