Online Welding Classes and Training Programs
A career in welding is for those who enjoy working with their hands, don't mind getting dirty and would find it rewarding to form and ensure the quality of the metallic infrastructure of our lives. Welders work with everything from the skeletons of cars, airplanes, ships and skyscrapers to the pathways that bring us our water and electricity. Even though this trade requires hands-on training, it is still possible to find welding classes and training opportunities online.
Overview of Welding Classes and Training Programs Online
Welders can gain the skills needed for their trade through venues such as on-the-job training, the U.S. Armed Forces, private welding schools, community colleges and universities. Duration of education and training can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to a number of years.
At the most basic level, all welders must become certified through the American Welding Society (AWS) by producing a sound weld for approval by a Certified Welding Inspector. Associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in welding provide advancing levels of training and education in producing various welds, mathematics, technical reading and writing, physics, chemistry and metallurgy. Depending on specialty, additional topics of study may include engineering, design, testing and computer programming. Safety is stressed heavily in all levels of learning.
Job prospects for welding trainees (in increasing order of education and training required) include positions as entry-level welders, assemblers, machine operators, welding technicians, inspectors, supervisors, engineers and upper management staff.
Since welding is a hands-on trade, the availability of online classes is limited. Those that are available are oftentimes not-for-credit and serve as continuing education rather than part of a degree-granting program. Nonetheless, there are opportunities to take online welding classes that will count toward a degree. Though quite rare, it is also possible to find programs leading to a Master of Science in Welding Engineering completely online for students who already hold their bachelor's and possess the fundamental skills that can only be obtained through hands-on practice.
Classes can be taken from either a PC or Mac and generally require a minimum amount of memory and modem speed. Many classes require a sound card with speakers and the ability to play CDs and DVDs. A word processing program and Adobe Reader may also be necessary. Oftentimes, specific classes will have recommended browsers and media players. Finally, classes may require small software downloads that ensure exam security or enable access to specific courseware systems.
List of Online Welding Classes
Introductory Welding Materials Class
This is a class at the associate's level that covers a basic overview of metals, alloys and non-metals used in welding. Also covered are the properties and elements of materials in relation to how they react to bonding and heat treatment. Lectures might utilize text, animations, graphics and threaded discussions to convey concepts about temperature-based metal transformations.
Welding Blueprint Reading Class
In this associate's-degree-level class, students learn to interpret welding blueprints in order to produce and assemble specific welds. As part of this, students learn welding symbols and begin to learn to draft their own blueprints.
Welding Metallurgy Class
This master's-level class teaches an understanding of the chemical, physical and metallurgical principles of metals as they apply to welding processes. The curriculum covers the weldability of various materials, structures of different welding zones during the heating process, associated strength issues and the flow of heat and fluid during welding. This course may require Windows Media framework for delivery.
Welded Structure Fitness Class
In this master's-level course, students will learn concepts and practices for establishing overall fitness of welded structures. Specific principles include an understanding of the mechanics of fracturing, the difference between acceptable and unacceptable imperfection in welds and practices to increase the reliability of a finished product. This course may also require Windows Media framework for delivery.
Nondestructive Evaluation Class
Students of this graduate-level course learn the principles of noninvasive testing, inspection and examination in assessing the integrity and monitoring the quality of materials and welds. The course includes a study of required equipment, specific testing techniques and the interpretation of results. Windows Media framework may be required for online access.
Online Welding Training Programs
The American Welding Society's (www.aws.org) WeldAcademy Connect is an online training program available in English and Spanish that helps students prepare for the fundamentals section of the Certified Welding Inspector test. The program consists of ten modules and covers topics such as joining and cutting, joint geometry, inspection and qualification, destructive and nondestructive testing, safe practices and metallurgy. The program is interactive and self-paced and aims to close the gap between skills and rapidly changing technologies in the field of welding.
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