Welders are the backbone of many industries and countries, as they are responsible for joining together bridges, buildings, automobiles, airplanes, ships, and highways. Welding requires the knowledge and skill of joining together metal through the application of heat, melting and fusing together metals to form an everlasting bond.
Welders can be found throughout thousands of manufacturing industries, as their skills and expertise are essential to the manufacturing process. If you enjoy working with your hands, metalsmithing, and mathematics, you may want to explore a career in welding.
As a welder, you will create and fuse together structures or objects, and see the final result of your work. How rewarding! A welder studies and calculates dimensions to create and weld an object, creates sketches, constructs blueprints, and ignites torches to weld an object.
The welding industry is constantly growing and developing within new industries and manufacturing. Your skill set as a welder will prove to be invaluable not only in the present, but also in the future, as the world continues to build new highways, buildings, bridges, ships, planes, and automobiles.
Welder Work Environment
Welders may work in a variety of indoor or outdoor settings, such as underwater welding or manufacturing welding. Welders may work on platforms or scaffolding high off of the ground, lift heavy welding equipment, or work in confined spaces. As a welder, you may be exposed to various hazards, such as handling incredibly hot materials and intense welding arc light.
When becoming a welder, is absolutely imperative you understand the risks associated with becoming a welder. You may be subjected to particles within the air, inhale gases, and burns. Safety is a number one priority when welding; therefore, it is crucial you wear welding goggles, heat-resistant gloves, and masks when welding to avoid injuries. Many welders work overtime and may work long shifts, depending on the industry and production lead times.
The Occupational Employment and Wages Report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor showed the annual median wage in May 2012, of a welder, is $36,300. The annual wage of a welder is dependent on experience, skill level, industry, and education within the field.
Average Welder Salary
Executive welders (Top 10%) earn $62,100 ($29.85 an hour)
Senior welders (Top 25%) earn $49,550 ($23.82 an hour)
Mid Level welders (Median) pay is $39,390 ($18.94 an hour)
Junior of welders (Bottom 25%) earn $32,590 ($15.67 an hour)
Entry Level of welders (Bottom 10%) earn $26,800 ($12.88 an hour)
Welder Salary By State
District of Columbia
Welder Career Outlook
The career outlook for a welder looks to grow slower than other career areas, with a projected increase of 6% from 2012 to 2022. Employment growth of welders may increase slowly due to demand and changes within specific industries. The welding career is versatile, as it allows an individual to move to various industries utilizing their welding skill set. For example, the decline of the auto industry within the United States may have disrupted an auto welder’s job, however, they may find employment within other industries such as oil or gas welding.
The training process for a welder varies from school to school and area of welding specialization. There are countless technical and private, welding institutions that offer training and hands-on learning within the welding field. When studying welding, it may be very helpful to take coursework in shop mathematics, mechanical drawing, blueprint reading, chemistry, and metallurgy.
The coursework you may study will help prepare you to obtain your Certified Welding Fabricator and Certified Welder certificates. Some welding positions may require you to pursue certificates in specialized areas such as Certified Robotic Arc Welding or earn a certificate to become a Certified Welding Inspector. Certification in highly skilled areas such as aerospace and defense welding is absolutely necessary, as it shows you have mastered welding techniques.
In order to become a proficient and skilled welder, you must be incredibly detail oriented, have manual dexterity, spatial-orientation skills (ability to understand and interpret 2D and 3D diagrams to weld objects), physical strength and stamina, and technical skills.