Career and Education Opportunities for Welders in Salem, Oregon
Welders can find many career and educational opportunities in the Salem, Oregon area. There are currently 5,580 working welders in Oregon; this should grow 8% to about 6,040 working welders in the state 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.
A person working as a welder can expect to earn about $16 per hour or $34,200 yearly on average in Oregon and about $16 hourly or $33,560 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work, people working as welders in Oregon earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work nationally.
There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Salem area, including three within twenty-five miles of Salem where you can get a degree to start your career 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 Salem 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.
- 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
Linn-Benton Community College - Albany, OR
Linn-Benton Community College, 6500 Pacific Blvd SW, Albany, OR 97321. Linn-Benton Community College is a medium sized college located in Albany, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,576 students. Linn-Benton Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated two and five students respectively in 2008.
Clackamas Community College - Oregon City, OR
Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045-8980. Clackamas Community College is a medium sized college located in Oregon City, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,701 students. Clackamas Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated one and two students respectively in 2008.
Chemeketa Community College - Salem, OR
Chemeketa Community College, 4000 Lancaster Dr NE, Salem, OR 97305. Chemeketa Community College is a large college located in Salem, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,000 students. Chemeketa Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated one 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: Salem, Oregon
Salem is located in Marion County, Oregon. It has a population of over 153,435, which has grown by 12.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Salem, 97, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Salem are valued at $215,800 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-nine new homes were constructed in Salem, down from five hundred forty-three the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Salem are health care, public administration, and educational services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 24.1% of Salem residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.8%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Salem is 10.2%, which is less than Oregon's average of 10.6%.
The percentage of Salem residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.6%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Salem is home to the Oregon Women's Correctional Center and the Oregon State Penitentiary as well as Waldo Park and Olinger Pool Park. Visitors to Salem can choose from Red Lion Hotel-Salem Reservations, Shilo Inn Salem and Econo Lodge Salem for temporary stays in the area.