Welding as a career choice
April is National Welding Month, so celebrate by learning more about this important skilled trade.
April is National Welding Month, and this is also a time of year when older teens may be exploring careers and thinking about their future plans. The demand for skilled welders continues to grow in many different industries, so this is a career option with many pathways and opportunities for growth. The American Welding Society reminds us that “welding is the secret ingredient that keeps today’s world together!”
There are many ways for anyone to learn more about welding, from a sense of appreciation of everything welders do for our modern world to exploring the possibility of welding as a career path. Michigan State University Extension suggests the following ideas for youth to start learning about welding.
- Build enthusiasm. Watch this Pure Michigan video on welding jobs with Mike Rowe.
- Discover. Many learning opportunities are available for high school students at local career technical centers or regional education districts. There are also apprenticeship or certificate programs as post-secondary options. Additionally, there are 18 Michigan Technical Education Centers (M-TEC) around the state, which are partnerships with community colleges to focus on workforce development and local training needs.
- Explore. Someone choosing a career in welding might eventually be employed in manufacturing, the auto industry, building infrastructure, home or commercial construction, or could even be independent business owners. Teens who are interested in this area could interview current welders in different areas to further understand the options available. There is an activity in the Build Your Future 4-H curriculum that helps frame an exercise like this.
- Learn. Consider joining or starting a 4-H welding club or incorporate a welding activity into your current 4-H club. This is an important and interesting skill even if youth don’t choose it as a career, and 4-H offers opportunities for leadership development as well.
- Connect. There are several organizations dedicated to welding, and they all offer various ways to learn and connect online. Check out the American Welding Society, Gases and Welding Distributors Association or the National Center for Welding Education and Training. Consider entering the “#ThisIsMyWeld” contest!
While welding is important all year long, National Welding Month in April is a great opportunity for everyone to learn more about this dynamic career option! Michigan 4-H has many resources for career exploration and workforce preparation, including articles, workshops and curriculum.