Welder Career Working Environment
Welding is physical and strenuous labor, and welders can work up to 70 hours per week. Overtime is common, as project managers rush to complete construction. Hours are usually at least somewhat regular, although some factories work around the clock. Welders wear protective clothing, including eye protection, safety shoes, hoods and sometimes helmets to keep themselves safe. Modern labor laws dictate that they work in well-ventilated areas. However, other dangers still apply. The arc emits a potentially hazardous light, and fumes and burns can still sometimes be a safety issue.
Welders typically earn about $18 an hour (in 2011). The lowest ten percent earned less than $11.78 an hour, while the highest-paid earned over $26.56. The highest-paying industry for welders is Ship and Boat building. A worker's wage typically fluctuates depending on where they live and work.
Welder Career Future Job Outlook
Those who are skilled should find excellent opportunities, as these skill levels match those of people who opt to go to a traditional college or work in less extreme conditions. Job openings for welders grow at about the typical rate of the economy. However, the industry is at the mercy of those industries that are dependent on welders, and vice versa. A downturn in the auto industry, for example, directly affects the thousands whose work feeds into that economy. Many welders work on government infrastructure projects, so less funding for these means fewer jobs. But on the whole, the outlook for welders in the next ten years is good.
Welder Career Required Training
Because welders work at all different levels, there are numerous ways to be trained in this field. Many high schools offer training, as do community colleges, trade schools, vocational-technical institutes and, of course, welding schools. The Armed Forces also offer this skill to soldiers. Certification is obtained by taking a test in which a worker welds test specimens according to certain standards and codes. Again, many welders find work with only the most rudimentary training, but careers advance as a welder's education similarly progresses.
Schools to Consider:
- Tulsa, OK
- Orlando, FL
- Sanford, FL
- Warwick, RI
- Hazleton, PA
- Ravenna, OH
- Smyrna, GA
- Erie, PA
- Virginia Beach, VA
- Norfolk, VA
Welder Career Specializations
Welders are typically acquainted with several types of welding so that they will be prepared for their next job, but the most common type is arc welding. This is the process of using an electrical current to quickly heat and cool two types of metal. Automated welding is becoming more widely used. In this instance, a machine does the labor while under the supervision of a welding machine operator. Many welders train themselves to become arc, plasma or oxy-gas cutters, which use similar technology to that of welding to cut and trim metal for similar projects.
Welder Career Description
Welders permanently affix two pieces of metal together through a heating process that melts the metal. Welding is a common technique used to build ships, bridges, cars-anything that needs to be sturdy and reliable. While some entry-level welders simply carry out the physical process of melting and joining the metal, welders with more experience assist in the planning of major projects and construction by determining how best to complete the task at hand.
Welder Career Details
Welding is relatively dangerous work carried out in a variety of potentially hazardous environments. Of course, caution and the proper training significantly lower the chances of injury, but the fact of the matter is that welders work with electrical currents, large machinery and heavy parts in conditions that include factories and construction sites. Entry-level welders will climb onto projects to carry out their work, and their assignments change as projects get completed. Management-level welders, who consult on jobs, spend time at the work site but also in offices, discussing plans.
Welder Career Coursework
Although many employers provide training to welders who already know the basics, workers find it helpful to start a job already educated in areas like blueprint reading, shop math, mechanical drawing, physics, chemistry and metallurgy. And as mechanical welding is increasingly used, knowledge of computers is helpful for those who wish to move beyond simple operations and become responsible for programming.