Welding is one of the oldest human professions, and welders are involved in important processes at every stage of manufacturing and development. Welders are needed in the field of medicine, for construction, and in making vehicles of all kinds. In fact, 50% of all the products that are made in America require welding and two-thirds of all jobs available in the welding industry are in manufacturing. By 2024, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment for cutters, welders, solderers, and others will reach 412,300. A job in welding requires an understanding of the gas and gear that is necessary, including welding gear, welding gas bottle refills and how to use them, and where to get air tool repair, arc welder repair, and things like top cat air tools. For those interested in the welding profession, here are some things you need to know.
- Welding requires education. Welding means more than just practice and certification. A welding career can even begin in high school. Taking extra shop, science, math, and even architectural design classes can make it easier and quicker to become a welder. Some schools will even be able to give training in standard oxyacetylene welding technology, how to use welding gas bottle refills, or how to use metal shaping equipment.
- You will need training specific to welding. Some companies may be willing to give training on the job, but preferred applicants are those who have had formal instruction and training. This can happen in the military, or it can happen through vocational schools, through teaching at certain private academies, or through certification or associate programs at colleges. This sort of training typically covers the different technologies available in modern welding, from gas metal arc welding to gas tungsten methods, as well as other topics that are necessary for welders. These might include blueprint reading, the basics of drafting, safety concerns and issues, compliance and regulations, and metallurgy. There will also be practical training in the specifics of using different machines, welding gas bottle refills, repairs and maintenance, and other important techniques that require regular practice to understand and master.
- You may need to be certified. Certification can happen in a variety of ways. If you are getting on-the-job training in how to weld, use welding gas bottle refills, and do maintenance, your employer may provide a certificate. For those who have taken exams, is also possible to be certified through the educational program you’ve pursued. For those who can perform, but do not have the required education, it is possible to be certified after a test by the American Welding Society. In order to remain certified, a welder must submit a form every six months indicating that they have continued employment as a welder.
- What jobs will be open to me as a welder? Welding is important to many fields. Welding skills can be used in the manufacturing and automotive industry, the construction of airplanes and ships, in the manufacturing of medical supplies and machinery, infrastructure projects, and in building construction. The best way to advance in a welding career is to accumulate as much experience and extra training as possible. It is also possible to earn a bachelor’s degree and so become a welding engineer, and it is also possible to move on from this to become an inspector or site supervisor. If desired, welders can also move across careers into assembly, fabrication, and machining.
- How much do welders earn? Welding is generally considered one of the more profitable blue-collar jobs available. In the highest demand areas of the United States, such as Western Pennsylvania, it is not unheard of for very experienced welders to make six-figure salaries. In general, however, the average salary is between $35,000 and $40,000 a year. Entry-level positions may begin at around $25,000 a year, and the top 10% of experienced and certified welders make in excess of $55,000 year. The highest paying welding jobs are in electrical power generation.
Welding is a useful skill that has been in demand for centuries and will continue to be in demand for a long time to come. If you are interested in a profession and welding, look into certification and training options near you today.