Southwestern'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.