A career as a welder can be both rewarding and challenging. Welders work in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, construction, shipbuilding, and aerospace, among others. Here are some key things to know about a career as a welder:
Education and Training: Welders typically need to complete a vocational or technical training program in welding, which can last anywhere from a few months to two years. Some welders also learn on the job through apprenticeships or on-the-job training programs. Welders must also be knowledgeable in safety procedures and welding techniques, and must be able to read blueprints and understand welding symbols.
Skills and Qualities: Successful welders possess excellent hand-eye coordination, physical stamina, and manual dexterity. They must also have good vision, as welding involves working with very bright light. Good communication skills are also important, as welders often work in teams and need to be able to communicate effectively with coworkers and supervisors.
Job Outlook: The job outlook for welders is generally positive, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting job growth of 3% between 2020 and 2030. This growth is largely driven by demand for welders in the construction and manufacturing sectors.
Salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers was $45,260 in May 2020. However, wages can vary depending on factors such as industry, location, experience, and level of education.
Challenges: Welding can be a physically demanding job, with long periods of standing or crouching. The work can also be dirty and involve exposure to heat, sparks, and fumes. However, many welders find the work rewarding and enjoy the opportunity to work with their hands and create something tangible.
Overall, a career as a welder can be a great option for those who enjoy working with their hands, have good spatial awareness and attention to detail, and are willing to put in the time and effort to learn the necessary skills.