Where to Find a Welding Career in the Military
Experienced and inexperienced welders may find some of their best career opportunities by signing on with the military. While welders who join the army may run the risk of being in combat, there are many other options for welders who want to minimize their time in combat zones. Here’s a brief look at some options for welders in America’s armed forces.
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Welding Careers in the Armed Services
Welders can find careers in any branch of the military, but depending on the branch of service and its particular needs, you can increase your chances of landing a desirable welding position by reviewing the options in your region and considering relocating in order to find the best situation.
For instance, the Navy regularly posts listings for welders who can repair their ships in various port cities. However, the Army will need welders both at home and overseas. Some welders will need to venture into combat zones in order to provide close support to tanks and helicopters that require additional repairs and adjustments.
Air Force welders will need to travel to wherever their pilots are stationed in order to work on the jets in their hangers. In fact, welders may be needed to help fabricate the hangers in the first place! The Marines will call for talented welders able to work with a variety of settings and materials, often under difficult conditions, while the Coast Guard will need repairmen to regularly perform maintenance on their ships.
The National Guard is also an option for welders who don’t want to relocate, but these listings will depend on the particular needs of your state’s branch. You can usually find military listings on mainstream job sites that make National Guard membership a requirement before applying.
In addition, the armed forces also hire civilians who must receive military clearance. For instance, U.S Army welder position may not require military experience or membership.
As you look into the welding jobs listed on military websites or on services like Indeed or Monster, remember that certain branches of the military will tend to offer certain types of welding work.
You can search for government jobs here.
The Locations for Welders in the Military
If you check out the Army’s career placement page, the first thing you’ll probably notice is that you won’t have a guarantee about your job placement. You may apply for a welding or construction position, but the Army’s needs may send you to a different department.
You can mitigate this uncertainty to a certain degree if you’re willing to seek out a posting where there’s a strong need for welders. For instance, many Navy or Coast Guard positions along the gulf coast or in Virginia have a strong demand for welders. If welding in the military is more important than serving in a particular branch, these branches may provide more opportunities and stability, as ships always need routine maintenance.
Having said that, if you take the risk of applying for a welding career in the Army, you could be more likely to enjoy the benefits of combat pay and more extensive travel opportunities.
Regardless of the branch you choose, the armed forces provide job training, housing, and competitive salaries for welders.
The Skills Required for Military Welders
If you want to find work in the military as a welder, you have two options. On the one hand, you can enlist and trust the military to provide the training you need for the post they provide. There are excellent training programs that ensure you’ll have interviews with leading companies after the end of your service in the military.
This saves on your personal investment in job training and schooling while taking care of living and personal expenses. You’ll be assured that your training prepares you for the military branch you’ve chosen.
If you’d rather try to apply for a National Guard welding position or civilian welding position, keep in mind that these positions often call for a wide range of welding, machining, and sheet metal working skills. If you can only use a MIG welder, you’ll need to start working with other processes, especially stick welding, oxy-acetylene, and even TIG welding if you’re working with more specialized welding for aircrafts.
You should know how to weld, braze, machine, solder, and grind a wide variety of metals. From fabricating from scratch to repairing existing machines, the more experience you bring to the job, the better your chances of starting a welding career in the military.
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