Median earnings


Projected job growth to 2024

+6% (National)
+4% (Michigan)

About the career

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. In this profession you can expect to weld components in flat, vertical, or overhead positions, 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 workpieces for defects and measure workpieces 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.

What you'll learn

Students 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. Emphasis is placed on SMAW, GMAW, and GS-FCAW welding. They also have the opportunity to perform tests that conform to the parameters of the American Welding Society plate tests and earn the student qualification papers.

NMU Degrees

One-year certificate (25 credits)

Prepares graduates for employment as a welder in manufacturing, fabrication, maintenance, and construction industries including ore processing plants and paper mills.


Yvonne LeMire, ylemire@nmu.edu, 906-227-1536, nmu.edu/tos



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