How to Become a Professional Welder | Requirements, Licensing, and Training Reviewed may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of the links provided.

Before becoming a welder it is important to fully understand the process behind the best welding resources out there. Instead of just researching online or studying it hands on experience is the best way it can be applied. To solidify your own welding journey you must search for what type of welding suits you.

You must also consider top welders for beginners that can make your start easy. There are varying qualities for welders to be able to choose the right mold for their individuality. 

Job description: What does a welder do 

Before considering this career it’s best to be knowledgeable of what a welder needs to do. A Welder’s main job is to join metal components through intense heat. Most likely, welders are useful in construction sites and manufacturing vehicles (cars or ships). 

The job description requires Welders to inspect the outlines of blueprints. Anything to do with the structural aspect of a building such as bridges, refineries, or pipelines is maintained through the welding process. 

It is a full time occupation that’ll demand overtime depending on a building's completion. The primary work space is outdoors and can be endanger of potential hazards. Due to the caution in working in small spaces the welding process is based on high degrees of skill and caution. 

It’ll ask for equipment maintenance and daily adjustments. The welding process can be dependent on precipitation fluctuation and the machine functionality. The industries are at high advantage for experienced and consistent employees. 

The welding processes have been spread out by variety. Due to the high demand of construction knowledge the different welding is based on the location. At times, welders will need to relocate depending on the progress of their projects. 

Certified welder salary: How much does it pay 

There are various aspects of how a certified welder can grow their income. Even if there’s no wide range of expertise there are a few guarantees based on your welding certification. Average salary for a welder is $40,970 per year. Depending on the welder’s level of experience and certification the earnings can increase up to $7,000. 

The growth rate for welder’s is around 6% which leaves room for financial growth in the long term. A welder’s compensation is based on the labor and material spent for their customers. A welder’s consistent customers are beneficial to their financial advancements. 

The first thing you want to determine is which welding you want to go into. These initial considerations will enable better opportunities to secure a financial platform. Following that decision once a welder is able to position their target audience it can leave room for a higher influx of income. With the mobility of moving forward these opportunities can maintain an exponential salary. So, is welding a good career? It definitely is!

Step-by-step guide to becoming a certified welder 

A welding certification can make enable welders to be a better candidate for customers. There are different types of welding degrees that can range from an inspector to an educator. Welders will go through a step-by-step process to secure their certified eligibility. A series of planning, choosing, and acting is essential for the welding process. 

In the beginning there must be individual research on the type of welding they would like to go into. For example, the basic types of welding “MIG, TIG, flux-cored, and stick” Knowing a specified field of interest solidifies the process of planning where to continue on with hands-on experience. 

The choosing aspect kicks in once the individual understands what they want to do and where they want their occupation to be in. There are different educational approaches. 

If a person is interested in furthering their welding professionalism they can aim for a higher degree of a Welding Technology Associate’s Degree. This will last for four years. The acting process is finding an apprenticeship and actualizing the all the learned skill sets into real life approaches. 

Welding education & requirements 

Education and requirements will depend on the employer. For now I’ll inform you on the basic necessities to get a head start as a welder. Since welders are people who specialize in using steel products its highly looked upon that these welders are able to problem solve the art of heating and molding materials. 

Alongside a basic educational foundation welders are scouted based on their hand-eye coordination and manual abilities. These skills have a minimum requirement for a high school diploma. You want your employees to have the basic functions of math and sciences down before beginning. 

The secondary educational requirements are based on the company’s criteria and qualifications. Some will prefer experienced postsecondary education or hands on experience working with other welders. These opportunities can be either from a vocational school or a nearby community college. 

Additional requirements seeks the individual’s range of welding methodology. Since there is a wide variation of welding the more techniques you know can ensure a higher chance of candidacy. 

Certification & licensing for welders

One program can last from 6 months to 2 years. The classes are often in person demonstrations on how to practically apply the suitable skills in real life projects. The formal education process of welding can require the advanced mathematics, welding literacy, and blueprint literacy. 

