About the Job

In short, a welder joins metal parts together. They also fill in holes and seams by using high-heat joint equipment. Given the strength of these joints, welders commonly work on ships, cars, and building structures.

What You’ll Do

Welders use construction documents, plans, specifications, and sketches to understand the tasks involved in a project. They calculate the dimensions that they need and inspect structures. Using high-heat torches, they permanently join metal together, while monitoring equipment eliminates overheating or material malfunction.

Qualities and Skills Needed

Detail oriented
Manual dexterity
Physical stamina
Physical strength
Spatial-orientation skills
Technical skills

Education Required

Welders require special training. Some welders complete a few weeks of classes, while others complete postsecondary coursework; others may also combine training and work experience. Many secondary-level technical schools allow aspiring welders to take certification tests, and further training is available in postsecondary institutions such as vocational–technical institutes, community colleges, and private welding, soldering, and brazing schools. The US Armed Forces also maintains welding and soldering schools. Although not always required, many companies require welders to be certified, which can be done via an apprenticeship or at technical school.

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The average starting salary is $32,380. With experience, they can possibly earn up to or over $54,259.