Welders use heat to join pieces of metal together. They work in many different industries, including construction, manufacturing, and shipbuilding. Welders may also be called upon to cut or break apart metal.
Welders must have good vision and be able to concentrate for long periods of time. They must also be able to lift heavy objects.
To become a welder, you’ll need training from an accredited technical school or community college program. You’ll need certification through a nationally recognized organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). This will ensure that you have the skills needed to succeed in the field.
Welder Job Duties
Welders typically have the following duties:
- Reading blueprints, sketches, or other drawings to determine the best welding techniques for joining materials
- Repairing damaged equipment by fabricating replacement parts and performing other welding duties such as cutting and grinding
- Following welding procedures and codes to ensure the safety of the welder and the welding site
- Using hand and power tools such as grinders, saws, clamps, and bolts to cut and shape materials
- Troubleshooting problems with equipment and processes and determining appropriate solutions
- Working with engineers to design new products which may require custom fabrication
- Paying attention to safety considerations such as wearing protective eye gear, ear plugs, and gloves to prevent injuries
Welder Salary & Outlook
The median annual wage for welders is $43,015. Those earning higher wages tend to work in the construction industry, and the highest earners of the profession are making over $63,000 per year.
The number of jobs for welders is expected to grow steadily over the next decade. This growth is due to the growing need for infrastructure repair and construction, as well as the demand for better safety standards in construction.
Welder Job Requirements
The requirements for welders are as follows:
Education: Welders do not need a traditional educational background. Instead, they should attend a technical school or community college to learn welding skills.
Training: Welding programs can last anywhere from one to two years, depending on the school. There are many different programs available, which include basic, intermediate and advanced welding skills. Students may also take courses in areas like blueprint reading, welding theory and safety. These courses help prepare students for the job.
Certifications & Licenses: Certifications and licenses are not required, but they can show the employee’s general understanding of the field and improve prospects. These can be obtained from The American Welding Society, community colleges, or trade schools.
You need to possess the following skills in order to be a welder:
Physical strength: Welding is physically demanding, and you must have the strength to hold heavy equipment.
Hand-eye coordination: You must have steady hands in order to work with welding tools and equipment.
Attention to detail: You must pay close attention to what you are doing when working with welders because one mistake can lead to serious injury or death.
Communication skills: You must be able to communicate clearly with other workers on the job site, especially when instructions are given quickly.
Time management skills: The job requires good time management skills because you must be able to finish your work within specified deadlines.
Visual acuity: Welders must have good eyesight to read blueprints and set up welding equipment.
Welder Work Environment
Welder jobs can be physically demanding. They work in noisy, dusty, hot conditions and are exposed to potentially dangerous equipment such as welding torches, cutting machines, and grinders. Sometimes welders have to wear protective clothing and safety equipment.
Welding is a good career for people who like working with their hands, don’t mind hard physical labor, and enjoy being outdoors. Welders often work long hours, including evenings and weekends. To reduce the risk of injury from prolonged exposure to chemicals and extreme temperatures, welders must take regular breaks and follow safety procedures carefully.
Welder Career Advancement
Once you’ve mastered the art of welding, there are many opportunities to advance your career. You can become a certified welder and seek out specialized roles in areas like offshore oil rigs, chemical plants, or even in shipbuilding.
Another option is to become a welding engineer. These professionals work with welders on projects for large companies and serve as liaisons between the welders and the upper management. They ensure that the welders are doing their work correctly while being sure that projects are being completed within the construction budget.
Welders who want to advance in their careers can also look into becoming a welding inspector. Inspectors conduct tests on welds to ensure that all safety codes are being met. They check to make sure materials are properly identified and any defects with the welds themselves are identified and recorded. After the inspection is complete, they write a report for management about their findings.
Here are three trends influencing how welders work. Welders will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.
Rise of Autonomous Manufacturing
According to experts, the biggest impact on the future of welding will be the increasing use of autonomous manufacturing.
While traditional methods rely on an operator or technician to oversee production, robots are becoming increasingly sophisticated and capable of monitoring their own activity. As this trend continues, it is likely that more companies will move towards using these automated systems to improve quality and reduce costs associated with production.
Importance of Virtual Collaboration
The advancement of virtual collaboration tools like Google Docs, SharePoint and others has led to an increased value on online communication.
While this trend has primarily affected businesses that work with far-flung employees or contractors, it is also starting to affect skilled laborers like welders who may need to collaborate with other technicians in order to complete their work.
Increased Importance of Education
The number of workers without high school diplomas in the welding field is shrinking, largely due to growing demand for skilled welders who can work on increasingly complex projects.
This trend has led to greater emphasis on educational opportunities, with many employers now requiring candidates to hold an associate’s degree or certificate in order to qualify for an entry-level position.
How to Become a Welder
1. Planning Your Career Path
Welding is a great career choice for people who are hands-on. Aspiring welders can prepare for the job by learning about welding equipment, including how to read blueprints and understand the manufacturing process.
Welders work with metal, which means they often need to be strong physically. The ability to see the big picture is also important because welders must make sure their projects come out looking right. When considering a career as a welder, it’s important to think about what you’re passionate about and how you can apply those skills in this field.
2. Writing a Resume
A welder’s resume should highlight the ability to use tools and equipment. The best welding resumes emphasize an individual’s proficiency with specific machines, as well as their work history which should include the types of materials you have worked on. For example, if you are applying for a job at an automotive plant, it would be best to include jobs that were related to auto manufacturing.
When listing skills on your resume, make sure to focus on how you used them in previous jobs. It is also important to note any certifications or licenses you have received; these will help prove your ability to operate specific machinery. If you are just starting out in the industry, it is also important to emphasize your willingness to learn new skills.
3. Applying for Jobs
Welding is an industry that tends to bring people in through word of mouth, so don’t be afraid to ask around. Talk to your family and friends who work in the field about their experiences, or ask your current coworkers for advice. You can also find work by researching local training programs; many employers go through schools to find new employees
Another strategy is to contact employers directly; if you know anyone who works at a company that might be hiring, ask them to put in a good word for you or send their company’s hiring manager your resume. If you are having trouble getting any leads, consider posting your resume on networking sites like Linkedin. It has hundreds of employers looking for welders across the country.
4. Ace the Interview
Be prepared to answer a few questions about yourself and why you want to pursue this career. Also be prepared to show off your welding skills – employers will want to see that you can weld, cut, and/or shape metal correctly, safely, and efficiently.