Trained individuals who specialize in welding metals are called welders. Typically, welders work with all kinds of metals such as, stainless steel, aluminum and brass etc.

What Does a Welder Do?

Welders often get employed at shipyards, construction sites, residential properties, manufacturing companies or in the automobile industry etc. Welders’ nature of work requires them to be very precise and accurate. Even the slightest error in calculation or execution may cause a catastrophe. Therefore, welders must acquire the right level of education and skills to practice this profession. The usual responsibilities of a welder include:

  • Properly positioning and securing metal parts.
  • Lighting, controlling & monitoring the welding flame and the metals being welded.
  • Maintaining, cleaning and properly storing the welding equipment after using it.
  • Careful evaluation of the welding work to confirm its safety.

How to Become a Welder in Illinois?

Individuals who wish to become welders must follow these steps:

  1. High School Diploma

In high school, students should take up science, math and algebra. Since welders make precise calculations in their routine work, these courses provide them with the required skills.

  1. Internship/Traineeship/Apprenticeship

To develop the basic understanding of welding, hands on experience is important. Many colleges in Illinois offer welding degrees that help you get an internship.

  1. Diploma/Certification in Welding

The Illinois Welding School, along with multiple others in the state, offer accredited diplomas in different areas of welding.

  1. AWS Certification/License

After completing the relevant education, graduates opt for the AWS certification exam to work as certified welders.

How to Get Certified/Licensed as a Welder in Illinois?

Although it is not mandatory for welders to be certified/licensed in the state of Illinois, majority of the employers prefer hiring welders with these credentials. Illinois does not provide welders with state issued licensure. However, you can obtain the Certified Welder (CW) certificate from the American Welding Society (AWS) through various institutions. For instance, the Illinois Valley Community College helps people register for the licensure exam.

How Much Can I Make as a Welder in Illinois?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an annual mean income for Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers  for the three years from 2016 to 2018, as follows:

2016 2017 2018
Annual Mean Salary (IL) $39,790 $41,050 $42,960
Annual Mean Salary (US) $42,450 $43,410 $44,360

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics


The afore-mentioned income chart depicts a minor increase in the annual mean salary of Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers in Illinois from 2016 to 2018. However, the annual mean salary was less than the national mean.

Career Outlook of a Welder

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a rise of 3% employment growth for Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers in the decade from 2018 to 2028. This employment growth rate is reported to be slower than the average for other occupations.