Welding at NMU
As a student in the welding program, you will learn the necessary skills to succeed in this profession such as the safe use of equipment and tools, blueprint reading, precision measurement, steel identification, and fabrication techniques. Students also learn basic joining and severing processes used in metal fabrication industries and knowledge of proper setup and maintenance of welding equipment. Additionally, students will take intermediate and advanced level courses designed to develop the expertise necessary for producing certification quality welds in multiple positions.
Emphasis is placed on SMAW, GMAW, and GS-FCAW welding in the flat, horizontal, vertical-up, and overhead positions. Other topics covered include the responsibilities and duties of the welding inspector, interpreting welding codes and specifications, and evaluating weld discontinuities. Students have the opportunity to perform tests that conform to the parameters of the American Welding Society plate tests. Welds that satisfy the discontinuity allowances earn the student qualification papers verifying they have the skill set deemed necessary by the A.W.S. D1.1 Code Book to produce quality structural welds.
There is currently a shortage of skilled welders in all industry areas such as paper mills, wood processing plants, marine vessel fabrication facilities, and micro-brewing and distilling equipment fabrication.
Projected Job Growth
of current workers
18% high school diploma
47% some college
23% associate degree
8% bachelor's degree
Earnings, job growth and education levels noted are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (National), and CareerOneStop/U.S. Department of Labor (Michigan).
Associate degree (60 credits)
The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Welding Technology is designed to prepare graduates for a career as a welding technician in the fabrication, construction, and manufacturing industries. The program includes hands-on application of shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), and gas metal arc welding (GMAW).The students will also be exposed to inspection procedures, safety skills, and basic robotic programming and welding skills.
One year certificate (28 credits)
In this profession you can expect to weld components in flat, vertical or overhead position, operate safety equipment and use safe work habits. Professionals lay out, position, align and secure parts and configurations prior to assembly using straightedges, combination squares, calipers, and rulers. They examine work pieces for defects and measure work pieces with straightedges or templates to ensure conformance with specifications and must be able to recognize, set up and operate hand and power tools common to the welding trade, such as shielded metal arc and gas metal arc welding equipment. The employment outlook for graduates of the welding program is very good. Graduates can expect to find year-round employment in production work, manufacturing and repair and maintenance, as well as in the construction industry. Welding skills also lend themselves to entrepreneurship and some welders go into business for themselves.