Welding is a profession that is more than just a job – it’s an important and rewarding career with a bright future. According to the US Department of Labor, welders’ average salary is $42,490 per year and the career is growing faster than most other professions.
With over 500,000 welders currently employed in the United States and an estimated 4 million jobs projected to come up in the next decade, joining the welding field may be an excellent opportunity. But what is a welding job like? Let’s explore the challenges and rewards of a welding career from its demands, opportunities and working environment.
What is a welding job like?Welding is a hot and sometimes dangerous process of joining and melting two or more pieces of metal together using intense heat and pressure. Welders use a variety of tools, techniques and processes to weld parts together, and the job requires a certain level of skill.
Welding is an inherent part of most manufacturing processes, and welders are often in demand at a variety of different industries and job sites.
Characteristics of Welding Jobs
- Welders work with a variety of equipment and processes to weld parts together, including electric arc welders, oxyacetylene welders, gas metal arc welders and plasma arc welders.
- Welders use a variety of techniques, including arc welding, MIG welding, TIG welding and flux cored arc welding.
- Welders must understand the behavior of different materials, including metal, plastic and composite.
- Welders must be able to read blueprints and understand CAD drawings.
- Welders must possess problem-solving skills, manual dexterity and spatial awareness.
- Welders must take safety precautions to protect themselves from the intense heat and flames associated with welding.
What you need to become a WelderBecoming a welder requires a certain level of physical strength, stamina and coordination. Most welders receive on-the-job training. However, formal apprenticeship programs in welding are often highly recommended.
Apprenticeship programs typically involve classroom instruction, as well as hands-on practice in the shop. Areas of instruction may include cutting, grinding, brazing and soldering.