Training for Oilfield Welding Jobs

Students in a welding program are trained to heat and shape metals. Required classes may include advanced mathematics, metallurgy, blueprint reading, welding symbols, pipe layout and a welding practicum. Some of the methods and techniques taught in welding classes include arc welding, soldering, brazing, casting and bronzing. Hands-on training typically includes oxyacetylene welding and cutting, shielded metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding and gas metal arc welding.

In Focus: Welding Programs

Training for welders varies, and requirements vary by employer. It may range from a few weeks of school or on-the-job training for low-skilled positions to several years of combined school and on-the-job training for highly skilled jobs. Some welders learn their trade through three-year apprenticeship programs. Depending on the level of the program they complete, graduates of welding programs are awarded degrees such as:

  • Welding Certificate of Achievement
  • Associate of Science in Welder, or
  • Bachelor of Science in Welding Engineering

Education and training requirements vary by country. Consider for example:

  • In the United States, optional national certification is available through the American Welding Society (AWS). Certification may be obtained independently or through welding programs that are accredited by the AWS. Employers may also have their own internal certification tests. Completion of a three-year apprenticeship program or a combination of over three years of work experience in the trade and some college or industry courses in welding is usually required to be eligible for trade certification.
  • In Canada, trade certification is compulsory in Alberta but optional in Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, and the Yukon.
  • The United Kingdom (U.K.) has a comprehensive system of vocational education, training and certification based on apprenticeship programs which operate throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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