The certification process can be processed through the American Welding Society (AWS). There are differing levels of certifications in which one can do their own procedures, inspect other welders, or continue on with robotic arc welding. 

Robotic arc welding requires a lot more prerequisites. Since modern technology is a big tool in a welder’s workspace it puts them at a better chance for hirer. There is also a higher demand for welders to understand the latest technological advancements. In order to relocate with flexibility this set welders at a 4% increase in wage with this knowledge. 

Licensing is dependant on the state’s regulations for the welders. It can be based on having additional requirements or if applicable they can apply for a state license to have governmental approval.

How long do you have to go to school to be a welder? 

Think about which type of schooling is best accustomed to you. Narrowing the option of choosing a program that best fits with your skills and interests will be the most beneficial. It’ll save you time and money creating an efficient educational process.

There is technical welding programs and there are also online courses offered to interested welders. There are just general certified welders who can obtain a degree within a few weeks. 

However, a welding master’s degree is around 2-3 years. Welding programs are based on the degree you want to acquire. The ability to learn these skill sets can range from a few weeks to a few years to finish. On the other hand, the level of professionalism attained can be based on the courses’ supplemental objectives. 

On a smaller scale each welding class can be completed in around 3-4 weeks. 6-8 months of educational experience can enable welders to complete their educational prerequisites. 

Job outlook & growth for welding 

Welding as a career option isn’t often talked about. It’s important to see the holistic prospects of what is best suitable and adaptable for you. It begins with understanding what to consider in the overall job outlook of welders. 

The need for remodeled infrastructure requires welding expertise. Whether its bridges or highways these are important structures for transportation. If you need further your prospects it is geared towards construction sites and refinery resource enters. 

The growth for welding is positioned around 6 percent from 2016-2026. Employment for welders is pertinent on manufacturing companies. This is one of the fastest growing positions in America. 

The benefits of more training will result in a better position on the job market. It’s best to combine the amount of schooling with outside experience to increase the likelihood of being chosen. With this being said the welding industry provides average annual income with the benefits of cultivating one’s welding abilities. 

Should you become a welder? 

If you love the process of making things and seeing projects come together  a welder job can be for you? It can be a rewarding process in looking at the widespread possibilities of the start to an end result of a product. A welder is an intensive job that needs adaptability to the outdoors and possible relocations. 

Since the job growth is accumulating and infrastructure is at the heart of metropolitan success stories welders will pay a vital role. The job market of an increase in 26 percent is a job that will always be available to the public. It is a well sought out business especially amongst the professional field.

Once you become accustomed to the credentials of welding as well as the hands on experience you’ll be able to accrue all your hard work through projects and interpersonal skills. 

Is welding in demand? 

A useful tool for job hunting is understanding the high demands and the ins and outs of any occupation. For welding this demand has a wider relevance as infrastructure because it is a fundamental concern for most cities in America. 

Welding is in high demand according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the need for welders is expected to grow by 26 percent by 2020 (Advanced Career Institute). The right professional training is a typical advantage for welding prospects.

The difference in the professional training will earn higher than the national average earnings of a welder. It will also create a transitional period for welders to become accustomed to the modern welding field in less time. 

A common struggle with the recruiters is that almost 81 percent of U.S manufacturers can not find all the qualification of a skilled welder. The lack of skilled welders shows a high demand in jobs but the shortage of qualified applicants. 

Do welders get good benefits? 

Welding joints are primarily location based, it’ll provide the good benefits of a sizable paycheck. If you’re looking for a career that has a decent income and allows you to show your craftsman work this is for you! 

The job variety amongst welders is transferable which can open up different projects in construction industries. This benefits your future opportunities because you have the mobility to move up as supervisor or instructor. It creates leeway to work harder. Mixing up the projects can be refreshing from instilled routines. 

Welders are also provided a huge chance for further advancement because they will be able to learn the inner workings of the industry. The construction site is an all time need for most buildings. This also provides higher job security which eases the legality of medical healthcare and pension plans. 

