If you ask the average individual what jobs are in high demand, their first response will probably be medical or IT positions. What many people don’t know, however, is that there is another sector of careers on the rise.
Technical jobs and skilled labor careers are in high demand. The need for people in these positions doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. One of the highest demanded jobs in America today is professional welding.
Welders can work in a variety of environments. They can be self-employed, business owners or managers in large corporations. Because there is such variety in the technical career path with so many positions that need to be filled.
So, why should you start a career in welding? With it being one of the fastest-growing jobs in America. Welding Courses are budget-friendly. It’s a career worth checking out. Here are the top 12 reasons why you should take a serious look at becoming a welding professional.
1) Welding Is in High Demand With a Fast Job Growth Rate
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) splits welders up into different sections, but it doesn’t combine them under one category. That is because there are welders working in all sorts of fields. This can be misleading to those who are looking at job growth statistics for welding professions.
Jobs that include welding positions are steelworkers, sheet metal workers, pipefitters and fabricators. Other areas where welders can work are construction, manufacturing, energy, and aerospace. Welding jobs in each of these industries are growing. When you look at the job growth in each of these sectors, you realize the potential of having a job in welding.
2) Score an Easy Scholarship for a Welding Program
To become a skilled welder, the first step is to find an accredited welding program. Most technical colleges will offer a welding program that includes an apprenticeship.
Because there is such a demand for skilled welders, the American Welding Society (AWS) offers scholarships to students enrolling in welding programs. Each year they give over one million dollars in scholarships!
3) Skilled Welders Always Have Work
The demand for professional welders means there is stable work. It is not dependent on a season or a supply of anything. There is always a job that needs to be done.
Once you have welding skills under your belt, you can change job sectors without actually changing your career. You can work with sheet metal for a few years then find a job in sustainable energy or manufacturing.
4) Double Your Salary With Experience and Travel
Many sources will show an average starting salary for welders somewhere between $40,000 to $55,000. But, as you climb the ladder, or work in specific skill positions, you can be making upwards of $100,000!
Highly skilled welders who are open to working in more difficult conditions or who are willing to travel will earn a higher salary. Examples of these careers are underwater welders, military support welders and traveling industrial welders. You can make a great career out of welding if you are willing to expand your skillset.
5) There Are Many Diverse Career Options
Are you a person who likes to shake things up a bit every now and then? With welding, you can choose from a variety of career paths. And, after you acquire certain skills, you can become more marketable for a different job.
You can work in traditional welding jobs with hands-on work such as engineering or manufacturing. Or, if you enjoy teaching and training others, you can become an educator through a technical college or community education. There are also business opportunities in sales, inspection and project management.
6) Travel and Work All Around the Country and World
As you may have noticed with the demand for skilled welders there are many opportunities for jobs around the country and even the world. If you want a job that goes with you and enables you to travel, then welding is a solid choice.
Travel welding jobs provide a higher salary and require a more specific skill set. You could work on building and repairing ships, where they actually provide housing for their welders. Welders are also needed for pit crews of motorsports as they travel with the racing teams. There are endless opportunities for traveling welders.
7) Be Marketable for Sustainable Energy Jobs
The world is turning toward renewable energy sources. Most green energy is harvested from solar panels and wind turbines. Welders will be in high demand for any renewable energy equipment as most of these units are made of metal.
Some professions work directly with one type of sustainable energy. As a welder, your skills can be marketed toward any green energy sector. This allows you to change with the flexibility of the market and its demands.
8) Have Your Own Welding Business
Are you looking to have a skill that allows you to work independently and run your own business? Welding is a great skill for that. Many welders open their own business.
Having your own business means making your own hours and being your own boss. You can hire more welders to work with you to become more profitable. By specializing in specific types of welding you could market your services to high demand projects.
9) Welding Equipment Is Relatively Inexpensive
Compared to many other trade jobs, welding equipment is more affordable. The overhead cost to start your career in welding is reasonably low. If you work for a company they will often provide all the equipment you need. But, you always have the option to buy your own.
To start your own business in welding is fairly cheap. Some basic equipment you would need to start would be a welder, safety helmets, gloves, and aprons. You can buy all of this equipment for less than $1000.
10) Gender and Age-inclusive Career Choice
Welding is a trade career that often doesn’t include a lot of labor-intensive work. This means that most people can be a successful welder with proper training. Unlike some other skilled labor, welding welcomes women and men of any age.
The amount of women welders in the US is growing each year. Scientifically speaking, women usually have better dexterity for fine, detail work with welding. What’s great about welding is women or older professionals can also handle heavy metal welding. Welding isn’t dependent on simple muscle strength but more so on detail and expertise.
