Career and Education Opportunities for Welders in Huntington, West Virginia
Huntington, West Virginia provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for welders. About 3,240 people are currently employed as welders in West Virginia. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 8% to about 3,490 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for welders are expected to shrink by about 1.6%. 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 approximately $15 per hour or $31,460 yearly on average in West Virginia. Nationally they average about $16 hourly or $33,560 annually. Incomes for welders are better than in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work in West Virginia, and better than the overall Foundry and Metal Work category nationally.
There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Huntington area, including five within twenty-five miles of Huntington where you can get a degree to start your career as a welder. The most common level of education for welders is less than a high school diploma. It will take only a short time to learn 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 Huntington 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
Cabell County Career Technology Center - Huntington, WV
Cabell County Career Technology Center, 1035 Norway Ave, Huntington, WV 25705-2827. Cabell County Career Technology Center is a small school located in Huntington, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 363 students. Cabell County Career Technology Center has a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated four students in 2008.
Ralph R Willis Career and Technical Center - Logan, WV
Ralph R Willis Career and Technical Center, 3 Mile Curve, Logan, WV 25601. Ralph R Willis Career and Technical Center is a small school located in Logan, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 36 students. Ralph R Willis Career and Technical Center has a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder.
Putnam Career and Technical Center - Eleanor, WV
Putnam Career and Technical Center, 101 Roosevelt Boulevard, Eleanor, WV 25070-0640. Putnam Career and Technical Center is a small school located in Eleanor, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 110 students. Putnam Career and Technical Center has a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated one student in 2008.
O C Collins Career Center - Chesapeake, OH
O C Collins Career Center, 11627 State Rte 243, Chesapeake, OH 45619-0000. O C Collins Career Center is a small school located in Chesapeake, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 550 students. O C Collins Career Center has a less than one year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.
Ashland Community and Technical College - Ashland, KY
Ashland Community and Technical College, 1400 College Drive, Ashland, KY 41101-3683. Ashland Community and Technical College is a small college located in Ashland, Kentucky. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,550 students. Ashland Community and Technical College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated 142 and four 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: Huntington, West Virginia
Huntington is situated in Cabell County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 49,185, which has shrunk by 4.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntington, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntington cost $195,100 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, sixteen new homes were built in Huntington, down from thirty-five the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Huntington are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is health care, educational services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 22.4% of Huntington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.8%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Huntington is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 24.7% of Huntington's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.
The percentage of Huntington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Glorious Church of God in Christ, South Side United Methodist Church and Good Samaritan United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Huntington. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Huntington is home to the Northcott Hall and the Foster Memorial Home as well as Holderby Commons and United States Post Office and Courthouse Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Westland Plaza Shopping Center, Fairfield Plaza Shopping Center and Huntington Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntington can choose from Super 8, Cabell Huntington Hospital and Garden Park for temporary stays in the area.