If you are a problem solver, are creative, and love assembling things, then becoming a welder would be the right career move for you. Skim through this guide to learn how to become a welder in New Jersey.
What Does a Welder do?
As part of their job, welders perform the following duties:
- Operate flame-cutting and hand-welding cutting equipment such as robotic welding cells, electric arc machine and oxyacetylene torch.
- Read blueprints and drawings.
- Test and assess welded surfaces to diagnose problems.
- Maintain machinery and equipment.
The Procedure of Becoming a Welder in New Jersey
The process of becoming a welder in New Jersey consists of the following steps:
- Obtain High School Diploma/GED
The first step of the process is to get a high school diploma or a GED, without which you won’t be accepted into a trade school or a community college.
- Enroll in a Welding Program
After graduating from high school, you can enroll in an accredited welding program such as an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) or a Technical Certificate in Welding Technology. These programs will help you acquire the following skills:
- Welding in overhead, vertical, and horizontal settings.
- Welding stainless steel, aluminum and carbon steel plates.
- Metal fabrication techniques.
- Tungsten Arc Gas Welding.
- Flux Core Arc Welding.
- Gas Metal Arc Welding.
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding.
- Participate in an Apprenticeship Program
After graduating from a vocational training institute, you can sign up for an apprenticeship program. This program will give you a chance to learn about entry level welding. While working as an apprentice, you will acquire skills that will help you with your later jobs.
- Obtain Certifications
You can then get yourself certified through the American Welding Society (AWS). The welding certification usually includes a written test and a welding test. Having a specialized welding certification in hand will make you a more desirable and marketable candidate.
Requirements to Become a Welder
In order to become a welder, you will be expected to meet the following requirements:
You must hold a GED or a high school diploma and post-secondary education (A.A.S or a Technical Certificate) in Welding Technology.
You must possess the following skills:
- Physical stamina: You will be expected to perform welding tasks in extreme conditions such as limited workspace and inclement weather conditions.
- Manual dexterity: You will be required to utilize and operate a variety of hand and power tools to carry out welding activities.
- Mathematical and quantitative skills: You will be expected to compute complex calculations to determine the configurations and dimensions of a welding project.
- Project management skills: You will have to be good at multi-tasking, organizing and meeting deadlines.
How Much Does a Welder Make in New Jersey?
Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers working in New Jersey, as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, made an impressive annual mean pay of $47,050 in 2018. This figure is higher than the national average of $44,360. Therefore, the state of New Jersey offers lucrative opportunities for welders.
The salary data of for three years is stated below:
|Annual Mean Salary (NJ)||$47,310||$45,840||$47,050|
|Annual Mean Salary (US)||$42,450||$43,410||$44,360|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
The table shows that the annual mean wage of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers in New Jersey went down between 2016 and 2017 but went up again in 2018. The state averages are, however, higher than the national averages for all three years.