Welding and Soldering Machine Operators
Education & Training
To work as a welding and soldering machine operator, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or GED; and
- complete a formal training program or moderate-term on-the-job training.
Education after high school
Some welding and soldering machine operators learn their skills through formal training programs. High schools, professional-technical schools, and two-year colleges all offer welding programs. There are also private welding schools and training programs offered by unions. In a training program, you learn how to set and operate welding machines. An increasing number of welding machines are automated so courses in computers are very helpful.
Many welding and soldering machine operators learn their skills on the job from an experienced worker. You begin by helping and gradually learn to operate welding machines. As you get more experience, you learn to operate computer-controlled machines. Some employers will send you to a training program to learn additional skills.
On-the-job training can take anywhere from one month up to a year. This varies by employer, your skills, and what you are welding.
Related Programs (Current training programs available)
Fields of Study (What to study to prepare for this career)
Click on any of the Fields of Study listed below to find out more about preparing for this career.
Helpful High School Courses
You should take a general high school curriculum that meets the state's graduation requirements. You will be required to take both math and science classes to graduate. You should consider taking Algebra and Geometry as your math courses and Chemistry and Physics as your science courses.
Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this occupation include:
- Blueprint Reading
- Computer Fundamentals
- Industrial Arts
- Physical Education
The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.
You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.
Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career.
Source: Minnesota Department of Education.