WLDG-1417. Introduction to Layout and Fabrication. (4 Credits)
This course is taken for academic credit. Students will earn an A, B, C, D, F, or W. A fundamental course in layout and fabrication related to the welding industry. Major emphasis on structural shapes and use in construction.
WLDG-1421. Welding Fundamentals. (4 Credits)
This course is taken for academic credit. Students will earn an A, B, C, D, F, or W. An introduction to the fundamentals of equipment used in oxy-fuel and arc welding, including welding and cutting safety, basic oxy-fuel welding and cutting, basic arc welding processes and basic metallurgy.
WLDG-1423. Welding Safety, Tools, & Equipment. (4 Credits)
This course is taken for academic credit. Students will earn an A, B, C, D, F, or W. An introduction to welding equipment and safety practices, including OSHA standards for industry.
WLDG-1425. Introduction to Oxy-Fuel Welding & Cutting. (4 Credits)
This course is taken for academic credit. Students will earn an A, B, C, D, F, or W. An introduction to oxy-fuel welding and cutting, including history and future in welding, safety, setup and maintenance of oxy-fuel welding, and cutting equipment and supplies.
WLDG-1435. Introduction to Pipe Welding. (4 Credits)
(4-2-8) This course is taken for academic credit. Students will earn an A, B, C, D, F, or W. An introduction to welding of pipe using the shielded metal arc welding process (SMAW) including electrode selection, equipment setup and safe shop practices. Emphasis on weld positions 1G and 2G using various electrodes. Lab fee.
WLDG-2413. Intermediate Welding Using Multiple Processes. (4 Credits)
This course is taken for academic credit. Students will earn an A, B, C, D, F, or W. Introduction using layout tools and blueprint reading with demonstration and guided practices with some of the following welding processes: oxy-fuel gas cutting and welding, shield metal arc welding (SMAW), gas metal arc welding (GMAW), flux-cored arc welding (FCAW), gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW).
WHAT WELDERS, CUTTERS, SOLDERERS, AND BRAZERS DO
Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers typically do the following:
- Study blueprints, sketches, or specifications
- Calculate the dimensions of parts to be welded
- Inspect structures or materials to be welded
- Ignite torches or start power supplies
- Monitor the welding process to avoid overheating
- Maintain equipment and machinery
Welding is the most common way of permanently joining metal parts. In this process, heat is applied to metal pieces, melting and fusing them to form a permanent bond. Because of its strength, welding is used in shipbuilding, automobile manufacturing and repair, aerospace applications, and thousands of other manufacturing activities. Welding is also used to join steel beams in constructing buildings, bridges, and other structures and joining pipes in pipelines, power plants, and refineries.
Welders work in a wide variety of industries, from car racing to manufacturing. The work that welders do and the equipment they use vary with the industry. Arc welding, the most common type of welding today, uses electrical currents to create heat and bond metals together—but there are more than 100 different processes that a welder can use. The type of weld is usually determined by the types of metals being joined and the conditions under which the welding occurs.
Cutters use heat to cut and trim metal objects to specific dimensions. Their work is closely related to that of welders. However, instead of joining metals, cutters use the heat from an electric arc, a stream of ionized gas called plasma, or burning gases to cut and trim metal objects to specific dimensions. Cutters also dismantle large objects, such as ships, railroad cars, automobiles, buildings, and aircraft. Some operate and monitor cutting machines similar to those used by welding machine operators.
Solderers and brazers also use heat to join two or more metal objects together. Soldering and brazing are similar, except that the temperature used to melt the filler metal is lower in soldering. Soldering uses metals with a melting point below 840 degrees Fahrenheit. Brazing uses metals with a higher melting point.
Soldering and brazing workers use molten metal to join two pieces of metal. However, the metal added during the soldering or brazing process has a melting point lower than that of the piece, so only the added metal is melted, not the piece. Therefore, these processes normally do not create distortions or weaknesses in the piece, as can occur with welding.
Soldering is commonly used to make electrical and electronic circuit boards, such as computer chips. Soldering workers tend to work with small pieces that they must position precisely.
Brazing often connects cast iron and thinner metals that the higher temperatures of welding would warp. Brazing can also be used to apply coatings to parts to reduce wear and protect against corrosion.
- Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers
- 2020 Median Pay: $44,190 per year, $21.25 per hour
- Typical Entry-Level Education: High school diploma or equivalent
- Work Experience in a Related Occupation: None
- On-the-job Training: Moderate-term on-the-job training
- Number of Jobs, 2020: 418,200
- Job Outlook, 2020-30: 8% (as fast as average)
- Employment Change, 2020-30: 34,100
Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers may work outdoors, often in inclement weather, or indoors, sometimes in a confined area. They may work on a scaffold, high off the ground, and occasionally lift heavy objects and work in awkward positions. Most work full time, and overtime is common.
HOW TO BECOME A WELDER, CUTTER, SOLDERER, OR BRAZER
A high school diploma or equivalent, combined with technical and on-the-job training, is typically required for anyone to become a welder, cutter, solderer, or brazer.
The median annual wage for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers was $44,190 in May 2020.
Employment of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers is projected to grow 8% from 2020 to 2030, as fast as the average for all occupations. The nation’s aging infrastructure will require the expertise of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers to help rebuild bridges, highways, and buildings.
STATE & AREA DATA
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers with similar occupations.
MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING LINKS TO O*NET
Learn more about welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source of workers and occupations' key characteristics.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/welders-cutters-solderers-and-brazers.htm (visited March 23, 2021).
Some careers in this field will require a bachelor's degree.
- TVCC's AA degrees are fully transferable to public universities in Texas. See an academic advisor for more information on this transfer opportunity.
- Many of TVCC's AAS degrees lead to an online Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) degree with participating universities. See an academic advisor for more information on this transfer opportunity.