Welders are skilled and trained craftsmen who specialize in welding metals together. They work with a large variety of metals such as steel, stainless steel, aluminum or brass etc.

What Does a Welder do?

Welders tend to work in various settings such as construction sites, shipyards, manufacturing or automobile industry etc. They may also work with the teams that craft airplanes and build bridges. Welders must gain the accuracy and precision to do their job properly. Generally, the duties of a welder include:

  • Lighting the flame sources safely.
  • Properly positioning and securing metal parts.
  • Controlling and monitoring the welding flame.
  • Evaluating welding work to confirm that it is complete and safe to use.
  • Maintaining, cleaning and properly storing the welding equipment after using it.

How to Become a Welder in Pennsylvania

A high school degree plays a vital role for students who wish to become welders. Science, math and algebra courses are essential for a career in welding because welders make precise calculations in everything they do on a daily basis. Furthermore, students must take courses that help them gain hands-on experience in welding.

Several community colleges in Pennsylvania offer various welding degrees. For example, the Penn College offers a certificate in welding while, the Triangle Tech Institute offers an associate’s degree in Welding & Fabrication Technology. After completing the relevant education, graduates usually take certification exams to work as certified welders.

Requirements to Become a Welder in Pennsylvania

There are numerous requirements that a prospective welder must fulfill before they can begin working in the field. All those who want to become welders need to complete the following steps:

  • Obtain a high school degree or GED.
  • Complete a certification or an associate’s degree in welding.
  • Gain hands on experience in the field.
  • Earn a welding certification through the American Welding Society (AWS).

Types of Welding Certifications in Pennsylvania

There are 5 types of certifications welders may choose from depending on their interest.

  1. Certified Welder (CW)

To get this certification, welders only need to take the Certified Welder Exam. They may take the exam at an AWS accredited testing facility.

  1. Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) & Senior Certified Welding Inspector (SCWI)

The requirements to take this exam are also very simple.

  • Welders must have completed a certification/associate’s degree in welding in combination with relevant experience in the field.
  • The members of the American Welding Society (AWS) must pay $850 to take this exam while, non-members pay $1,065.
  1. Certified Welding Educator (CWE)

The interested candidates must:

  • Submit an application for Certified Welding Educator (CWE) exam.
  • Be working in the field in a full/part-time job as a classroom teacher.
  • Possess a valid welding certification/associate’s degree.
  • Provide a letter of recommendation that depicts their teaching ability.
  • The fee of taking the exams for a member is $635 while, non-members pay $850.
  1. Certified Welding Sales Representative (CWSR)

The interested welders must pay $275 (member) and $355 (non-member) to take this exam.

How Much Does a Welder Make in Pennsylvania?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has stated anannual mean income of Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers as follows:

2016 2017 2018
Annual Mean Salary (US) $42,450 $43,410 $44,360

 

The income chart depicts a gradual increase in the salary of Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers in Pennsylvania between 2016 and 2018. The income was also higher than the national annual mean income of Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers for all three years.