Welders are tradespeople who play an important role in the construction of infrastructure and the manufacture of many products. It can be fulfilling, hands-on work for those with the right skills. Learn more about how to become a welder.
What Does a Welder Do?
Welders use over 100 different techniques to fuse metals and other types of materials together. They work in a diverse range of fields, constructing everything from ships to spacecrafts to computers. In fact, welding is essential to the manufacturing of more than 50 percent of U.S. products. Learn more about what a welder does.
Job Growth Factors
- Manufacturing demand due to the versatility and importance of welding to numerous processes
- Aging infrastructure in need of repair
- New construction of power generation facilities
- Replacing retiring workers
To learn more, read the blog post in which we discuss the welding job outlook in the United States.
- Welders: Manufacturing
- Pipefitters: Plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning contractors
- Ironworkers: Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors
Working as a welder requires a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Welding programs typically offer a basic overview of the theoretical concepts and hands-on training in the practical skills.
- Blueprint reading
- Shop math
- Mechanical skills: how to use, maintain, and repair tools and machines
- Equipment operation
- Safety practices
- Welding processes
Welder Qualities and Traits
While individuals learn many of the skills of the trade in welding classes, there are natural qualities and traits that can prove beneficial on the job.
- Steady hands
- Good hand-eye coordination
- Physical strength & endurance
- Attention to detail
- Sharp spatial orientation
- Near vision
- Control precision
- Critical thinking
Welder training, work experience, and certification can lead to career opportunities and advancement.
- Green jobs: construction and manufacturing
- Traveling welding jobs: shipbuilding & repair, pipeline installation, motorsports, underwater welding, industrial shutdowns
- Journeyman Welder: employment opportunities include pipefitter, boilermaker, structural welder
How to Become a Certified Welder
Licensing & Certification Requirements
- Assemblers and Fabricators
- Sheet Metal Workers
- Industrial Machinery Mechanics
- Industrial Machinery Maintenance Workers
- Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters
- Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers
- Metal and Plastic Machine Workers
- Machinists and Tool and Die Makers