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Career and Education Opportunities for Welders in Norman, Oklahoma

Welders can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Norman, Oklahoma area. About 9,580 people are currently employed as welders in Oklahoma. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 13% to about 10,840 people employed. 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.

A person working as a welder can expect to earn about $14 hourly or $30,550 per year on average in Oklahoma and about $16 hourly or $33,560 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for welders are better than earnings in the general category of Foundry and Metal Work in Oklahoma and better than general Foundry and Metal Work category earnings nationally.

The Norman area is home to thirty-seven schools of higher education, including six within twenty-five miles of Norman where you can get a degree as a welder. 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 Norman 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Gordon Cooper Technology Center - Shawnee, OK

Gordon Cooper Technology Center, 1 John C Bruton Blvd, Shawnee, OK 74804. Gordon Cooper Technology Center is a small school located in Shawnee, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 918 students. Gordon Cooper Technology Center has a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated three students in 2008.

Mid-Del Technology Center - Midwest City, OK

Mid-Del Technology Center, 1621 Maple Dr, Midwest City, OK 73110-4825. Mid-Del Technology Center is a small school located in Midwest City, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 84 students. Mid-Del Technology Center has a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated one student in 2008.

Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center - Choctaw, OK

Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center, 4601 N Choctaw Rd, Choctaw, OK 73020-9017. Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center is a small school located in Choctaw, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 478 students. Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center has a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated five students in 2008.

Mid-America Technology Center - Wayne, OK

Mid-America Technology Center, 27438 State Hwy 59, Wayne, OK 73095-0210. Mid-America Technology Center is a small school located in Wayne, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 777 students. Mid-America Technology Center has a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated nine students in 2008.

Metro Technology Centers - Oklahoma City, OK

Metro Technology Centers, 1900 Springlake Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73111-5240. Metro Technology Centers is a small school located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 987 students. Metro Technology Centers has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated two and five students respectively in 2008.

Moore Norman Technology Center - Norman, OK

Moore Norman Technology Center, 4701 12th Avenue NW, Norman, OK 73069-8399. Moore Norman Technology Center is a small school located in Norman, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 857 students and an admission rate of 61%. Moore Norman Technology Center has a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated ten students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Norman, Oklahoma

Norman, Oklahoma
Norman, Oklahoma photo by Okguy

Norman is located in Cleveland County, Oklahoma. It has a population of over 106,957, which has grown by 11.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Norman, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Norman are priced at $184,600 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, five hundred sixteen new homes were built in Norman, up from four hundred nineteen the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Norman are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 39.8% of Norman residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Norman is 4.7%, which is less than Oklahoma's average of 7.1%.

The percentage of Norman residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Alameda Baptist Church, Alameda Church of Christ and All Welcome Victory Church are among the churches located in Norman. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Norman is home to the Cerebral Palsy Institute and the Park on Main as well as Owen Field and Rotary Park. Shopping malls in the area include Colonial Estates Shopping Center, Anatole Shopping Center and Carriage Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Norman can choose from Ramada Days Inn, Montford Inn and Guest Inn - Norman for temporary stays in the area.