The debate about welding school vs welder helper has been on for a long time. Many potential welders are confused about the route to follow to become professional welders.
In this article, we are to explore the two angles to see the advantages and disadvantages.
Going to a welder school is great if you have the money to pay for fees. The least what you would pay in any welding school is $5,000 per semester. Yes, you are going to be taught everything that you need to know about welding.
You would go through several welding tests to test your competence and ability. After graduation, you would get a certificate to show you are now a qualified welder but the journey doesn’t end there.
On the other hand, if you cannot afford a welding school, the best way to start is to be a welder’s helper.
Being a welder’s helper means you are learning on the job and also getting some stipends or wages to live on. You are being paid for learning how to weld. This is something you don’t get in a school.
As a welder’s helper, you are a lot more experienced on the job than a greenhorn out of school.
The two years you would spend in school would be enough to set up yourself if you are a welder’s helper. You can set up a shop from the stipends you have earned.
If you go to a welder school, you need an experience which means you would still need to be a welder’s helper for some time.
It may not be about the stipends this time but it is about understanding the business side of welding. You would learn how to make quotes for clients or how to make proposals. This is part of the welding business which you may not learn in school.
Underwater welding and pipe welding is where the money is. So, if you intend going to school, you should look for a school that teaches both. It would enhance your chances of getting a top job.
Though, certification is important. But what is the essence of certification if you cannot prove yourself in the field of welding.
This is where going to a school shouldn’t be a priority. Of course, you can still go to school after undergoing a great tutelage under a welder.
So, even as someone who has finished his apprenticeship under a welder, you still need some certifications because when seeking for a paid job, experience and certificate are what the employers would ask for.
You can get certification from different welders’ union.
The reality is that you are going to learn the same thing you are going to learn in school when you help welders.
As a welder’s helper, you are going to travel to different places. Paid expense travel is part of what you would enjoy.
As a welder’s helper, part of the things you are going to learn is speed. You have to weld fast and move to the next point in case you have a lot of work to do. You don’t have to be slow or sloppy in welding. Speed is something that is not taught in schools.
As a welder’s helper, it won’t be all rosy. You would meet some difficult and tough welders with nasty attitudes. Don’t be discouraged. Just put your eyes on the ground. The ultimate thing is to get what you want from them.
There are a few people who have dropped out of school to become welder helpers and make faster progress than when they were in school. Some stopped being welder helpers just to go to school. In all, what is more, important is the experience acquired over time.