american welding societySouthwestern's Associate of Applied Science degree also contains smaller, stackable certificates that help you gain completions as you work through the two year program. In addition, all students will have the opportunity to certify with industry recognized credentials recognized by the American Welding Society.

 Welding employment opportunities are very different from other professions. Evolving from the oldest educational system known to civilization, Welding professions follow not only formal education requirements, but work-based experience like that of apprentices, journeymen, and masters.

Employers view AWS certifications as essential job skills, particularly when an applicant has no prior experience with that employer. To the untrained observer, Welding careers look like a person need only finish high school to get good paying jobs. In reality, if you want to work in this area, you need industry-recognized credentials. Southwestern's welding programs are designed to teach, practice, then prepare someone for the certification for these credentials.

 

Here's some information about potential occupations, national salary averages, and needed credentials.

Minimum Education Competitive Education Occupation (click on name for Oregon profile!) National Average Pathway Level
HS/GED Credential** Helpers--Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and St $37,500 47 credits
HS/GED Credential** Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, $55,000 47 + 12 cr certs
None Certificate** Pipelayers $50,000 18, 24 credits
HS/GED Associate** Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters $75,000 AAS
HS/GED Associate** Sheet Metal Workers $51,000 AAS
HS/GED Associate** Structural Iron and Steel Workers $65,000 AAS
HS/GED Credential** Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers $43,000 47 credits
HS/GED Credential** Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Machine Setters, O $38,000 24 credits

 

As you consider occupations in this area, note that Southwestern programs can get you started in additional occupations. These careers have at least a 30% skill overlap with our target occupations from the above list. Work with your advisor and potential employer for picking out the best educational path.

Minimum Education Competitive Education Occupation (click on name for Oregon profile!) National Average Pathway Level
HS/GED Credential** Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Oper $38,000
HS/GED Credential** Drilling and Boring Machine Tool Setters, Operator $39,500
HS/GED Credential** Extruding and Drawing Machine Setters, Operators, $34,500
HS/GED Credential** Forging Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, M $39,000
HS/GED Credential** Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine $49,000
HS/GED Credential** Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, and Te $40,000
HS/GED Credential** Layout Workers, Metal and Plastic $50,000
HS/GED Associate** Machinists $49,000
HS/GED Credential** Milling and Planing Machine Setters, Operators, an $43,000
HS/GED Credential** Model Makers, Metal and Plastic $67,000
HS/GED Credential** Patternmakers, Metal and Plastic $54,000
HS/GED Credential** Plating and Coating Machine Setters, Operators, an $38,000
HS/GED Credential** Pourers and Casters, Metal $36,000
HS/GED Credential** Rolling Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, M $44,000
HS/GED Credential** Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters $44,000
HS/GED Credential** Tool and Die Makers $59,000
HS/GED Credential** Tool Grinders, Filers, and Sharpeners $45,000

 

How these lists were compiled