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Industry Spotlight: Welding and Manufacturing

When we say that welding and manufacturing is the foundation, or the backbone to our daily lives, we mean that both literally and figuratively. Almost everything we interact with in our daily lives has at one point met the hands of a welder or manufacturer. From the cars we drive, to the buildings we live and work in, welders and manufacturers build the things we need.

What is the Welding and Manufacturing industry?

Welding and manufacturing isn’t just about sparks flying or old school assembly lines in factories. Today’s technological advances have turned the industry into well-paying, exciting field to work in.

What jobs can I get, and how much can I make?

Here’s a select list of jobs you can get in the Welding and Manufacturing field. Salary information listed is the average annual salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Millwright ($51,640)
  • Welder ($46,360)
  • Drill Press Operator ($43,990)
  • Electronics Assembler ($36,520)
  • Metal Grinder Operator ($31,030)

What kind of training is available?

FastForward has many trainings under its welding and Manufacturing belt. While our Manufacturing Specialist and Manufacturing Technicians programs are available at several colleges, some colleges offer more specific trainings to meet the demands of those communities.

Here is a sampling of credentials we help train our students for:

  • Manufacturing Specialist (MS)
  • Manufacturing Technician 1 (MT1)
  • Certified Welder
  • Measurement Materials and Safety
  • Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
  • Flux Core Arc Welding (FCAW)
  • Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
  • Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)
  • Certified Production Technician

Additionally, there are several CNC Milling and CNC Turning trainings at both Level 1 and Level 2, alongside a variety of trainings for soldering, pipefitting, grinding, drill press operations and more.

Is there more information about the Welding and Manufacturing field, and the people who make it their career?

Here are a handful of stories that highlight the field, including success stories from our own program.

  • “Building a Career up Through FastForward Training” (FastForward)
  • “U.S. Secretary of Commerce visits Virginia Beach manufacturer to promote workforce training” (The Virginian Pilot)
  • “Manufacturing a Dream Career” (FastForward)
  • “Afghan Refugee Builds a Prosperous American Future” (FastForward)

Not all trainings are offered at every college, and they change based on the workforce in each region. The best way to find out if a training is offered near you is to contact your local FastForward Career Coach.