An aspiring welder who is looking for a good place to live and work will find Oklahoma City to be an excellent option. This relatively small yet bustling city offers plenty of entertainment options, has a very low unemployment rate 1, and is considered to be highly attractive to potential employers. Following are several good places to find employment as a welder in this city, along with information about how to obtain welder certification training in the state of Oklahoma.
Oil and Gas Sector
The oil and gas boom in Oklahoma has created an abundance of job opportunities for welders, especially those with pipe fitting training. In fact, the American Petroleum Institute reports that the oil and gas sector has created 364,300 jobs in the state, accounting for 16.8% of all Oklahoma employment opportunities. It should also be noted that this particular industry not only offers plenty of work opportunities but also high salaries, as is evidenced by the fact that the average wage for someone working in an oil or natural gas company currently stands at $93,992.
The Oklahoma oil and natural gas boom has had a direct impact on Oklahoma City, which has far more oil and gas vendors than any other city in the state. There are currently 635 oil and gas vendors in the city alone, far more than Tulsa, which comes in at second place with 353.
Direct hire companies, also known as staffing agencies, work as a go-between for welders and other skilled trades professionals and companies who need part-time welders or welders who can work full time for short periods of time. In some cases, welders may have to travel for the jobs. If you are interested in welding but do not want to be tied down to any one specific job, then working with a direct hire company could be ideal. Resource MFG and Tradesmen International are two notable companies of this nature in Oklahoma City.
Given the fact that manufacturing accounts for 61% of all welding jobs nationwide, it is not surprising that this particular industry plays a large role in Oklahoma City’s welding job market. Some of the largest manufacturing companies in the city include AAR Aircraft Services, Bridgestone Firestone North, and Terex Roadbuilding.
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How to Obtain Certification
A person who is interested in becoming a professional welder in Oklahoma will want to enroll in a welding program and obtain a welding certificate or degree from an accredited technical school such as Tulsa Welding School, with a local campus in Oklahoma. Getting professional training in this way not only provides one with the knowledge and practice needed to obtain state certification but also provides a person with training in using the latest welding technologies. As the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes 2, up-to-date training is a key factor in finding a good job both now and in the future.
The state of Oklahoma requires that all working welders maintain welding certification. In order to qualify for this certification, a person will need to pass a welding test at a certified weld test facility. Certification must be renewed on a yearly basis, but professional welders do not need to take the exam again unless they have not renewed their certification in over a year.
It should also be noted that Oklahoma welding certification does not cover welding on boilers and/or other pressure vessels. Welders who want to work in this field will need to obtain certification from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers or the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors.
Start a Career in Oklahoma City
Welding is a rewarding and potentially lucrative job option for those who enjoy working with their hands and staying active. There are many opportunities in this field in Oklahoma City for those with welding education, making it an ideal place to settle down, study, and embark on an exciting, challenging career. For more information on welding programs near the city, contact Tulsa Welding School today, which also serves nearby cities of Brown Arrow, Tuttle and Norman.