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Become A Welder

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Working As A Welder

  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • $33,392

    Average Salary

What Does A Welder Do

A Welder cuts and joins metals and other materials. They consult blueprints and sketches in order to execute jobs and tasks according to specifications.

How To Become A Welder

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.

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Welder jobs

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Real Welder Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Welder Stevco Bakersfield, CA Aug 31, 2015 $60,189
Welder Excel Storefronts LLC Quincy, MA Jul 04, 2016 $57,782
Welder Excel Storefronts LLC Quincy, MA Jun 12, 2016 $57,554
Welder Hittite Steel Inc. Sterling, VA Dec 09, 2016 $54,267
Welder Retcon Mechanical Corp. Islandia, NY Jun 30, 2016 $53,768
Welder Kunrung, Inc. Springfield, VA Mar 23, 2016 $52,208
Welder Tolan MacHinery Co., Inc. Rockaway, NJ Jul 10, 2016 $52,146
Welder Lemcor Inc. Newark, NJ Oct 26, 2015 $51,626
Welder West Gulf Marine Galveston, TX Aug 10, 2015 $50,565
Welder Gilco Trucking La Fargeville, NY Apr 23, 2015 $49,500
Welder John Santella Welding Inc. Putnam Valley, NY Sep 04, 2015 $49,421
Welder S&J Industrial Corp New York, NY Nov 12, 2014 $49,421
Welder S&J Industrial Corp New York, NY May 15, 2015 $49,421
Welder Iconic Mechanical Services Corp. NY Feb 25, 2016 $49,067
Welder W.S.W. Industrial Maintenance, Inc. Chicago, IL Dec 08, 2014 $43,867
Welder Estate Liquidation Services, Inc. Azusa, CA Dec 15, 2015 $43,430
Welder Custom Bandag Inc. Linden, NJ Oct 16, 2015 $43,389
Welder Thoma-Sea Marine Constructors LLC LA Sep 03, 2014 $43,180
Marine Welder Blue Water Industrial Technologies, L.P. TX Apr 10, 2015 $42,784
Equipment Operator/Welder/Fabricator Blount-Sanford Contracting Company, Inc. Lilburn, GA Jul 03, 2016 $42,349 -
$60,000
Welder Corona Industries Corporation New York, NY Jun 02, 2015 $42,058
Shipbuilding Welders North American Shipbuilding, LLC LA Oct 01, 2013 $41,949
Welder Persona, Inc. Watertown, SD Mar 17, 2015 $31,868
Welder Fehr Metal Buildings Seminole, TX Apr 11, 2015 $31,429
Welder S&C Baker, Inc. Orange Grove, TX Apr 01, 2013 $31,305 -
$41,740
Welder Stainless Stair and Door TX Jul 01, 2014 $31,305
Welder Load Trail, LLC TX Sep 01, 2014 $29,218 -
$37,566
Welder Load Trail, LLC TX Nov 01, 2014 $29,218 -
$37,566

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Top Skills for A Welder

MIGComponentPartsTIGAluminumPlasmaArcSafetyEquipmentStainlessSteelFluxCoreHandToolsCustomerSpecificationsLayoutGmawSmawDrillPressFcawHeavyEquipmentGtawStructuralSteelMildSteelOverheadPositions

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Top Welder Skills

  1. MIG
  2. Component Parts
  3. TIG
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Steel structure erection, read and follow prints, arc weld, mig weld and cut materials as needed.
  • Cleaned, checked for defects and shape component parts.
  • Conducted daily shop and field activities, including the fabrication and installation of watertight shipboard enclosures and flood/waste water containment systems.
  • Fabricate aluminum and diamond plate compartments for ambulances.
  • Fused metal segments, using gas tungsten arc, flux-cored arc, plasma arc and shielded metal arc.

Top Welder Employers

Welder Videos

Welder Apprenticeship Program (TTG)

What is it like to be an apprentice welder?

Welder (Structural), Career Video from drkit.org

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