If you’re looking for a hands-on career away from the typical desk or cubicle, welding might be the right choice for you. A welder is a professional with the training and education necessary for heating metals to combine them for various projects. To become a professional welder, you’ll need to complete a certification program and get hands-on experience working with commercial-grade welding supplies in a supervised environment.
Welding can quickly become a dangerous profession if you aren’t following the proper safety procedures, considering how often you’re using plasma torches and other similar tools to create heat upwards of 25,000 degrees Celsius. However, once you have a handle on the
proper regulations and best practices for your tools, you’ll be able to build and repair everything from buildings to bridges to military aircraft. A career in welding is generally very flexible, which means there are plenty of industries to choose from when searching for a job.
For many people, welding is just a hobby. However, for those who are ready to take their interest in welding to the next level, there are plenty of careers available for the taking, ranging from a welding pipe liner to a welding engineer. There are even dedicated careers in professions such as underwater welding and robot welding, which require highly specialized knowledge, experience, and certification. But which career in welding is the right fit for you? In this article, we’ll outline your journey towards becoming a professional welder and working on projects that you’re genuinely passionate about.
Before proceeding with certification or other education programs related to welding, you’ll want to review the careers available in welding to find one you think will be a good fit. While a general certification in welding is all that’s needed for many careers using this trade, there are still plenty more jobs out there that require specialized certification. If you know what kind of career you’re looking for, you’ll then know where to turn in terms of accreditation.
The various types of welding careers one can pursue are:
A welding fabricator creates and fuses metal pieces for all manner of construction and building projects, in a variety of industries. The career ensures the building materials fit perfectly, are in a positive state of repair, and are for construction industry purposes, safe for the likes of buildings, bridges, and vehicles. A basic welding certification and apprenticeship are usually all that’s needed to get started with this career.
Welders who can work with pipelines are a valuable asset for industrial processing companies, nature resource providers, and public infrastructure building companies. Oil companies, in particular, are looking for welding professionals with experience in working with pipelines to ensure that there are no spill accidents, either on land or at sea. Certain certification providers may provide specialized education in pipeline welding- make sure to review all your options before selecting a program.
Welding engineers manage all manner of metalwork construction and fabrication projects for companies and ensure that all building components are up to code. Welding engineers help to ensure the safety and security of entire buildings, bridges, or other infrastructure projects, often working closely with an architect or other mechanical engineer. To begin a career as a welding engineer, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in welding engineering. For those who are truly dedicated to this career, there are also master’s degrees available that follow the same subject.
An underwater welder has the tools and knowledge necessary to perform arc welding projects as deep as 200 feet underwater. For the most part, an underwater welder works in an open water environment, often many miles from the shore. To become an underwater welder or welding engineer, you’ll need commercial diving certification in addition to specialized underwater welding qualifications and education.
There are plenty of careers in welding other than the ones listed above- if you’re not seeing the type of career you’re looking for here, consider visiting the Careers in Welding . There are plenty of helpful career profiles, information on the experience and educational requirements for specific positions, and average pay figures.
Once you’ve decided on a career pathway, it’s time to research education and certification opportunities. The right welding certification will arm you with the knowledge and experience necessary to complete all commercial building and repair tasks involving complex metalwork. It will also set you up for working within a specialized role involving welding, such as resistance welding, underwater welding, or robotic arc welding.
The American Welding Society (AWS) is usually an excellent place to start when you’re looking to take up welding as a profession- the organization provides all the relevant information regarding welding.
Part of any welder’s educational experience should include hands-on experience in working with welding tools in a professional environment. Many certification programs offer conjoined apprenticeship programs to help you get started in your career. To get started in working in an apprenticeship position, you’ll need a certification, and of course, a passion for welding. Once you’ve completed this component of your welding education, you’ll be free to consider all manner of welding careers.
Welding careers are typically full-time jobs for larger commercial companies, with average entry-level salaries around $18-20 an hour. These careers are available in almost all regions in the United States, though states such as Philadelphia, Michigan and Texas often have the most openings available for job-seekers. Make sure to list all of your technical achievements, prior work experience, and certifications on your resume to better ensure that you’ll find a career matching your specific skills and experience.
If you have made it till here, you have gained the necessary insights to start off a career in welding. Make sure you have the required amount of passion and perseverance to pay off well to this demanding industry.