Metal Working / Welding

PLEASE NOTE: The INAM Consortium was funded by a $12.9 million grant from the Department of Labor and tasked with delivering certificate programs in Advanced Manufacturing that can be completed in one year or less and prepare participants for employment in high-wage, high-skill occupations. While the INAM grant project has ended, these training programs remain vibrant at the individual Community Colleges. Please visit the colleges for ongoing program information.  

Metal Working/Welding is a skill used by many trades: sheet metal workers, ironworkers, diesel mechanics, boilermakers, carpenters, marine construction, steamfitters, aerospace, glaziers, repair and maintenance. Welders and metal working fabrication applications can range from the sculpture home hobbyist to heavy metal fabrication of bridges, ships and many other projects. Welders are employed in shipyards, manufacturers, building and construction, firms requiring maintenance mechanics, and repair shops.

Welding Technology programs provided training in SMAW (shielded metal arc welding), GTAW (gas tungsten arc welding), PAC (plasma-arc cutting), GMAW (gas metal arc welding), FCAW (flux-cored arc welding), OAW (oxyacetylene welding), OAC (oxyacetylene cutting), and basic fabrication. Lecture portions of these programs included blueprint reading, metallurgy, welding principles, structural steel codes, welding inspection, quality control and non-destructive testing I & II.

Skilled technicians used a variety of equipment such as welders, sheet metal cutters and benders, mills, lathes, grinders, band saws, and lasers. Courses for metal work typically included technical mathematics, metrology (measurement), manual machining, welding using various processes, metal fabrication, technical writing, quality control, and print reading.

A diverse range of career opportunities were available to those with Welding/Metal Working certificates including:

  • Welders (construction, underwater, mining, oil/gas, aerospace)
  • Machinists and Metal Fabrication Technicians
  • Welding and Soldering Machine Operators
  • Artists
  • And Many More

Keys to Success

Metal Workers demonstrate the following skills:

  • Read and interpret drawings, blueprints, and schematics
  • Knowledge of metallurgy, tools and equipment
  • Good hand/eye coordination
  • Problem solving capabilities
  • Mathematical aptitude
  • Planning and time management¬†
  • Understanding of safety considerations


Potential Metal Working salaries range from $24,927 to $49,046.

Actual salary will depend on specific career track, years of service, and experience.

Training and Education

Entry-level Metal Working positions require specialized training through a college certificate or associates degree.

National Credentials

Metal Working Certification is available from the American Welding Society (AWS).

However, information regarding a variety of certificates can be found here.

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