Even if you’ve heard it before, it’s definitely worth repeating: the military is a great place to launch your welding career.
Welding in the Military
All four branches of the military offer extensive welder's training programs, each with their own unique job assignments; however, the navy is the most renowned for both their highly specialized training, in addition to the depth and breadth of projects naval welders engage in during their term of service.
While the other three branches of the military all send their prospective welding students to a training school at the Army’s ordinance proving grounds in Aberdeen Maryland, the Navy educates their welders though an intensive and highly focused welding training program based in the shipyards of Norfolk Virginia.
In terms of welding education, it really doesn’t get better than the Norfolk shipyards – it’s certainly the pinnacle of welders training in the military, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more intensive, comprehensive or practical civilian welders training program.
The primary designation most naval welders earn is: Hull Technician.
As a Hull Technician, you’re responsible for a wide variety of welding projects, tasks and duties, both on and off naval vessels, as well as repairs in the field.
Giving new meaning to the phrase “throwing you in the deep end,” as a Hull Technician, you learn much of the trade (the real craft of welding) on the job. And that means you’re handling a multitude of tasks, in diverse environments, both on and off naval ships, often in challenging and inclement weather situations.
Shipboard Welding Projects
- Installing, maintaining and repairing all manner of piping and related systems
- Installing, maintaining and repairing ventilation systems
- Repairing decks, hulls and other superstructures
- Welding inspection duties such as examining and testing welds and other metal structures with radiological, ultrasonic and magnetic testing equipment.
On Shore Welding Projects
- Fabricating parts with everything from heavy steel to lite aluminum, in addition to copper, brass and corrugated iron
- Brazing all types of metals
- Cutting and threading pipes
- All manner of welding repairs
Benefits of Naval Welders Training
A number of definite benefits stem from learning the welding trade in the Navy, but the real beauty of beginning your career as a naval welder boils down to the fact that the Navy pays you to receive the industry’s best training and education, and gives you a job (for a minimum of four years) enabling you to amass a tremendous wealth of practical, on-the-job training.
And when you complete your military commitment, this training makes you a very hot commodity in the civilian welding industry, because you’ve had the benefit of the best possible training, and tons of high-level practical experience. You can basically write your own ticket.