Is welding a good career?
There are many job paths to choose from, and people often wonder if welding is a good career. Welding is a tough job that requires skill and patience and is not for those looking for something easy and cushy. However, there are many advantages to welding and a host of benefits available that make welding a preferred profession over other trades for many.
By the time a person reaches high school, many have already considered a career path they may want to take once school is finished. While some may consider careers in medicine, teaching, construction or even the hospitality industry, many may overlook a career in welding. Welding, however, can be a lucrative career to think about, especially for those that may want to find a wide array of job opportunities or those who like to travel.
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It is important to work with a welder when you first start off to ensure that you understand the process, but it gives you an idea of what to expect for your welding career. Reaching out to welding businesses or individual welders in the local area can often lead a person to internships or other entry-level positions where they can learn the trade while building a stable career.
So, is welding a good career? Welding is an excellent career, and welders commonly praise their profession and extol the many benefits they get from welding as a career. Overall, if you can handle extreme conditions, long hours, and smoke and fire regularly, a career in welding can be rewarding. Lots of welders enjoy their work and everything it offers, and you can be one of them.
Those that choose to weld as a career are attracted to the trade because of the work, which many enjoy, and the income from wages, which are usually high. Full-time welders are well-paid and sought after, and benefits like health insurance and dental coverage are also part of many companies' packages which employ welders.
If you wonder if a career in welding is good, talk to welders and see how they feel about it, or speak to those in industries that support and hire welders to see what the field is all about. You can also seek welding instructors or guidance counsellors at community colleges that offer welding instruction and talk to them on the phone or one-on-one to develop a better idea of what a welding career is like.
If you’re interested in welding as a career, you’ve come to the right place. We love welding and know how brilliant a career choice it is, but it’s not for everyone. Like every option in life, there is a good and a bad side to it, and you shouldn’t make a decision until you have an honest opinion of both sides.
A welder is a mechanical trades worker who joins and cuts metal parts by applying heat. This is done with either hand-held or remotely controlled welding machines. Welders also fill holes, fix indentations, or smooth out seams in metal products. Welders can usually apply their skills to many different sectors, making it easy for them to switch from one industry to another. If a welder is willing to travel, they can simply go where they’re needed the most.
Are you interested in a career that allows you to work with your hands and build things? If so, you might be wondering if welding is the right choice for you.
What are the reasons why welding is a great career choice?
It’s easy to get into
Becoming a welder requires no formal education, and sometimes, not even experience. The more you know, the better, but it’s a great trade because you can start from the bottom in a workshop and learn it all on the job.
If you’re really eager, you can even learn how to weld at home with a bit of online help, and then, with enough practice, start your own business from home. Read 6 Side Gig Jobs for Welders to find out more.
There’s a huge demand for welders
Everywhere in the world needs welders, and most places need more of them than are available. This makes welding a great trade, as you’ll never be out of work opportunities if you have a decent work ethic.
Even if World War III comes, while most other people will lose their jobs and could be forced to learn a new kind of work that supports their military, all the welders can carry on welding, just in a different field. That’s what happened in World War II.
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It’s easy to climb the ladder
Because there is such demand for welders, it’s easy to advance in the welding industry. With big demand comes more work, and with more work comes more opportunity if you’re career-driven to get a higher position.
For every few welders, there needs to be someone to manage them. This means you can weld while having a team under you working on projects you’re assigned. It’s not uncommon to find people straight out of apprenticeships being assigned workers to manage.
It’s enjoyable to work
Aside from the fact that there are many phenomenal opportunities with welding, it’s simply enjoyable. We love welding, and we know most other welders enjoy it too.
The challenge of weaving a weld to create a strong and beautiful-looking section is fulfilling. The satisfaction never seems to get old in transforming a few bits of metal into an incredible project that looks great and is useful for its specific purpose.
How much is the pay for welders?
Welding is no get-rich-quick scheme, but if you stick at it for even a short time, you can earn some good coin. Entry-level welders earn $40,000 a year on average, and the increase continues regularly, up to between $50,000 to $500,000 with experience in a good field.
Although welding itself pays pretty well, the opportunity for so many different welding positions due to huge demand means options for you to gain more income. The better you get at welding, the more you can earn. The more welders you start managing under you, the more you will earn as well.
In 2016, welders made between $26,800 and $62,100 a year. Where welders work, whether or not they have welding training and welder certification, and their experience and skill level can all make a difference in how much a welder makes. Taking on risks and being willing to travel can also affect income. For example, industrial pipeline welders, underwater welders, and military support welders can all earn six-figure salaries.
Does a career that offers opportunities to increase your income sound good? Welding could be the job for you.
Can you go around the world as a welder?
If you want to experience life in unique cultures while still earning an income, welding is an ideal trade for you. Because welding processes are similar around the world, and there is a demand for skilled welders in most countries, it’s easy to get jobs abroad.
Most jobs will require you to stay a little while, but that’s the best way to see a country and experience its culture. There is also lots more to learn if you go to a different country to broaden your welding scope. There could be projects you work on abroad that you could never work on in your home country.
Whether it is the ocean floor or outer space, welding is needed everywhere. As a welder, you can enjoy great travelling opportunities. Welders who travel to different job sites are called ‘Road Warriors”. This work makes for much more than just a career. It is a way of life. Such professionals often travel to remote locations as part of their job. They get to visit exciting places, eat out, meet new people and more. And they are paid well.
Can welding be a part-time job as an extra income?
If you’d prefer to stay locally and want to save up some extra cash, welding a great trade for earning some income on the side. From running a part-time welding service to manufacturing your own products, to contract work on your holidays, there are plenty of options to earn as much as your full-time job and more, just by some side gig work.
Is it good to start your own business?
Just as starting part-time work on the side is easy, turning that into a full-time welding business is much easier than starting other types of companies. There is the potential to set up a growing company that provides you with a massive salary while giving other welders working opportunities.
Welding is an excellent option if you’re entrepreneurial.
Where can you apply your valuable skills as a welder?
The work within a workshop is very satisfying, and there are plenty of skills you’ll learn on the job that helps in everyday life.
Obviously, being able to do your own welding at home on private projects or help out friends is great. The mechanical aspect of a welder’s job will also teach you skills useful for working on cars, doing work on your house and property, and benefiting your fishing or hunting pursuits.
Whatever else you spend your time doing, the practical skills learned in a workshop make life outside the workshop easier and more fun.
What are the learnings you can have in welding?
The welding industry is so diverse. There are many different metals you can learn to weld, and the types of projects seem to be endless. Some workshops may focus on a narrow range of fabricating, while others do many different kinds. Overall, the range throughout the welding industry is enormous. You only have to work for a few different companies over a lifetime to experience an incredible amount of diversity.
Variety keeps things interesting, while the familiarity of the weld itself, regardless of the type of metal or the welding process you’re using, is similar for ease of learning. Repetition is the key to understanding, but too much repetition is boring and tiresome. With welding, you can become amazing at your job through the repetition of the welds themselves, while still experiencing a vast range of differences in your work and environment.
Where can you apply as a welder?
Industrial Maintenance and Shutdown
Welders who carry out maintenance and shutdown work in the industry have to travel widely as industrial plants, factories, and industries are in far-flung places.
Industrial shutdowns can take from a few days to several weeks. They require skilled technicians, engineers, and welders. Most welders usually travel within a 1000 mile radius from home for such jobs. During a typical year, welders can spend six months working and travelling, while the remaining months are taken off. Hence, a welding career offers a good balance of work and leisure.
Ship Building and Repair
The shipbuilding industry has such an essential requirement for welders that it has devoted entire communities to these professionals. When fulfilling massive projects, shipyards need to hire many welders as independent contractors. Also, shipyards offer plenty of training programs and apprenticeship opportunities for fitters and welders.
At shipyards, you may have to work on many vessels, ranging from small research craft to large aircraft carriers and supertankers. Depending on the scale of the project, the job may last a few weeks to years. Welders may have to travel to major ports across the world to work on such projects. The beauty of the shipbuilding industry is that you never know where you will be working next. One month, you could be in Japan, and the next month you could be in the US.
The military always needs the support of skilled technicians and professional welders to carry out its operations. Military-based welding work is typically done by contracting companies that specialize in maintaining military hardware and infrastructure. Jobs include outfitting vehicles, repairing tanks, and constructing pipelines.
Welders working for the military can be stationed close to home. They may even work at remote military bases in Guam, Diego Garcia, Afghanistan, and other places. Warzones are a dangerous environment for welders. But the risk is matched by the highly rewarding pay.
On-Board Cruise Liner Maintenance
Life can be a fantastic cruise when working on a luxury ocean liner. In this job, you must remain on board the ship for emergency repairs and routine maintenance. Welders are always needed to carry out repairs on pipes, engine rooms, and other facilities onboard the vessel. As the ship travels to exotic locales, you will also get to explore the world. You can travel to new countries every few months or weeks. Such welding professionals earn excellent pay and other great benefits. These benefits include chef-prepared meals, luxury accommodation, and other amenities that most people can only dream of. What is a once in a lifetime opportunity may become an everyday reality for you.
Pipe Line Work and Repair
Welders are required wherever new pipeline networks are being installed. They are even needed for existing pipeline installations to carry out maintenance and emergency repairs.
You may have to travel to remote mineral-rich places like Alaska and Canada. Pipeline welders can travel as far as the project takes them. If you are lucky enough, your company may even arrange vacations and holidays to and from your country.
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Most of us have watched NASCAR and other motorsports events on television. But few people know that racing teams travel with welders, besides pit crews. Welding is an integral part of motorsports since many metal parts and panels are often customs made. Most racing teams entirely custom build their cars. Welding is necessary for such extensive fabrication and installation.
Therefore, welding professionals can travel wherever their racing teams go. It is an excellent opportunity to get involved in a sport that many people love. You can take satisfaction in preparing your dream team for victory. Imagine the bragging rights and admiration you will earn for working on the winning car.
In this field, you can work anywhere right down to the bottom of the oceans around the world. You can visit places and go down to depths that few people have the privilege of seeing.
As you can expect, underwater welders can travel globally and even work in the US. If you are a good diver, expert welder and will travel, then your skills will be in high demand worldwide. You will need an additional valuable skill: diving. You can join a commercial diving school to gain diving proficiency.
Should You Pursue a Career in Welding?
There’s no one-size-fits-all career. Certain job duties, schedules, and settings work better for some people than others. See how the different qualities of a career in welding stack up for you.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment of welders will grow at a rate of 6 percent through 2026. This is about as fast as average for all professions in the country. Welders will be needed in the manufacturing sector to make essential products. They’ll also play a big part in rebuilding important infrastructures like buildings, highways, and bridges. Those with up-to-date welding training should have the best job prospects.
The availability of jobs and the industry outlook are important considerations when choosing a career path. The welding industry is hiring. But, welding training could help set you apart from other job applicants.
What are the job duties of a welder?
What do welders do? Welders use over 100 different processes to manipulate metal. They use remotely controlled or hand-held equipment, for example, welding guns and torches, to bond or cut metal parts. Filling holes, seams, and indentations in metal products also fall within the scope of their work.
If you like working with your hands and seeing projects through from start to finish, welding could be a nice fit. Welders spend a lot of time on their feet, so it can also be a good career if you want to stay active while you work. Maybe one of the biggest perks of being a welder, though, is the personal satisfaction of making the products and structures people rely on everyday across the country.
What is the work schedule of a welder?
A full-time work schedule is common for welders. Many also clock overtime hours. Jobs in manufacturing can offer flexibility because welders can often choose between day or night shifts.
If you’re looking for the type of income that comes along with full-time, and even overtime, work, welding could be a good option. The flexible scheduling could also be helpful for those with families.
What should be the work settings of the welder?
Because welding is used in so many industries, these tradespeople can work in a wide range of places. Manufacturing is the top employer of welders, so many workers work in factories. Many also work in construction. But, some welders work for NASA and NASCAR. Others, for example, pipeline welders, fuse metals on ships, deep under the sea, and in other countries as part of military support teams.
If you’d pick one of these worksites over an office any day, welding might just be the career for you.
How long should the training be in welding?
The path to a career in welding is typically shorter than for many other types of occupations. For example, welding training at a vocational school can take seven months. Becoming a mechanical engineer generally requires four years or more of study for a bachelor’s degree. Some welders learn the trade on the job, but employers usually would rather hire those with formal welder training.
Welding certification is also necessary for some welding jobs. Welding programs, employers, and industry organizations are common places for welders to get certified. Studying for and taking a test is usually part of the process. Find out more about how long it takes to become a welder.
If four years or more of college isn’t for you, mechanical trades training for welding can offer quick entry into a career. Instruction is largely practical. This can be good for hands-on learners.
Why Become a Welder?
A career in welding can have much to offer. The work is hands-on and active. There are opportunities for travel and career advancement in a field with a strong outlook. And, welders can make a difference in their country by having a hand in its construction or making essential products.