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A high school diploma or equivalent combined with technical and on-the-job training is typically required to become a welder, cutter, solderer, or brazer.Education & Training
A high school diploma or equivalent combined with technical and on-the-job training is typically required to become a welder, cutter, solderer, or brazer. High school technical education courses and postsecondary institutions, such as vocational–technical institutes, community colleges, and private welding, soldering, and brazing schools offer formal technical training. In addition, the U.S. Armed Forces operate welding and soldering schools.
Courses in blueprint reading, shop mathematics, mechanical drawing, physics, chemistry, and metallurgy are helpful.
An understanding of electricity also is helpful, and knowledge of computers is gaining importance as welding, soldering, and brazing machine operators become more responsible for programming robots and other computer-controlled machines.
Although numerous employers are willing to hire inexperienced entry-level workers and train them on the job, many prefer to hire workers who have been through training or credentialing programs. Even entry-level workers with formal technical training still receive several months of on-the-job training.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Courses leading to certification are offered at many welding schools. For example, the American Welding Society offers the Certified Welder and Certified Welding Fabricator designations.
Some welding positions require general certification in welding or certification in specific skills, such as Certified Welding Inspector or Certified Robotic Arc Welding.
The Institute for Printed Circuits offers certification and training in soldering. In industries such as aerospace and defense, which need highly skilled workers, many employers require these certifications. Certification can show mastery of lead-free soldering techniques, which are important to many employers.
Some employers pay the cost of training and testing for employees.Important Qualities
Detail oriented. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers perform precision work, often with straight edges and minimal flaws. The ability to see details and characteristics of the joint and detect changes in molten metal flows requires good eyesight and attention to detail.
Manual dexterity. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers must have a steady hand to hold a torch in one place. Workers must also have good hand-eye coordination.
Physical stamina. The ability to endure long periods of standing or repetitious movements is important for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers.
Physical strength. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers must be in good physical condition. They often must lift heavy pieces of metal and move welding or cutting equipment, and sometimes bend, stoop, or reach while working.
Spatial-orientation skills. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers must be able to read, understand, and interpret two- and three-dimensional diagrams in order to fit metal products correctly.
Technical skills. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers must be able to operate manual or semiautomatic welding equipment to fuse metal segments.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Metal Fabricator
Top Careers After Metal Fabricator
Hispanic or Latino10.7%
Black or African American0.5%
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Fox Valley Technical College10.1%
University of Phoenix9.1%
Ferris State University8.1%
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College7.1%
Universal Technical Institute5.1%
Owens Community College4.0%
Texas Tech University4.0%
Boise State University4.0%
Tulsa Welding School4.0%
Salt Lake Community College4.0%
Moraine Park Technical College4.0%
Hennepin Technical College4.0%
John Tyler Community College4.0%
Greenville Technical College4.0%
Mesa Community College - Boswell3.0%
Walla Walla Community College3.0%
Wayne State University3.0%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Structural Metal Fabricator||Les Metalliers Champenois Corp.||Paterson, NJ||Jun 10, 2008||$83,480|
|Structural Metal Fabricator/Fitter||Promet Marine Services Corp.||Providence, RI||Aug 15, 2008||$57,393|
|Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters||Malone Industrial MacHine, Ltd||Pasadena, TX||Oct 06, 2010||$50,088|
|Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters||Liberty Iron Works, Inc.||Southampton, NY||May 08, 2012||$50,066|
|Artisan Metal Fabricator||Imperium Construction, Inc.||New York, NY||Oct 08, 2016||$46,966|
|Metal Fabricator/Fitter||Thomas & Sons Builders, LLC, (D/B/A T& S Builders)||New Milford, NJ||Aug 02, 2016||$46,030|
|Structural Metal Fabricator and Fitter||M & S Sanitation Corp.||Florida, NY||Jun 21, 2011||$43,597|
|Structural Metal Fabricators & Fitters||County Glass & Metal Installers, Inc.||Hackensack, NJ||Oct 19, 2010||$42,846|
|Metal Fabricators, Structural Metal Products||Cooper Tank & Welding Corp.||New York, NY||Nov 17, 2010||$42,702|
|Structural Metal Fabricator and Fitters||Hutco, Inc.||Moss Point, MS||Feb 15, 2015||$42,617|
|Structural Metal Fabricator||AJAY Metal Fabricators, Inc.||Linden, NJ||Oct 15, 2007||$41,740|
|Structural Metal Fabricators & Fitters||Misivike Contractors, Inc.||Cockeysville, MD||May 10, 2011||$41,135 -
|Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters||Rauch's Sons Inc.||NY||Nov 18, 2009||$40,780|
|Structural Metal Fabricators||Universal Ornamental Iron Works||Santa Ana, CA||Nov 02, 2010||$32,822|
|Metal Fabricator||King-Penberthy Enterprises Inc.||Bell Gardens, CA||Apr 13, 2015||$32,635|
|Metal Fabricator||AIW, Inc.||Hyattsville, MD||May 22, 2009||$32,578|
|Metal Fabricator||AIW, Inc.||Hyattsville, MD||Apr 30, 2009||$32,578|
|Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters||Erection & Welding Contractors LLC||New Milford, CT||Nov 20, 2007||$32,578|
|Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters||F & C Professional Aluminum Railings Corp.||Plainfield, NJ||Oct 22, 2012||$32,536|
|Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters||American Building LLC||Trumbull, CT||Jul 07, 2008||$32,515|
|Strctural Metal Fabricators and Fitters||Caldwell Industries, Inc.||Lorton, VA||Dec 10, 2010||$32,286|
|Metal Fabricator||Americas Welding Corp.||TX||Feb 06, 2014||$30,971|
|Metal Fabricators||CVC Construction, Inc.||TX||Mar 06, 2014||$30,846|
|Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters||Crystal Window & Door Systems, Ltd.||NY||Oct 26, 2009||$30,800|
|Metal Fabricators||All American Metal Fabricators Inc.||Tenafly, NJ||Feb 18, 2011||$30,721|
|Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters||Anthonys Roofing & Maint., Inc. DBA A.R.M Roofing||Elmsford, NY||Jan 07, 2010||$30,700|
|Structural Metal Fabricators and FI||CCR Sheet Metal Inc.||New York, NY||Apr 15, 2011||$30,700|
|Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters||Metal Crafters Inc.||New York, NY||Dec 22, 2009||$30,700|
|Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters||Wide Flange, Incorporated||New York, NY||Mar 16, 2010||$30,700|
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