How to Become a Certified Blacksmith
Do you like the idea of becoming a certified blacksmith? If you are interested in this career, this post will give you the information you need to successfully become one, including the training and certification program you need to complete.
Read on ….
There is a general belief that blacksmiths existed long time ago, and nobody has accepted the job after the first set of workers in the profession have all passed away.
Therefore, as a result of this perception, many have turned away their faces from blacksmithing, saying that they do not want to waste away in the remote area where their workshop might be situated.
For the fact that blacksmithing involves shaping and forging of metals with hammer, chisel, and anvil, these people could not be wrong. But be assured that blacksmithing has come to stay.
There are modern blacksmithing equipment and tools that have been built and shaped to suit the present technology.
In order to succeed in this modern blacksmithing profession, you have to be trained on how to use modern tools to work.
You also have to learn the basic design of modern strategy and principles under many blacksmithing programs, which operate under bigger metal works.
Educational Requirements and Career Pathway
According to the affirmative confession of many professional blacksmiths, blacksmithing requires some form of formal education, although there are many professional blacksmiths today who have started their business without education, especially those who have joined the profession through family members or friends.
But there is need to learn the craft and techniques of the profession from a certified blacksmith, or rather attend a blacksmithing certification and training program.
The kind of education to have before becoming a professional blacksmith must not be a formal four-year degree program from a college.
It can be a form of degree or certificate program from a trade school, or a blacksmithing program offered by the professionals. Sometimes, trade associations offer education classes to interested participants.
Blacksmithing, just like every other technical job or profession, requires some skill acquisition through formal training.
Sometimes, there is a choice of a specific blacksmithing program, or rather a more general metal working program. Experience in business practices is a greater advantage.
Blacksmithing Training and Schools
Some degree awarding schools you can attend to become a certified blacksmith are as Follows:
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale: The blacksmithing program at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, is one of the programs the country can boost of that offer a Master’s Degree of Fine Arts in Blacksmithing.
The students of the school use modern tools and networking facilities to master the art of blacksmithing, which creates lucrative job opportunities across the nation.
There is an award of yearly $10 million in undergraduate scholarships, and more than 2,500 new students receive scholarships each year through the Academic Scholarship Office.
SIU has more than 1,000 graduate assistantships, and employs about 4,000 students on campus every year who earn more than $10 million.
Pratt Institute of School of Art and Design: Pratt Institute is one of the most recognized schools of art, design, and architecture in the United States.
Pratt’s metalworking program produces professional blacksmiths of all kinds, offering formal programs and continuing education to aspiring blacksmiths.
University of Washington: University of Washington provides training in metal and jewelry designs using modern technology and resources to facilitate the program.
Students of University of Washington can find education in any field of their choice. The fee for enrolling into this program is $70.
Turley Forge Blacksmithing School: Turley Forge is situated in Santa Fe, New Mexico; a school posing the like of a godfather over other blacksmithing schools.
Turley Forge Blacksmithing School has produced more active smiths in the United States than any other training program.
The Turley Forge program focuses more on scrollwork, hardware, and toolsmithing. The knowledge, techniques, and skills students acquire from the school can carry them all through their chosen profession. Frank Turley is the owner of Turley Forge Blacksmithing School, which was established in 1970.
Penland School of Crafts: Penland School (located in Penland, North Carolina) was founded in 1929 by Lucy Morgan who retired in 1962, leaving the school to Bill Brown who went further to add longer fall and spring sessions, to expand the school offering, and to create resident artist programs, until the school has encompassed 420 acres and 57 buildings, with more people coming each year to seek instruction.
Penland offers one-week, two-week, and 8-week classes taught by guest instructors using Penland’s well-equipped studios. Included in the class topics are traditional blacksmithing, metal sculpture, forming steel and iron, finishing techniques and more.
How to Obtain Certification in Blacksmithing
You may be a good blacksmith, but without certification you will not be recognized, or gain respect and better opportunities in the career. To become a certified blacksmith, you may like to consider looking into the Virginia Institute of Blacksmithing Certification Program.
Virginia Institute of Blacksmithing Certification Program:
The Virginia Institute of Blacksmithing Certification Program is designated for training interested students in the art of architectural and ornamental metalwork to become professionals.
After a successful completion of the program, students will acquire the appropriate knowledge and skills required in blacksmithing, and become certified to work and continue their education with any professional blacksmith of their choice.
Learning a trade in the art of traditional blacksmithing might be the best option for students who like to work with their hands to create artistic designs.
Then the Certification Program might be suitable for students who can visualize skillfully and draw objects meeting the mechanical requirements.
The Virginia Institute of Blacksmithing Certification Program is divided into twelve workshops, starting with an introduction to blacksmithing safety, techniques, drawing, and perfect conception.
The program’s topics comprise introduction to business management and accounting, and zoning and building codes. Also recommended is the online micro business management course, but this might not be compulsory.
Duties and Responsibilities of Blacksmiths
Some of the duties and responsibilities of blacksmiths are as follows:
- Heating, melting, and forging metals
- Hammering, twisting, bending, pulling, and drilling holes in metals
- Forging tools, decorative fences and horseshoes
- Creating decorative metal structures and objects.
Where Can Blacksmiths Find job opportunities?
Factories, manufacturers and metal fabricators can provide job opportunities for blacksmiths. Greater number of blacksmiths can work as farriers or ornamental blacksmiths.
Farriers are blacksmiths that take care of horses’ shoes by trimming their hooves, understanding the health of horses’ feet.
Ornamental blacksmiths, however, work in mini workshops under the operation of one or two skillful blacksmiths.
They create items such as sculptures for decorative purposes. Those weathervanes, fireplace pokers, and chandeliers that people use in homes and factories are all created by ornamental blacksmiths.
The Average Salary for Blacksmiths
The salary of a blacksmith varies according to specific factors.
The salaries of braziers, cutters, solderers and welders reached up to $34,740, while structural metal fabricating blacksmiths salaries amounted to $35,900 in 2010
According to the American Farrier’s Journal, part-time farriers can make approximately $20,000 per year. But for ornamental blacksmiths, there is no specified hourly or yearly wages for them as regards their area of specialization.