If you are the type of person that likes to work with your hands and that likes to solve problems in a practical way, then a job as a welder may be worth looking into. You will also need to have a sharp mind and be able to follow rules and guidelines to a tee as a part of this career.
As a welder, you will fill holes and connect the seams of metals together. The job involves more than just welding things together. The first thing that you will do is to read blueprints and other types of specifications. Using these blueprints and specifications, you will calculate dimensions of the materials that are to be welded together. Before any work is done, all the materials to be used are inspected to ensure that they meet all of the required standards. Welding involves the process of starting torches and other types of heating devices that are used in welding materials together. During welding, it is part of the welders job to ensure that the metals are not being overheated. After the process of welding is done, welders will polish and smooth the surfaces that have been welded together. It is also part of the welders job to ensure that all welding equipment and machinery is in good working order.
The average welder salary is around $36,000 a year. This is the same as an hourly salary of $17. The amount that you make will depend largely on how much experience you have in working in a welding environment. The normal starting welder salary is about $24,000 per year or $13 an hour. Once you get some experience working, your salary will increase. The average welder income for someone with five years of experience is $28,000 a year or $15 an hour. By the time that you have ten years of experience you can expect a welder salary of $34,000 per year or $16 hourly. With fifteen years of experience, the welder salary can get into the $42,000 range. This is the same as an hourly income of $20. At the top level of experience, you can expect a welder wage of about $51,000 a year. This is the same as $24 an hour. This salary is available for people with more than twenty years of experience.
The education for a welder varies. Some employers may hire people with no experience and train you on the job or you may need to get a formal education. It will depend upon what places you apply to. Training on the job can take as little as a few weeks to as much as a year. Formal education options are available in high school, vocational and trade schools and community colleges. These courses can take from nine weeks to two years to complete depending which course you decide to attend. You will study topics such as shop mechanics, reading blueprints, drawing, metallurgy and chemistry. Certifications are given in several areas such as soldering, inspection and robotic welding. Certifications are not required state wide, but many employers do require certain certifications.
Welder Work Environment:
The work environment for a welder can be harsh. You will often work in warehouses that may be very hot or very cold. Welders may work inside or outside and be exposed to the elements. Welders often will work mostly on their feet and will use their hands and fingers to push, pull and hold heavy items. You will also need to wear protective gear such as a hard hat, protective gloves, earplugs and more. There is a high level of injures and accidents in this industry. You may have to bend and stoop or get into weird positions in order to weld certain pieces together. There is also a high level of noise in this industry. The stress level can also be high due to deadlines and the need to be highly accurate in your work. Welders generally work overtime and overnight schedules. Schedules can range from eight to twelve hours a day. More than half of all welders work in manufacturing plants and construction plants.
As a welder you will be a part of an exciting and lucrative industry. This is an industry that is also booming right now and the plans for the future show even more expansion is expected. As of 2012, there are currently more than 330,000 welders employed. By 2018, there is an expected fifteen percent increase in jobs being added to the market. This means that there will be a little bit more than 50,000 jobs added to the market. Welders that are highly trained in the most advanced levels of welding will have the most job opportunities in this industry. Relocation may be required as a part of this job.