Should you start a welding career in the Sunshine State?
Well, there are certainly welding jobs there. In 2020, there were 13,510 employed welders working in the state of Florida, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).1
What would you need to start applying for them? Welding training? Licenses? Certifications?
Find out more about becoming a welder in Florida below.
How Do I Become a Certified Welder in Florida?
Some states may require welders to be licensed through a government agency, but Florida does not have any statewide licensing or certification requirements for welders.2
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Because welders in Florida are not required to register with the state, technically a welder would not legally need any certifications in order to start working.2 But, many professional welders decide to pursue certification through an accredited agency, such as the American Welding Society (AWS).3,4
Benefits of Welding Certification
- Demonstrate skill proficiency to an employer.3
- Increase earning potential.3
- Improve career opportunities.4
- Fill an industry need.4
- Add specialized skillsets to your resume.4
- Continue to learn and grow in the field.4
Becoming an AWS Certified Welder in Florida
To become a certified welder in Florida, you would need to take a welding test with the certifying agency, for example, the AWS.4 The AWS offers different welding certification categories.4 There are multiple options for advancing a welding career, such as eventually being certified as a Welding Inspector or Welding Supervisor.4
But, if you’re just getting started on the welding career path, all you need to know is that the entry-level AWS welding certification is the Certified Welder (CW) program.4 There are no prerequisites to take this welding exam, so passing the weld test is entirely based on your ability to demonstrate your welding skills.4 The CW certification is appropriate for someone who is just entering the field of welding and wants to become AWS certified in Florida.4
How Long Does It Take to Become a Welder in Florida?
Since Florida does not have any statewide welding licensing requirements, there is no predetermined time frame for becoming a welder in Florida.2 Theoretically, all you would need to do to become a welder in Florida is to find a welding job.5 But, there is more to it than that.5
Welding is a specialized skillset that usually requires technical training.5 A welder will often invest time in learning welding skills and earning AWS certification in order to be a competitive candidate for a welding job.5 A high school diploma is also usually required.5
TWS Welding Training Program
Welders often learn their job skills from a skilled trade training program.5 The Jacksonville campus of Tulsa Welding School (TWS) offers a Professional Welder program, for example, that can be completed in as little as 7 months. While program completion at TWS does not include AWS welding certification, it does help you learn some of the skills you will need for the testing process.
The welding training program includes a combination of classroom learning and hands-on lab hours. Instruction is provided in the fundamental arc welding processes of SMAW, TIG and MIG.
While different welding training programs vary in length, the Professional Welder program at TWS is one example of how long it might take to prepare to become a welder in Florida. After as little as 7 months of welding training, for instance, you might decide you are ready to take the AWS Certified Welder test.
How Much Does a Welding Certification Cost?
AWS welding certifications vary by specification and may change over time.6 Be sure to check the current price list on the AWS website.6 As of 2021, the cost to take the Certified Welder (CW) test is $50.6
After you pass the CW test, you must submit a Certification Maintenance Form every six months to keep the certification current.7 The cost is $25 each time.6
The TWS Jacksonville campus is an accredited AWS testing facility. This means that if you were to attend a welding program at TWS, you would likely be able to take the AWS certification test right on campus. Check with the TWS Jacksonville campus for available AWS certification tests and the welding skill requirements necessary.
What Type of Welding Is in High Demand?
Employment of welders is expected to grow 8% nationwide between 2020 and 2030, reports the BLS.8 Welders are in demand as a part of the construction crews working on updating and repairing the nation’s aging infrastructure.8 Welders are needed to rebuild bridges, highways and buildings across the country.8
There are various different types of skillsets and specializations within the field of welding.9 Because the need for skilled trades workers in Florida can vary throughout the state, one way to understand the demand in your area is to search for welder jobs on a local job board.
Searching for “Welder jobs in Florida,” on Indeed.com, for example, might show job openings for fabricators, industrial mechanic welders and pipe welders.9 Each job may require a specific skillset.9 Looking at job descriptions can be a good way to understand what kinds of qualifications could be needed for different jobs in your region.
The AWS allows welders to earn multiple certifications to expand their credentials.10 For example, you could be certified in one or more of the following welding processes:10
Within each of these welding processes, there are even more specifications based on filler metals, base metals, welding positions and metal thicknesses.10 For example, you could be certified as “SMAW tack welder” and also “GMAW Plate.”10
Train with TWS in Jacksonville, Florida
Ready for hands-on training in some fundamental arc welding processes? Chat with a TWS rep about our welding training program and the benefits of attending trade school in Jacksonville, Florida. Call us today at 1-855-981-7313.