A Salina college opened its doors to the public Saturday in celebration of a new construction-related field of study. Brown Mackie College is now offering a degree that prepares students for a job in the welding industry.
Brown Mackie President Dr. Judy Holmes tells KSAL News that the welding program has been in the works for more than a year.
The program covers skills in welding, brazing, cutting, and fabrication operations using shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), gas metal arc welding, (GMAW), and flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) techniques. It introduces students to advanced skills in aluminum welding.
Holmes says that the new two-year program includes not just study, but about a year of hands-on welding. She says that students will be prepared to do numerous high-paying jobs in the industry including certified scaffolder, certified rigger, and grain operator.
Depending on where the job is, some welders can make several thousand dollars a week. In central Kansas, welders can start at an average of about $12 to $15 an hour, and even more in some locations.