Certain trades offer workers incredible opportunities in terms of transferability. Because commercial welding techniques are the same across the globe, welders may find work in a number of countries outside of their native homelands. Instead of being restricted to a certain location, experience in welding grants practitioners the ability to travel to essentially anywhere there is industrial growth and new construction. With a little planning, you can use an education from an Oklahoma trade school as a passport to anywhere around the world.
Suggestions for Going Abroad
Before going abroad, you should have at least a few years experience in your own country (or the
country in which you earned your credentials). This will cement your skills and provide future employers
with the assurance that you are able to perform competently within the field. It may also be necessary
to have a few different types of welding certification to meet the standards of different nations or different
types of welding work.
One of the first places you begin your overseas job hunt should be at shipyards. Shipyards experience a
higher than average demand for welders because of the constant influx of orders for ships. Companies
with worldwide locations may also have need of professional welders, especially as they expand foreign office
locations. You can also apply for foreign posts abroad within the military as a civilian contractor.
Welders in these positions may be charged with repairing equipment to ensure safe operation of
vehicles, barracks, offices, and other facilities. They may also be asked to help with the construction or
conversion of buildings to house soldiers and other military staff for long- or short-term periods.
Worldwide Welding Certifications
The main certifying bodies in the US are the American Welding Society (AWS), the American Society of
Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and the American Petroleum Institute (API). ASME has an international
presence with members in 150 countries and one of the world’s largest technical publications. The
European Committee for Standardization (CEN) has adopted the welding qualifications set by the
International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The ISO itself does not provide certification.
Instead, certification must be awarded by third party organizations.
If you are considering travelling to a new country to work professionally as a welder, it would be best to
investigate that specific nation’s welding career certification standards and international compatibility
regulations. Many types of certification will expire after a few years, and students must retest. Before
going abroad, make sure that there is sufficient time for you to work on your current welding training and certification before
you must renew it.
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