Early Career in Welding

The Early College Program is a partnership between Newport News Public Schools and Virginia Peninsula Community College.

TVirginia Peninsula

This program is designed for high school seniors to pursue certification that will open employment opportunities in the skilled trades industry immediately following graduation.

The courses offered within this program are all part of the Commonwealth College Course Collaborative, whereby Virginia public colleges and universities have agreed to accept transfer credit for these courses as part of their college's general educational requirements.

Why Early Career?

Today's competitive job market requires knowledge and training. The Early Career Program provides the opportunity to:

  • Jump start training prior to high school graduation
  • Earn a marketable career skill
  • Reduce the amount of time needed to earn a career certification
  • Students participate in an exciting program during their senior year that will allow them to obtain credentials at a limited cost. After successful program completion, the student will enter the work force with a highly marketable skill set, making wages of $15-20 per hour.

What are the benefits?

  • Qualify for a high paying welding career in a few weeks (average starting wages $15- $16 per hour with rapid increases to over $20).
  • Receive concentrated hands-on welding training in an accelerated learning environment from the region's best welding instructors.
  • Job placement support is provided throughout the program.
  • Small, interactive classes allowing welding instructors to provide individual attention to trainees.
  • Families receive a drastically discounted rate of $200 for the full welding certification program. (The complete program costs approximately $8200.)

Why welding?

Welding is one of the oldest and most booming fields and plays a key role in the manufacturing sector. A career in welding can be extremely lucrative and exciting, and can lead to high level employment in various industries. However, the American Welding Society says the average age of a welder is 57, and by 2020 the AWS estimates there will be a 290,000 job deficit in the industry. There are more welders retiring each year than new welders coming into the industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the need for welders is expected to grow by 26 percent by 2020. The growing demand for welders has caused many jobseekers to consider a career in welding for a few reasons. The welding industry offers higher than average starting pay, good benefits and a bright future.

A Better Future with Skilled Trades

The skilled trades are changing. Industries like manufacturing or construction are modernizing, which requires workers that have the training to handle these highly skilled and often well paying jobs. Trade careers are a promising alternative for those who do not want to enroll, spend the money or devote the time in a four-year college or university to land a good job. By choosing a career in the skilled trades, young Americans and career changers can build a future for themselves.