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Career and Education Opportunities for Welders in Knoxville, Tennessee

Welders can find many career and educational opportunities in the Knoxville, Tennessee area. There are currently 9,920 working welders in Tennessee; this should grow 18% to about 11,650 working welders in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for welders, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 1.6% over the next eight years. 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 about $15 hourly or $32,070 yearly on average in Tennessee and about $16 per hour or $33,560 annually on average nationally. Incomes for welders are better than in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work in Tennessee, and better than the overall Foundry and Metal Work category nationally.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Knoxville area, including three within twenty-five miles of Knoxville 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 Knoxville 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.
  • 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

Tennessee Technology Center at Knoxville - Knoxville, TN

Tennessee Technology Center at Knoxville, 1100 Liberty St, Knoxville, TN 37919. Tennessee Technology Center at Knoxville is a small school located in Knoxville, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 792 students. Tennessee Technology Center at Knoxville has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated zero and six students respectively in 2008.

Tennessee Technology Center at Jacksboro - Jacksboro, TN

Tennessee Technology Center at Jacksboro, 265 Elkins Rd, Jacksboro, TN 37757. Tennessee Technology Center at Jacksboro is a small school located in Jacksboro, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 175 students. Tennessee Technology Center at Jacksboro has a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Tennessee Technology Center at Oneida-Huntsville - Huntsville, TN

Tennessee Technology Center at Oneida-Huntsville, 355 Scott High Drive, Huntsville, TN 37756-4149. Tennessee Technology Center at Oneida-Huntsville is a small school located in Huntsville, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 306 students. Tennessee Technology Center at Oneida-Huntsville has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated one and three students respectively 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.

LICENSES

GAS PIPELINE WELDER

Licensing agency: Gas Pipeline Safety Division
Address: Tennessee Regulatory Authority, 460 James Robertson Pkwy, Nashville, TN 37243-0505

Phone: (615) 741-3939
Website: Gas Pipeline Safety Division Tennessee Regulatory Authority

LOCATION INFORMATION: Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee photo by Huntster

Knoxville is located in Knox County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 184,802, which has grown by 6.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Knoxville, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Knoxville are valued at $105,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, two hundred forty-one new homes were built in Knoxville, down from six hundred twenty-seven the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Knoxville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 24.6% of Knoxville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Knoxville is 9.0%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Knoxville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 62.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Lincoln Park United Methodist Church, Springhill Baptist Church and Lincoln Park Baptist Church are all churches located in Knoxville. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Knoxville is home to the Eastern State Hospital Farm and the Berry Hall as well as Volunteer Park and Neyland Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Clinton Plaza Shopping Center, Walker Springs Plaza Shopping Center and Northgate Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Knoxville can choose from Homewood Suites Knoxville West, Days Inn and Days Inn Knoxville West for temporary stays in the area.