If you’re interested in turning your passion for welding into a career, there are plenty of education and work opportunities accessible in almost every region of the country. Welding applies to a wide range of industries, from automotive production to oil and natural gas drilling. To develop the skills necessary for these careers and get your hands on professional-grade welding supplies, you’ll usually need to attend a welding education program and complete an apprenticeship. Welding ultimately plays a vital role in the infrastructure of American society, which means there are very few jobs that are as reliable and rescission-resistant.
Ready to start a career that’s in demand and doesn’t require you to sit at a desk all day? Welding and welding project management might be the perfect job for you. Pay for welding jobs is usually flexible. Experienced individuals, depending on their employer and position, can sometimes earn upwards of $100,000 a year. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the career options you have for putting your passion for welding to good use. We’ll also look at how to get started with welding as a career and identify the training modules that will best prepare you for these careers.
How to Start a Welding Career
Ready to put your interest in welding to use in the workplace? You’ll need to complete an education and certification program, followed by an apprenticeship or professional workplace training role. The in-demand nature of these careers means that there are plenty of resources to help you get started and learn more about welding today.
Identifying Career Opportunities
Before beginning an education or apprenticeship program, you’ll first need to know what kind of welding you want to do on a professional scale. If you’re interested in simple MIG and TIG operations, you may want to investigate welding technician and pipefitter roles. If you’re looking for something more adventurous, you may want to consider underwater or aerospace welding roles.
If project management and oversight sound exciting to you, and you already have some formal welding experience or training, you may want to consider careers as a welding inspector or a welding research scientist. Not every welding career will be available immediately following the completion of your certification. In short, there are plenty of opportunities for growth, adventure, and financial stability. To help you find the right career fit, review the AWS Careers in Welding Profiles page.
Education and Certifications
Welding careers rarely require a bachelor’s degree or completion of a four-year education program. That means you can often completely avoid going into debt before you start your career. Most welding education programs require you to begin learning welding with trade school classes. There are plenty of educational programs throughout the country that can help you get started with your career with general welding courses.
If you’re interested in a specialized form of weldings, such as aerospace or underwater welding, you can often take specific educational programs that can help you develop the necessary skillset. In the case of underwater welding, you may also need a professional diving certificate. Education for a career in welding can usually be completed within a year and can sometimes be completed in as little as six months.
Apprenticeships and Workplace Training
After completing your welding education program, you may need to complete a formal apprenticeship before receiving the certification necessary for starting a formal career. The requirements may vary significantly depending on the type of welding you want to do. Organizations like the American Welding Society can help you connect with these essential learning opportunities within the welding workplace.
Careers in Welding
Welding is a valuable skill for working in a wide range of industries. From construction and building maintenance to pipelining, natural resource management, and industrial production, there’s truly a wide range of opportunities for turning your passion for welding into a valuable lifelong career.
Automobile Production and Construction
Welding is a crucial process for combining automotive parts, and as such, it defines the kind of technicians car companies are looking for in assembling and repairing their products. The scale of industrial production within the automotive industry is immense, which means you’ll need to know a range of welding techniques, from MIG and TIG to SMAW welding.
If automotive production doesn’t sound like the right fit for you, but you’re still looking for a career in a similar type of operation, you may want to consider looking into aerospace welding. This career path requires in-depth knowledge of orbital welding. Rail and maritime weldings are other common forms of work and employment for those who are interested in working in transportation.
Infrastructure Construction and Maintenance
Welding together metal building components and construction materials is sometimes a way of directly supporting your local community by working on assembling your town or city’s public and private infrastructure, from bridges to office buildings to dams. There are also quite a few roles within this industry for individuals seeking a career that focuses more on welding project management and quality assurance than its technical application.
Energy and Natural Resource Companies
Oil drilling and other common forms of resource gathering require significant pipeline infrastructure. As a welding professional within this industry, you’ll have the opportunity to ensure that all aspects of this infrastructure are up-to-date and reliable. Careers in welding are also available for individuals interested in working in the agricultural industry. Companies that manage, gather, and sell natural resources are also the type of companies that tend to hire the most underwater welders.
Conclusion- How to Start a Professional Welding Career
Welding is a valuable trade skill that can easily lead you towards a reliable, high-paying career that you don’t need a bachelor’s degree to start. There is a wide range of employment opportunities across several industries, from transportation to manufacturing and energy.