Welding Technology Program Coming to UTI Houston Spring 2020

UTI Profile Image Universal Technical Institute Jan 17, 2020 ·

Did you know 488,000+ welding jobs are expected to be filled nationwide between 2018 and 2028?38

As America’s welding industry grows, so does the need for trained welders. Every day brings the start of new transportation, construction and pipeline projects that rely on the skills of welding professionals to be completed.

Today an increasing amount of jobseekers are starting to consider a career in welding, and for good reason! This industry has a lot to offer, including great salary potential, job stability and benefits.

To meet the growing demands of the welding industry, UTI offers a Welding Technology program. While UTI’s welding program has been only available at three campuses—Avondale, AZ ; Rancho Cucamonga, CA; and Dallas, TX—those who aspire to pursue a career in this field will be able to train at the facility in Houston, TX, starting in April. Students who enroll now will be among the first to train in welding labs featuring new equipment at UTI’s 220,000 square-foot campus located in the heart of Houston.

Keep reading to learn more about this exciting announcement, including what to expect from the program, career opportunities in the Houston area and more! 

About UTI’s Welding Program

UTI’s 36-week Welding Technology program is designed to give students the knowledge and hands-on training needed to pursue a career as an entry-level welder and fabricator.1

Students learn the concepts and skills the industry says matters most. Created in conjunction with Lincoln Electric, the program includes three phases, from basic welding and fabrication skills to intermediate then on to advanced techniques using different types of metal transfer. Students have the opportunity to gain valuable skills, including:

  • How to weld in the flat, horizontal, vertical and overhead positions used for plate or sheet metal, and the fixed, rolling and overhead positions used for pipe welding
  • The procedures and equipment required to weld using gas metal arc, shielded metal arc, flux-cored arc and gas tungsten arc welders
  • How to cut metal using thermal cutting techniques, and develop, fabricate and calculate the cost of projects

In the lab, students will utilize VRTEX® Virtual Reality Welding Trainers and learn to operate oxy-fuel cutting torches, handheld plasma cutters and a CNC plasma table. Courses are led by experienced, passionate instructors who incorporate a real-world element in the classroom.

Graduates of the program will have the skills needed to weld using GMAW, SMAW, GTAW and FCAW equipment on different materials, which can help give them an advantage when applying for positions in the construction, pipe and fabrication industries. Additionally, successful graduates should have the knowledge and skills necessary to pass industry welding tests and American Welding Society certifications used in the field.

Welders Are In High Demand

So why did UTI choose Houston as the location for the new welding program?

Welders are needed across the country, especially in Houston. According to Jocko Hayes, compactor solutions manager for Republic Services, “There’s a high demand for welders in the Houston area. Business is booming.”

Republic Services is the second largest provider of non-hazardous solid waste collection, transfer, disposal, recycling, and energy services in the United States. As an industry leader, they provide recycling and waste disposal services for 14 million customers. The company is one of many in our country that relies on welders to keep their operations up and running.

“Welders are the backbone of our container maintenance and compactor repair. Without our welders, we aren’t able to provide our customers with quality containers and compactors,” Jocko shares. Welders play an important role in multiple aspects of the organization. That includes the fleet side, where welders work to keep the company’s trucks up and running for the drivers who service their customers.

When hiring welders, Jocko shares that he looks for people who want to grow with the business. One of the big advantages of working for a company like Republic Services is the job stability. For example, Jocko has been with the company for 27 years!

Career Opportunities for Welders

Welding is a career that can take you places. Skilled welders are needed across a wide variety of industries around the country and even the world. They create some of the most important components of things we rely on in our everyday lives, such as cars that take us from point A to point B and the buildings where we spend our days working.

Some common industries where welders work include:

  • Construction
  • Aerospace
  • Transportation
  • Shipyards & shipbuilding
  • Manufacturing
  • Fabrication

Depending on their education and experience, welders can go a variety of different routes in their careers. For example, a welder who specializes in making parts for motorcycles may become a motorsport welder, or an experienced welder may move up to a welding inspector role, overseeing jobs and inspecting welds to ensure they meet the correct specifications.

Other roles a welder may pursue include:

  • Welding machine technician
  • Underwater welder
  • Onboard ship maintenance
  • Shipbuilding and repair welder
  • Military support welder
  • Construction welding technician
  • Welding project manager

What It Takes to Succeed in the Field

If you’re considering this career path, you may be wondering what it takes to succeed in the industry. From an employer standpoint, Jocko shares that being a team player, being reliable and having hands-on experience is essential.

 According to Cameron May, container shop supervisor for Republic Services, it’s important to stay up-to-date with new and emerging technology. “As a welder, it’s really important to understand new machinery and equipment,” he shares. “A lot of guys know how to weld, but they don’t know how to run a wide variety of different machines.”

 Being familiar with different types of machinery, both handheld and digital, is something that many employers seek. “Being able to adjust and troubleshoot your machine has a huge impact on the quality of your welds,” Jocko shares.

 Additionally, having strong knowledge of welding terminology goes a long way. Immersing yourself in the industry and learning to talk the talk and walk the walk is likely to impress employers. This will also make you a self-sufficient welder, which is another trait many employers value.

 Finally, Cameron and Jocko both agree that taking your jobs and schooling seriously is key. When looking at your job history, many employers look for longevity. They want to know that you’re committed to whatever you’re doing—whether it’s school or working in the field. “Act like school is your first job,” Cameron shares. Show up on time, pay attention, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. “Find the people who know what they’re doing and listen to them,” Jocko adds.

Looking Ahead

What’s in store for Houston’s new Welding Technology program?

UTI is looking forward to providing a pipeline of talented welders for companies like Republic Services. Fulfilling the industry’s need for top talent while also providing the training that sets students up for success in a career they love is a win-win!

“It’s great that UTI is connecting with companies like us and investing in the future of their students, versus just giving them a certificate,” Cameron shares. “Houston needs someone to really champion students and prepare them for the industry.”

All in all, welding is a fantastic career choice for those who love to work with their hands and are looking for variety in their day-to-day work. The industry is thriving, making now a great time to start your training! 

Train for the Welding Industry at UTI

Classes for Houston’s new welding program are set to start in April. To learn more, visit our Welding Technology page and request information to get in touch with one of our Admissions Representatives today.

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