While technology advances rapidly, skilled trades remain critical to the American economy. Welders are in demand across the United States, including in the Land of Enchantment. Training and certification are vital first steps to starting your welding career. Keep reading to find essential information such as certification, average salaries, and welding schools in New Mexico.
What Does a Welder Do?
Welders conjoin metal parts by using high-temperature tools. The Bureau of Labor Statistics mentions other essential welding skills such as blueprint reading, parts measuring, and equipment maintenance. Proper training is vital for successful welding careers in New Mexico.
Welders work in many industries throughout the state. You’ll find these professionals in manufacturing, waste management, construction, plant operations, agricultural, and energy firms. They typically help with product assembly, maintenance, repair, and construction tasks.
Welding Schools Near Me in New Mexico
Aspiring welders have many career training options. Several welding schools in New Mexico offer high-quality educational programs. Most require students to possess a high school diploma or GED. Check each school’s curriculum for specific requirements.
CNM’s welding program covers several core topics: metallurgy, blueprint reading, mathematics, safety, and computer-aided design. Students can attend classes at its five area campuses.
- Location: Albuquerque, NM
- Phone number: (505) 224-3000
- Programs available: Welding Certificate of Completion; Associate of Applied Science in Welding Technology
- Program duration: 18 months for certificate; 24 months for associate degree
- Average cost: $3,100 for certificate; $4,200 for associate degree
Eastern New Mexico University offers a Welding Technology program. Its curriculum includes welding techniques, cutting methods, blueprint reading, welding mathematics, and critical thinking skills.
- Location: Roswell, NM
- Phone number: (575) 624-7337
- Programs available: Welding Technology certificates; Associate of Applied Science in Welding Technology
- Program duration: 12 to 24 months for certificate; 24 to 30 months for associate degree
- Average cost: $1,212 per semester for full-time students
New Mexico Junior College offers both a certificate program and an associate degree in welding. The certificate requires 30 credit hours to complete, while the degree calls for a minimum of 60 credit hours.
- Location: Hobbs, NM
- Phone number: (575) 392-4510
- Programs available: Certificate in Welding; Associate of Applied Science in Welding
- Program duration: 12 months (certificate); 24 months (degree)
- Average cost: $40 per credit hour, up to $900 per semester for New Mexico residents
NMSU’s Welding Technology curriculum covers welding methods, metallurgy, fabrication, and blueprint reading. The associate degree program includes general education, computer drafting, and mathematics courses.
- Location: Las Cruces, NM
- Phone number: (505) 287-6645
- Programs available: Certificate of Welding Technology; Associate of Applied Science in Welding Technology
- Program duration: 12 months (certificate) or 24 months (associate degree)
- Average cost: $8,044 per year for NM residents; supply costs may vary
This school offers a 36-hour welding certificate program that most students can complete within 12 months. Topics include welding techniques and tools, metallurgy, and blueprint reading.
- Location: Los Alamos, NM
- Phone number: (505) 662-5919
- Programs available: Welding Technology certificate
- Program duration: 12 months
- Average cost: $82 per credit hour; $3,000 total tuition
Welding Career Opportunities in New Mexico
While many kinds of welding opportunities exist in New Mexico, most professionals find jobs in manufacturing and construction. Some positions require both welding and fabrication experience.
How Much Do Welders Make in New Mexico?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that New Mexico welders earn between $53,880 and $71,230 per year. These figures are higher than the national average of $47,010. The state’s mean hourly wage for welders is $26.75.
The BLS’s figures are averages. Your salary may depend on location, training, and experience. Indeed reveals that entry-level welders in New Mexico earn $22.92 per hour. Senior-level welders with at least 10 years of experience usually earn a base pay of $26.19 per hour.
Major Employers of Welders in New Mexico
Those pursuing welding careers in New Mexico can find plenty of opportunities. Indeed lists the state’s top five employers that recruit welders:
- Bechtel Corporation: Engineering and construction, average welder salary $91,011 per year
- Toyota: Automobile manufacturing, average welder salary $86,509 yearly
- McDermott: Engineering and construction, average welder salary $83,460 annually
- Zachry Construction Corporation: Construction and industrial maintenance, average welder pay $37.96/hour
- Fluor Corporation: Construction, repair, and maintenance, average welder pay rate $31.00/hour
How To Become a Certified Welder in New Mexico
While New Mexico does not mandate licensing for welders, they can obtain professional certifications. The American Welding Society currently offers nearly a dozen options, including Certified Welder, Associate Welding, and Welding Inspector.
As you learn how to become a welder in New Mexico, it’s worth exploring the benefits of professional certification. You increase your job prospects, as many businesses prefer professionally certified welders. Certified welders also earn more than their non-certified counterparts. You can also advance your career faster with certification and expertise. Proof of your foundational knowledge makes you a more attractive candidate for promotions.
Do You Need a License to Be a Welder in New Mexico?
Currently, New Mexico does not require welders to be licensed. As of April 2016, the state’s Construction Industries Division stopped issuing these licenses. Welding professionals formerly had to obtain a GS-17 for Ornamental Iron and Welding.
The BLS projects an 8% growth in welding employment opportunities between now and 2030. Competition for these jobs could be fierce. Professional certifications help you stand out from the pack. They attest that you have essential core competencies to deliver high-quality work. You also show that you’ve invested in your trade by gaining critical skills and experience.
New Mexico Welding FAQs
Naturally, you’ve got some questions about welding careers in New Mexico. Keep reading to get answers plus additional information about welding jobs in the Land of Enchantment.
1. How Long Does It Take To Become a Welder?
The time it takes to become a welder depends on your prior experience, desired specializations, and career goals. Earning a welding certificate or degree can take one to two years. Depending on your progress, you may be able to pass an AWS certification test right after completing your education. Your career aspirations may require time spent in an apprenticeship or internship. Many professionals can begin working as welders within 12 to 18 months after starting a certificate or degree program.
2. Does a Welder Need Insurance in New Mexico?
Most welders do not need to carry insurance except to protect their tools of the trade. Insuring your equipment can help with replacement costs if any of it is lost, stolen, or damaged. Independent contractors and entrepreneurs should have the appropriate business insurance to protect themselves from liability. Get a FREE insurance quote below from one of our trusted partners:
3. Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
If you need more information about how to become a welder in New Mexico, you have access to many resources. The AWS offers guides and FAQs for its certification process. You may also want to explore local trade unions such as the U.A. Local Union 412 or the Ironworkers Local 495 in Albuquerque.
Welding provides lucrative career opportunities to skilled tradespeople. Your journey starts with a certification or degree from one of the welding schools in New Mexico. Professional certification, apprenticeship, and other credentials can only increase your employability as a welder.
For More License and Career Guides
To find out how to become a Welder in another state, start here.
For information on other trades in New Mexico, click on a link below to learn more about the licensing requirements: