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Career and Education Opportunities for Welding Operators in Elgin, Illinois

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for welding operators in the Elgin, Illinois area. There are currently 1,940 working welding operators in Illinois; this should grow 2% to 1,980 working welding operators in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for welding operators, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 7.0% over the next eight years. 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.

Income for welding operators is about $15 per hour or $32,670 yearly on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $15 hourly or $31,610 per year. Incomes for welding operators are better than in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work in Illinois, and not quite as good as the overall Foundry and Metal Work category nationally.

There are sixty-one schools of higher education in the Elgin area, including seven within twenty-five miles of Elgin 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, it will take only a short time to learn to be 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 Elgin include:

  • 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.
  • Mold Machine Operator. Set up, operate, or tend metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.
  • 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

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated one student in 2008.

College of Lake County - Grayslake, IL

College of Lake County, 19351 W Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030-1198. College of Lake County is a large college located in Grayslake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,359 students. College of Lake County has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated seven and four students respectively in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated ten students in 2008.

Elgin Community College - Elgin, IL

Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL 60123-7193. Elgin Community College is a medium sized college located in Elgin, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,821 students. Elgin Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated thirty-one, five, and six students respectively in 2008.

Kishwaukee College - Malta, IL

Kishwaukee College, 21193 Malta Rd, Malta, IL 60150-9699. Kishwaukee College is a small college located in Malta, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,134 students. Kishwaukee College has a less than one year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated one student in 2008.

Triton College - River Grove, IL

Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has a less than one year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated one student in 2008.

Waubonsee Community College - Sugar Grove, IL

Waubonsee Community College, Rte 47 at Waubonsee Drive, Sugar Grove, IL 60554-0901. Waubonsee Community College is a medium sized college located in Sugar Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,218 students. Waubonsee Community College has a less than one year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated one student in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.