Education Spotlight: Welding at Western Nebraska Community College

welderWe’ve highlighted welding and machine shop technology at Mid-Plains Community College on the blog before, but lucky for us, there’s more than one outstanding place to get an education in welding in the state of Nebraska.

Welding is a hugely growing, dynamic field with plenty of opportunity for growth and an incredibly lucrative career. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2012, the median pay for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers was $36,600 per year. There was also expected to be a growth of 6% in jobs for welders, cutters, solderers and brazers from 2012-2022. There will be more jobs and more chances to make a great living opening up in the next few years.

offers two different ways to learn about welding: You can either get a certificate or a diploma in welding technology. Other options include working towards degree credit and maintaining a part-time job while still in school by participating in the “Welding Intern” program, offered by several employers in the region. Some 60% of new jobs in the early 21st century will require specialized skills like welding, so this is a chance to take advantage of education and supporting yourself at the same time. Currently, industrial manufacturing is at its highest level in 20 years, and new orders are at their highest since 1950, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. This creates a top job market for those skilled in welding.

Welding is the process of joining two pieces of metal together. It sounds simple, but it’s a complex process that can be carried out by the use of heat or pressure, both with or without added metal, so that bonding takes place at their original boundary surfaces. The boundaries more or less disappear at the weld, and integrating crystals develop across them.

WNCC teaches five different types of welding, so that students exit the program as well rounded as possible:

Shielded Metal Arc Welding – Provides training in all positions, on mild steel with single and multi-pass welds. WNCC has classes in pipe welding teaching both the uphill and downhill methods.

Gas Metal Arc Welding – Provides training in all positions on mild steel, with single and multi-pass welds using short circuiting transfer, and spray transfer.

Flux Cored Arc Welding – Provides training in all positions, on carbon steels, with and without shielding gas, using small diameter dual shield electrodes.

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding – Training is provided on mild steel, stainless steel and aluminum. GTAW on pipe and tubing for welding on mild steel in 2G, 5G, and 6G positions.

Oxyacetylene Welding, Cutting and Brazing – The oxyacetylene welding curriculum teaches the student to flame cut plate, weld and braze weld mild steel in all positions.

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