How to Become a Welder

What To Do Now? Welder Career Training

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Weldering is a profession that's been around for centuries. Welders specialize in joining metals together through the application of high heat. Today, welders work on ships, automobiles, aerospace equipment, and many other types of machinery and appliances.

While once considered a strickly hands-on job, recent advances in welding have developed the field, allowing welders to now do things like oversee the work of robotic appliances. Improving your career skills through continuing education, such as online welder training courses, could be key to finding employment in today's economy.

What Career Skills Does a Welder Need?

Do you like to see tangible results at the end of the work day? To retrain as a welder, one should enjoy physical labor, particularly using one's hands to complete a project. Welders should have good manual dexterity, understanding of their materials (and how heat affects them), stamina, and the ability to pay careful attention to physical detail. The work is by nature dangerous so welders should understand basic safety procedures as well as how to protect themselves.

Career Advice for Welders

There are over 80 different welding processes, meaning there is a wide range of skills that a welder needs to develop. In this hand-on job, there is no substitute for a solid apprenticeship where you can do the work and learn from a master. Yet, the jobs of tomorrow may require additional career retraining. You can improve your skills by taking online welder training courses in physics, mathematics, and mechanical drawing.

If you are considering future advancement, you may even want to consider securing certification from the American Welding Society. In turn, education beyond high school may enable you to advance in the field, allowing you eventually to become a supervisor or welding engineer.

Career Outlook

  • Median Annual Salary. In May 2013, the Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers earned a median annual salary of $39,110 with top 10% making more than $57,120.
  • States with Highest Employment. Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Illinois.
  • Top Paying States. Alaska, Hawaii, District of Columbia, Wyoming, North Dakota.
  • Have It Your Way. There are over 80 different welding processes that you can specialize in--each lends itself to a particular welding niche
  • Get Working Now. Typical welder's training programs run from a few weeks to a few years, depending upon on the level of expertise that you wish to reach
  • Respectable Employment Growth. Employment of welding, soldering, and brazing workers is projected to increase by about 6 percent through decade, with an estimated 20,800 new jobs to be created
  • Where the Jobs Are. Manufacturing employs more welders than all other industries combined
  • Automation is No Threat. The growing automation in the welding industry should not decrease the opportunities welders can expect--even advanced welding apparatus requires qualified workers to operate successfully
  • Union Protected. Welders typically belong to large unions that represent them professionally, such as the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers; the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America; and the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers, May 2013 Wages