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What is Welding?


Welding is the skill of melting two pieces of metal together to make a solid fusion. There are a couple different methods for welding: Oxy-Fuel, GMAW or MIG, SMAW or Stick, and GTAW or TIG.

There is a lot money to be made in welding if you are skilled enough. An underwater welder can make up to $300,000 annually–if you are brave enough to go down deep. Pipe-fitters can make $14.88 to $38.10 hourly, plus they get benefits with health care and insurance. The harder and more dangerous the job, the more money earned. Other career options include, but are not limited to, automotives, aerospace, agriculture, construction, manufacturing, plumbing/pipe, underwater, oil/gas extraction, artistic welding and much more. Welding is a skill that is hard to perfect, but when it is, it will last a lifetime. It also doesn’t matter where you go in the world, for welders are always going to be needed, machine welding can only do so much.

Some pipefitters from Local 597, who work at State Mechanical Services, had some things to say about welding and how it is to weld in pipefitting. “Welding isn’t hard but having to do a X-ray weld when you are having a off day is upsetting,” said Seth Bogash. Another pipefitter Greg Wallis stated, “if you go into welding make time for family always.”

Those gentlemen didn’t have something that our school has; OHS has a full welding program that can show you the basics and advanced welding, machining, and sheet metal skills. Also one of the best things about welding, besides the pay, is that you don’t need a degree to be a welder. You can go to school to improve your welding skills but is not needed. Illinois Welding School is one of the places you can go; their most expensive program is only $14,000 and is 900 hours long. It can be done in a thirty or thirty-five week program. At most four year colleges, you would be lucky to pay that–especially out of state.

Try the OHS welding courses. The intro class is a semester long and goes over Oxy-Fuel, sheet metal and machining on the lathe. You make your own small toolbox in sheet metal and a whole hammer on the lathe. Metals II is a year long course, and they make a covered toolbox, machine with the mills and lathes, and weld with Stick and MIG. Finally, Metals III is also a year long course. It goes over TIG, making a tool box with multiple draws, and you get to use the CNC machine. If you are interested in machining, sheet metal or welding, go talk to Arod in room 18 and give the class a go.