Vocational training is directly focused on applying the skills you learn to a career immediately after graduation, so it makes sense to start thinking of how you will begin your career search as you start a welding training program. Here are a few tips for how aspiring welders in Tulsa can put themselves in the best position for a job search.
Train Where the Jobs Are (In Oklahoma)
Between the manufacturing and energy industries, there are many opportunities for welders around Oklahoma. Oil field machinery production leads the manufacturing industry in the state. As one of the nation’s leading oil and natural gas producers, machinery manufacture goes hand-in-hand with the extraction operations in the area. Mining operations for coal, limestone, sand, gravel, and iodine are also major contributors to the local economy and all rely on heavy equipment. Other major manufacturing operations within Oklahoma are aviation, automobile production, construction machinery, HVAC equipment, and fabricated metal products. These are all industries that rely on welders for product creation, inspection, and repair.
Training in the same area as your intended career destination has a few advantages. Welding trade schools form important relationships with local businesses and industries, so they are better able to connect students with the employers who are hiring than if the student were to move to another area to find welding work. By training in a welding-rich environment like Oklahoma, the school will have great resources available to help students understand the local market. Also, local employers in Tulsa will be more familiar with the quality of graduates from nearby welding trade schools in Oklahoma than they would from welding schools in more distant parts of the country. By being in the area, students also are able to better make their own connections and sift out local job opportunities after graduation.
Start Job Hunting Before Graduation
It’s always worth it to start searching for a job before your formal training ends so you can make a quick transition from the class lab to the workshop. Trade schools in Oklahoma, including Tulsa Welding School, host job fairs featuring local employers. These events give students great opportunities to start making contacts in the professional world and find out just who is hiring. Students may also be able to find internships or apprenticeships at local businesses while they are still taking classes. These provide more opportunities to show employers how well you’ve mastered construction and welding skills. Even if an internship does not directly turn into a job, the employer may be able to refer you to other contacts in the industry that can.
In the beginning, get experience any way you can. In a welding trade school, make sure to take advantage of lab hours where you have the benefit of guided instruction. Outside of class, try to find a job as a workshop helper where you can learn from seasoned professionals. Employers prefer candidates with practical experience, so put in as many hours as you can while you’re still training before heading into the workforce.
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For people who want to learn welding or earn a degree in welding technology, contact a Tulsa Welding School representative and learn more about welding programs in Tulsa.