11) Make and Sell Your Own Creations
Artisan-made online marketplaces are huge nowadays. Etsy, for example, is a great place to sell your own welding creations. If you do some research online you’ll see all sorts of furniture, home decor, and lighting fixtures made by welders. You can make good money by selling unique items from your own garage!
12) There Are Always New Skills to Add to Your Resume
Welding is an ever-growing career. New types of welding techniques and new infrastructure are constantly coming up. You will never get bored as you can learn as much as you want with each advancement in the industry. Mastering new welding skills will pump up your resume and enable you to get higher-paying jobs. The future is bright for welders!
What Type of Welding Is the Best for You?
Blacksmiths have been around for centuries. The industry has constantly evolved and expanded. There are so many different types of welding career paths. The question is which one is best for you?
Before looking into a career path, it’s good to know the different types of welding in the industry. From knowing different welding skills, you can be more marketable for a variety of jobs. Here are the most common types of welding techniques:
a) MIG — Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
GMAW requires a shielding gas that is supplied externally. This method reduces waste and is the easiest technique to learn. The welder equipment, however, can be more expensive than other methods.
b) TIG — Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)
TIG also uses an external gas supply, but the advantage of using this type of welding is the ability to weld thin materials. The design of the welding equipment also reduces falling debris. TIG Welding is the most commonly used in welding today because it offers high purity and a smooth weld.
c) Stick — Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
Stick welding is a good option because it is portable and low cost. It doesn’t need an external gas supply, so you can use SMAW outside. It can also be used on rusted metals.
d) Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
FCAW is one of the least expensive methods. It creates less waste and fewer fumes compared to other techniques. Although it is easy to master, the finish of the weld isn’t as smooth as some others.
e) Energy Beam Welding (EBW)
With EBW you can join different types of metal together, even ones that have different melting points. That’s nearly impossible to do with other techniques. It also helps you weld a thick material to a thin one.
f) Atomic Hydrogen Welding (AHW)
AHW is used mostly to weld tungsten. When using this technique, the material becomes very heat resistant. It can make a strong weld without causing damage to the metal.
g) Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
This type of welding is the more difficult skill to master. Gas Tungsten Arc Welding can be very time consuming because you need to watch the connection between the flame and the material very closely. It mostly used for welding bicycles and aircraft.
h) Plasma Arc Welding
This is the most common weld for aircraft welding. Plasma Arc welding gives a deep and strong weld but is not really useful for many types of material. It is similar to Gas Tungsten-Arc welding.
Common Welding Careers
Now that you have a taste of the various types of welding methods you can begin looking at your career options. Some will be your basic shop welding but others will be in interesting locations and require greater skill. There are many opportunities for professional welders!
i) Structural Steel Welder
Steelworkers help build large and small structures. They are often called ironworkers as they are welding iron reinforcements. This job can be found in construction, mining, shipbuilding, aerospace and more.
ii) Sheet Metal Worker
This position creates, repairs and installs sheet metal. They need to know a variety of welding methods depending on the material they are working with. This job is usually a part of construction builds or HVAC repairs.
Being one of the highest demanded welding jobs, pipefitters must be skilled welders. They work in the gas and water utility industry. Their job is to bend and fit pipes to structural blueprints.
iv) Rig Welder
Welders are a crucial part of the team on oil and gas rigs. Rig welders build and maintain entire rigs. This job is an on-site job so that welders can respond in case of an emergency.
v) Underwater Welder
This welding career is the most dangerous, but can also be the highest pay. Underwater welder work in deep-sea conditions under heavy aquatic pressure. They repair pipelines, oil drilling rigs, and nuclear power facilities.
vi) Industrial Shutdown Welder
When equipment has heavy pressure and tension on it for long periods of time, a facility will need to completely shut down for maintenance and repair. Specific welders are hired for these maintenance calls. Sometimes these shutdowns can last weeks or even months.
Welders make boilers, which are used to hold hot water or gases. Boilermakers assemble, install and repair boilers, vats and other large vessels. They will work in boiler rooms with high heat and humidity.
Welding Offers Endless Career Opportunities
Whether you want to work in your hometown or travel the world, welding can be an excellent career choice. Many welders get scholarships to fund their schooling and find the education experience very hands-on.
With education and experience, welding careers provide a lot of potential for career advancement. You won’t find yourself in a dead-end job if you are willing to learn new skills or switch jobs. Welding could be your open door to a higher salary and excellent job security!