Career and Education Opportunities for Welders in Thornton, Colorado
If you want to be a welder, the Thornton, Colorado area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 4,430 jobs for welders in Colorado and this is projected to grow 32% to 5,850 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for welders are expected to shrink by about 1.6%. Welders generally 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 $17 per hour or $35,930 annually on average in Colorado. Nationally they average about $16 per hour or $33,560 annually. Welders earn more than people working in the category of Foundry and Metal Work generally in Colorado and more than people in the Foundry and Metal Work category nationally.
There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Thornton where you can study to be a welder, among fifty-nine schools of higher education total in the Thornton area. The most common level of education 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 Thornton 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.
- Cabinet Maker. Cut, shape, and assemble wooden articles or set up and operate a variety of woodworking machines, such as power saws, jointers, and mortisers to surface, cut, or shape lumber or to fabricate parts for wood products.
- 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.
- Structural and Ornamental Metalwork Metal Fabricator. Fabricate, lay out, and fit parts of structural metal products.
- 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
Front Range Community College - Westminster, CO
Front Range Community College, 3645 W 112th Ave, Westminster, CO 80031. Front Range Community College is a large college located in Westminster, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,480 students. Front Range Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated thirty-two, two, and eight students respectively in 2008.
Pickens Technical College - Aurora, CO
Pickens Technical College, 500 Airport Blvd, Aurora, CO 80011-9307. Pickens Technical College is a small college located in Aurora, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,066 students. Pickens Technical College has a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated fifty-two students in 2008.
Emily Griffith Opportunity School - Denver, CO
Emily Griffith Opportunity School, 1250 Welton Street, Denver, CO 80204-2197. Emily Griffith Opportunity School is a small school located in Denver, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 2,148 students. Emily Griffith Opportunity School has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated four and thirteen students respectively in 2008.
Community College of Denver - Denver, CO
Community College of Denver, 1111 W. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80204-2026. Community College of Denver is a medium sized college located in Denver, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,006 students. Community College of Denver has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated four and three students respectively in 2008.
Red Rocks Community College - Lakewood, CO
Red Rocks Community College, 13300 W Sixth Ave, Lakewood, CO 80228-1255. Red Rocks Community College is a medium sized college located in Lakewood, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,432 students. Red Rocks Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated thirty-two and one 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: Thornton, Colorado
Thornton is located in Adams County, Colorado. It has a population of over 113,429, which has grown by 37.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Thornton, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Thornton are priced at $176,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-five new homes were constructed in Thornton, down from four hundred eighty-four the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Thornton are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 29 minutes. More than 19.9% of Thornton residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.8%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Thornton is 6.3%, which is less than Colorado's average of 6.6%.
The percentage of Thornton residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 30.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Lutheran Church.