How To Become a Welder?
Welders can work in a wide variety of industries. A welder will be present anywhere metal needs to be permanently fused together or broken apart. If you are planning on a career as a welder, it is crucial to do some research on the field. Factors that you may want to consider before you decide include the job description, as well as the pay scale for welding occupations.
What Does a Welder Do?
Welders are skilled tradesmen that use hand operated or remote-controlled machinery to fix or break metal structures and fill holes or indentations. Welders tend to use intensely pressured heat or gas to make or break metal objects. Sometimes, welders may even work underwater to fix oil rigs etc. Welding is the process by which metal parts are permanently fused together and hence used to make most ships, automobiles and airplanes. In addition to this, welding is used for day to day construction of bridges, buildings, pipes, refineries and more.
Select Your State
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Types of Welders
There are two different types of welders, those who are skilled and those who aren’t. Skilled welders are typically given different work than unskilled welders. Most unskilled welders work on assembly lines and perform repetitive tasks. Unskilled welders generally aren’t educated about the different properties of metals, and gases and hence aren’t qualified for technical welding tasks.
On the other hand, a skilled welder knows about different welding techniques. Through an apprenticeship, or otherwise, skilled welders are generally given more complicated tasks, like constructing skyscrapers and high structures. Depending on the project, welders are expected to use more than 100 welding techniques, including resistance welding and submerged arc welding, etc.
Welder Salaries and Job Growth
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for welders, cutters, solderers and brazers is $41,380 per year and $19.89 per hour. Typical entry-level education required to become a welder is a high school diploma or equivalent degree, although on the job training is usually required to become a welder. The number of jobs available in the field in 2016 was 404,800 and is expected to increase by 6% between 2016 and 2026, adding a total of 22,500 jobs to the industry.
Steps to Become a Welder
To become a welder, you will have to follow a few steps.
- Get a high school diploma
You are required to get a high school diploma or equivalent degree to become a welder. If you know the field you are interested in at this point, it will help you graduate with a strong background in mathematics, chemistry and physics. These subjects will help you read and understand blue prints as well as understand the internal structures of the buildings you weld.
- Take vocational school courses
After getting your high school degree, you will have to take courses from an accredited vocational school to learn specific welding techniques. While unskilled welders generally do not need certification, if you plan to work on airplanes, or on oil rigs, you will require certification in certain welding techniques e.g. arc welding.
- Gain experience
After you have graduated high school and gotten the licenses you require to learn a welders trade, you can now apply for jobs within the field. Employers are more receptive to workers who have taken courses in blue print reading, mechanical drawing, or metallurgy and sometimes may even pay for their workers training.
Certification is not necessary to become a welder but it allows you to become more qualified and land the best jobs available. Certification courses are offered at many schools in America, including the American Welding Society. In some cases, as a welder, you may have to get certified in a certain technique. Programs like the Certified Robotic Arc Welding will enable you to become skilled and qualified for positions that require arc welding.
Welder Career Advancement
To become a welder, not only will you need a high school diploma and some accreditation but you should also have the skills required to become a successful welder. Welders are generally required to have an eye for detail, as well as the physical strength and stamina needed to lift heavy pieces of equipment. Usually, welders will get their technical skills and manual dexterity through vocational training, community colleges and experience in the field.
The best way to advance in your career as a welder is by continuing your education alongside your work. If you continue to get certified in different techniques and gain the experience necessary to further your career, opportunities are bound to come your way. You could choose to get certified as a welding inspector or a welding instructor. Both these occupations pay better if you get certified as an arc welding specialist.
Should You Become a Welder?
There are many strong reasons to become a welder. The welding industry is a thriving one and the demand for welders is unlikely to diminish anytime soon. As a trained welder, you have the option to choose from a plethora of jobs available in the field e.g. working on an offshore drilling rig. These kinds of opportunities also involve travel and excitement. For example, you may be required to work underwater or on tall bridges and monuments.
If you are the kind of person that likes to work with their hands and have higher than average physical strength and stamina, then a career in welding might just be the one for you. In addition to this, if you have an eye for detail, like to travel and like a bit of excitement at your workplace, you could become a qualified welder and plan your career in the industry.