Welders are individuals trained in the art of cutting and joining metal parts together using either hand-held equipment or remotely controlled equipment. They work both indoors and outdoors and most commonly hold full-time jobs. Depending on the job, welders may find themselves working on the ground or high above on scaffolding. There are also various types of welding, including MIG, TIG, stick, arc, pipe, aluminum and stud welding.
Get the facts on the career outlook for welders as well as what it takes to become a welder in this blog below.
How to Become a Welder
To become a welder, the individual must have a high school diploma and some training. Some welders may receive on-the-job training, but most employers prefer to hire individuals who have completed formal training programs. Welding training programs can be found at technical schools, community or vocational schools, and actual welding schools. In addition to the basics of welding, students learn about shop mathematics, blueprint reading, and mechanical drawing.
Training programs take one to two years to complete depending on the school. Although at one time it was important for welders to have a good knowledge of math, chemistry, and physics. In addition to those skills, today it’s equally important they have good experience with computers and electricity.
Certification may or may not be required for employment, but employers typically prefer welders who already have certification. Certification may be included as part of the curriculum in formal welding programs. The American Welding Society offers several welding programs and certification exams.
A Certified Welder is one of many credentials welders can obtain through the AWS. They can also obtain certifications in the various types of welding. The Institute for Printed Circuits also offers certification for solderers. Some employers are willing to pay for the certification of their employees. To obtain certifications, the welder must
Career Outlook for Welders
A 2016 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report states that welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers could see a job growth of about five percent during the decade of 2016-2026. One major factor helping the job growth is the need for experienced welders to help replace and repair the deteriorating infrastructure. As of May 2016, the bureau reported that welders’ median annual wages ranged from $26,800 to $62,100 with the average wage at $39,390.
https://www.aws.org/certification American Welding Society
https://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/welders-cutters-solderers-and-brazers.htm U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics career outlook
https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes514121.htm potential wages