Career Advice on How to Become a Welder, Cutter, Solderer or Brazer

General Career Information

Welding and its related fields are hot and often dangerous jobs. Welding involves using heat to melt and fuse pieces together. This technique is involved in almost every aspect of the manufacturing industry, ranging from shipbuilding, to aerospace. While there are differences in the techniques used between welders, cutters, solderers and brazers, all use energy-based tools such as an electric arc or plasma to either cut or fuse metal together. For those in the middle of a job search, make sure you understand this career very well when doing your career planning. This job is definitely not for everyone.

Career Facts:

There are many vocational schools that can train one to become a welder. Courses include blueprint reading and a basic understanding of metallurgy. Computers are increasingly finding a place within the industry. Robotic welders and computer-controlled machines are likewise becoming increasingly commonplace. 

Those people who are in the process of a job search or are currently career planning should be aware that this career could be a demanding one. Obviously, welding can be a very hot job, which can be very demanding year round, but especially during the summer.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook-Fair:

The job outlook for welders is fair. The numbers are expected to remain fairly stable. In 2006, there were 462,000 welders in the United States. This number is expected to grow by about five percent by 2016. 
Welders who earn Bachelor’s degrees can advance to be welding engineers. With enough experience, a welder can become a supervisor or an instructor.
Job Outlook is Fair  

A Day in The Life:

Being a welder is a rough job. There is just no way around it. You are working with a torch or arc welder that is hot and dangerous. Often you are expected to hold your body in strange positions for extended periods of time. 
And did we mention the pressure? If you screw up it can cost serious money. All of this fun, for about $15 dollars per hour? That’s right, folks. You can have this fantastically rewarding, hot, sweaty and dangerous job for $10 per hour.
The top-ten percent of welders only make about $22 per hour. Considering all that is involved in the job, most people won’t want to be a welder. You have to stop for a moment and consider the fact that a welder is often working with dangerous materials, and the job is physically demanding.

Average Salary:

The fact that the average welder makes about $15 is a little hard to fathom. This is a tough job for the money. A much higher pay would be nice for the pressure and inherent danger of the work.

$30k - $33k


Career Training and Qualifications:

Most welders are trained at welding schools, vocational schools or community colleges. Some welders may have received their training in the military. There are some specialized types of welding that require certification from the American Welding Society.
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