Welding FAQ

Are you interested in becoming a welder? The School of Welding at Delta Technical College (DTC) offers two programs: Welding and Welding & Pipefitting. The following frequently asked questions will help you learn more about starting a career as a welder.

Most welders complete a welding training program or on-the-job training as the first step to becoming a welder. Delta Technical College’s welding training programs can be completed in less than a year and offer both daytime and evening classes. DTC’s welding programs prepare you to start an entry-level welding career. 

For more information, check out How Long Does it Take to Become a Welder?

Becoming a welder requires some level of technical skills training, since welding is a skilled trade. Some welders start their welding training in high school, but you can also complete welding training at a trade school, community college, or even the U.S. Armed Forces. Welding programs at most trade schools, such as Delta Technical College, focus on hands-on training in a weld shop environment.

Welding program costs range significantly based on the program type, location, and duration. Most students at DTC receive some type of financial aid or assistance, including scholarships. To learn more, visit Financial Aid and Tuition & Cost.

Delta Technical College offers a 7-month Welding Program and 10-month Welding & Pipefitting Program.

At Delta Technical College’s School of Welding, you will learn: 

  • Properties & cutting techniques of metal
  • Production welding techniques
  • Welding vocabulary & blueprint reading
  • Pipe fitting skills
  • Several different welding processes, including Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW/TIG), Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW/MIG), and Flux Core Arc Welding (FCAW)

Welding students will also take DTC’s Welding Certification Tests, which help potential employers recognize your welding skills.

All required tools for DTC’s Welding Program and Welding & Pipefitting Program are provided to students and included in the tuition and fees.

There are no required certifications for welders in Mississippi. However, many employers require you to complete industry certifications, for example AWS Certification. DTC’s welding training will prepare you with the skills needed to complete welding certification tests.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for welders in May 2022 was $47,540, with the top 10% earning over $68,750.

Welding is a highly skilled trade with a wide range of employment opportunities. When choosing a career path, it’s important to consider the type of working environment, the skills required, and the typical job duties.

To learn more, check out What Does a Welder Do?

There are four main types of welding processes: 

  1. Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW): a traditional, simple weld that can be used in nearly any environment. 
  2. Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW/TIG): a more complex process that uses both shielding gas and an electrical arc.
  3. Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW/MIG): utilizes a shielding gas and a metal wire through the welding gun, which allows more precise contact with metal. 
  4. Flux Core Arc Welding (FCAW): uses a tube-shaped metal rod with a continuously fed electrode in the welding gun.

Welders and pipefitters often work side-by-side, but there are certain unique skills, techniques, and processes required for each position.

Welders are responsible for joining or cutting metal parts, and can be referred to as cutters, solderers, or brazers, depending on their responsibilities, skill set, and the job site.

A pipefitter, sometimes known as a steamfitter, maintains, installs, or repairs piping systems that must withstand high pressure. This includes systems that work with steam, ventilation, hydraulics, and fuel. 

Welding is an important component of pipefitting. Both welding and pipefitting require you to have the proper education, skills, and in some cases, certifications.

The Welding Program at DTC includes basic pipefitting training, but the Welding & Pipefitting Program offers an additional 10 weeks of advanced pipefitting training.

Many welders enjoy traveling to various job sites all over the country, or even the world, to pursue different career opportunities in the industry. There are many jobs that allow welders to travel, including ship building, repair, and maintenance, military support, pipeline installation, and underwater welding.

Most welders work full time, but like most skilled tradespeople, a welder’s hours vary depending on the job site, the employer, the project timeline, and other factors, such as the potential need for overtime.

The training requirements for becoming a traveling welder are no different than those for a standard welder. Travel requirements will depend on your employer, for example, you may need to travel to different worksites. If you want to become a traveling welder, you might choose a specialty that requires additional training, such as underwater welding, race car welding, or even repairing satellites.

A mask, or welding helmet, is a necessary piece of safety equipment that helps prevent eye injuries, including exposure to UV radiation, particles that come loose during welding, and welding sunburns. A proper welding helmet with a face plate and eye filter will help protect from these injuries.

To learn more, check out The Importance of Welding Protective Gear & Welding Safety Equipment