Welding is the process of heating and melting metal in order to join them together. It’s an ancient skill that dates back to 3,500 BC in the Bronze Age. Welding tools were even found in ancient Egyptian tombs. Welding is a valuable skill and this $34 billion industry is growing quickly.
Start training to be a welder today. Currently, there are not enough welders to keep up with demand – making welding a huge job opportunity. Many welders are quickly approaching retirement. According to the AWS, the average age of a welder is 54. Now is a fantastic time for aspiring welders to break into this niche.
Look around you. How many things did you use today that required a proper weld? Chances are pretty good that you use welded items on a daily basis. Cars, planes, bridges, buildings, computers, and mp3 players all have welds of some sort. Did you know that more than 50% of all US products require some degree of welding? Welding is kind of a big deal.
Welders heat, join, and repair different types of metal. It’s a precision skill that takes practice, mentorship, and talent. With the right techniques, anything made out of metal can be welded. If you’re good with your hands and like to build things, welding might be a great career option for you.
The world of welding is quite complex. There are hundreds of different welding methods. Some welding skills only take a few days to learn. These assembly line welds are repetitive processes that don’t require much skill. On the flip side, there are also very specialized, skilled welders.
Skilled welding takes years to master. The work must be extremely precise and follow exact blueprints and plans. Skilled welders learn about the properties of different metals, are able to program computers, and do many other highly skilled things like aerospace precision welding, mobile welding, pipeline construction, building construction, underwater welding, or other types of welding.
All types of welding are potentially hazardous. When working with metals that melt at temperatures thousands of degrees above zero, it’s absolutely mandatory to wear the proper protective equipment to keep yourself safe. This includes clothing, goggles, and helmets. Burns and eye injuries are common in welding and safety must always be a priority.
To become a welder you need to finish high school. It’s smart to earn a two-year welding degree at a welding school or community college. Based on your interests, you can choose a welding speciality and perfect it through a welding apprenticeship. Then you can earn the appropriate American Welding Society certification.
As a certified welder, you can find jobs like underwater welder, robotics technician, boilermaker, pipefitter, structural iron worker, welding inspector, welding educator, or find a different welding career. Welders can find work at steel mills, highway departments, oil rigs, technology firms, car manufacturing plants, construction projects, wind energy companies, or for underwater construction companies. There are certainly lots of options in the welding world.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, welders fit into the Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers categories. All jobs in this category weld and join metal, yet they are all slightly different. In 2012, there were 357,400 people employed in this niche. That number is expected to grow by 4% by 2022.
On average, a welder can expect to make $17.45 per hour or $36,300 per year. The world’s top welders who weld in dangerous situations or offshore can earn six figure salaries. Pay depends on variables like experience, work quality, employer, and other factors.
Right now is the time to learn the skills, gain the experience, and pursue a welding career. Are you ready?
Quick Facts About Welder Careers
Job Title: Welder
Office: Construction sites
Description: Make, repair, join, and weld metal parts
Certifications/Education: AWS certification
Necessary Skills: Welding skills, Safety conscious
Potential Employers: Steel mills, Oil rigs, Construction companies, Manufacturers
Pay: $17.45 per hour or $36,300 per year