There are four things to consider when looking for the best welding classes: small class size, qualified instructors, accreditation, and hands-on learning. Welding classes are available from a wide range of community and career colleges. Welding is a process of melting metals or thermoplastic materials, adding a filler and then joining these materials together. Once cooled, this joint is as strong as the original material and adds to the structural strength of the item.
People who enjoy welding classes enjoy working with their hands, are mechanically inclined, and are not afraid of fire. Courses can be taken as part of a program to become a professional welder, or to learn how to weld as a hobby. Welding classes are not suitable for people who do not enjoy working with their hands, or for children. A welding torch generates heat at a very high temperature and serious injuries can occur without proper training. Anyone who is unwilling to wear the required safety equipment should not take welding classes.
Welding classes teach a combination of theory and practical skills. The lower the number of students in the class, the more individual attention the instructor can provide to each student. It is important to practice the techniques taught in these classes, as everyone needs to practice under the supervision of a trained welding instructor. There are different types of welding joints, and learning when and how to create these types of welds is very important.
All welding classes should be taught by qualified instructors, who are experts in their field. Most courses are taught by instructors who are licensed welders. Take the time to ask about their background and work experience. Practical experience is much more important than academic credential in this field, as many of the tasks have changed due to technological advances.
When reviewing welding class options, it is important to ensure the school is accredited. An accredited school has been reviewed by an independent agency to ensure minimum standards are met. In addition, only courses from an accredited school can be used toward becoming a licensed welder.
Many welding courses use small, practice welding torches to help students practice their techniques. The best welding courses are affiliated with a welding instrument vendor or supply company. These companies can provide access to the latest technologies, allowing students to develop finely tuned skills.
People who complete welding classes toward a professional welding certification can find employment opportunities in the industrial sector, manufacturing, construction trade, and related industries. In order to become a professional welder, a combination of post-secondary training and work experience is required. The time required to achieve this goal is typically four to five years.