For the first time in college history, Ozarks Technical Community College will offer two sections of its 20-week Industrial Welding Specialist course for the fall 2021 semester.
The next Industrial Welding Specialist course begins on August 2 and concludes on December 17. Students who graduate from the program earn a welding technology certificate of achievement and 34 credit hours, which a student can apply toward an associate degree in welding technology. Graduates of the program are prepared to work in the stainless steel and aluminum welding industries.
“Every semester, we have more students apply to the Industrial Welding Specialist course than we can admit,” said Dr. Robyn Gordon, dean of technical education. “Lately, we’ve had more industry partners contact us desperate for welders. Some companies hire our students part-time before they graduate, then bring them on full-time once they complete the course.”
Right now, students in the Industrial Welding Specialist course begin at 7 a.m. and conclude at 3:15 p.m. with a lunch break. The additional section this fall will run from 1-9 p.m.
According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), the average annual salary for a welder in Missouri is $40,580. MERIC predicts that there will be more than 1,200 openings for welders every year between now and 2028.