Common Questions About Becoming a Welder

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Welding may be a promising career opportunity for people who wish to work in the skilled trades. If this is a profession that interests you, here is some information about welding.

1. What does a welder do?

Generally speaking, a welder cuts and joins metal parts by applying heat to the metal with a welding torch. Welders also read blueprints, lay out and position metal parts, inspect work pieces for flaws, or set up and maintain welding equipment. 1 2

2. Is welding hard?

As with most things, welding takes certain skills and sufficient practice. Those who like hands-on work and prefers more technical fields, welding can be a good option. Getting welding training will help build a foundation that further experience in the field will improve welding skills.

3. What education is required to become a welder?

Some vocational schools require a high school diploma or GED before enrolling. Others would-be welders can get hired on as helpers and learn on the job. Welding students can expect to learn about various welding techniques, safety practices, equipment procedures, professional responsibilities, and work ethics. Basic understanding of math, electricity, and physics is also helpful. Many employers prefer candidates who completed vocational programs.

4. What skills are needed to become a welder?

Some skills include critical thinking, reading comprehension, operation and control, monitoring/assessing, and orientation to detail. Welders also need to have good vision, manual dexterity, physical stamina, and physical strength. And of course, the desire and patience needed to learn welding.

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5. Does welding require becoming certified?

Many employers to require some kind of welding certification.  There are two main types of certification. One is an employer-based certification. Candidates are given a welding test of the processes used on a particular job. That test is good for that employer. The other is an industry-standard approved certification through the American Welding Society. Certification organizations typically require welders to have a minimum amount of on-the-job experience to become certified.

6. Where do welders work?

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, the vast majority of welders work in manufacturing. Some also work in specialty trades, repair and maintenance, and durable goods merchant wholesale. Welders work outdoors, like on a construction site, as well as indoors, such as in a manufacturing plant.

7. Where are the Welding Jobs?

The five states where welders are paid the most are Alaska, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Wyoming, and North Dakota. The top five paying metropolitan areas are Anchorage (AK), Fairbanks (AK), San Francisco (CA), Honolulu (HI), and Santa Barbara (CA). However, it is a good idea when researching welding jobs that people consider cost of living and number of welders employed may outweigh just higher wages. 3

8. What are the job prospects for women?

As many in skilled trade industries have claimed labor shortages, there is opportunity for those with skills in areas like welding. Traditionally, welding has been considered “men’s” work, many employers are embracing women in the welding industry. An added benefit is many skilled trade professions offer higher pay than other middle-skill jobs women usually work and generally the ability to earn money after less than a year of training.

These are just some of the general questions and answers that some might have about welding. To learn more about training and jobs in the industry, please contact Tulsa Welding School to schedule a tour.

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