Average annual salary by state 

In California. the average annual salary is $43,070. The Average annual by states range from $28k to $49k. The national welding salary is $38,353 which will depend on the level of expertise and educational exposure. The hourly wage is $19.70 per hour. 

It’ll vary by the dollar but the list includes:

New York            Annual Salary: $39,817

Massachusetts      Annual Salary: $39,563

Maryland       Annual Salary: $37,238

Connecticut       Annual Salary: $36,592

Hawaii       Annual Salary: $36,563

Vermont     Annual Salary: $36,497

Step 1 earn a high school diploma 

The best part of obtaining a high school diploma is building right off where you already started. Earning a high school diploma is one of the most fundamental, yet first steps to upkeep a welder’s resume. It may sound like a given however some welders are self taught but it can keep them from thriving in the professional field. 

This step provides a stepping stone to attain further career opportunities. It’ll guarantee a chance to have higher wages. Once the technical training and assessments are finish high school diplomas will be heavily stressed upon for hiring purposes. 

This completion showcases a student’s capability to have basic algebra and geometry skills. A high school degree instills the mathematical knowledge of a student pursuing a welding career. This is the most fundamental, yet first step to upkeep a welder’s resume. To move forward the basic functions for advanced welding classes competency in the math and sciences is crucial. 

Step 2 get a certificate or degree in welding 

You need to be equipped with the right tools and knowledge on how to start your welding career. A certificate or degree will establish official eligibility into the professional world of welding

The courses provided are usually in person applications that varies depending on the program. Keep in consideration which school will fit and specialize in the degree you most desire. Before applying take into account the long-term financial earnings as well as your current financial situation. 

Schooling is definitely a top priority but if it’ll cost an overwhelming amount of debt you can consider vocational training or technical school.

The length of becoming a certified welder will be approximately 6-8 months of classes. This can be done through a varying of welding programs which will range from $3,000-20,000. If you desire to aim for higher welding qualities you can aim for the Welding Technology Degree which is two years or even the Welding Engineering Degree which is four years long. 

Step 3 participate in an apprenticeship 

Through this experience as an apprentice, all the subtle mistakes can be corrected and honed into a better craftsman. 

This is a great segway to earn gain slow financial momentum. Participating in this can allow potential welders to actualize their experience through improvement. Also it validates an opportunity for welders to become not only quality welders but increase their communication skills. 

It creates a multifaceted range of skill sets to be challenged and put to the test. In order to obtain experience they can use an apprenticeship to their advantage. It can be a useful way to gain practical knowledge about welding. This will enable them to have a hands on experience. 

You can gain hands one experience by also participating in networking. Directions and orders are vital in a welding environment. An important part of being a welder is communication and problem-solving skills. This will inhibit you to be meticulous in the blue prints and also amongst your co workers. 

Step 4 earn a welding certification 

This step ensures a higher chance of being recruited by a possible employer. If you are considering to be an authorized and qualified welder this is a crucial step. It increases the likelihood of job opportunities and validates prior welding experiences. 

The American Welding Society (AWS) provides a big array of certifications to take the exam. An exam with no prior requirements is the Certified Welder (CW) exam. The next step that would require an educational background with an apprenticeship is the Certified Welding Inspector (CWI). 

Depending on your interests in welding there are different ways to still be in the welding realm. There is a varying selection of which inspector one can represent. For instance, you can be a certified welding educator or even a sales representative. These occupations are more costly requiring around $200-$600 depending on your level of desired expertise. 

Overall the certification process will provide the needed protocol to further advance in occupational advancements. 


1. How much does a professional welder make a year?

The starting salary for entry-level positions is $60,450 per year, while the most experienced workers earn up to $97,500 per year.

2. Is becoming a certified welder worth it?

According to the United States Department of Labor,  enrolling in a welding school to be a certified welder can be worthwhile because employers increasingly require postsecondary welding education. Additionally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there may be additional benefits to completing a welding training program.

3. Is it worth being a welder?

It's well worth the investment, particularly if you're serious about welding becoming more than a job but a promising career. Welders and welding engineers, and managers are just as vital as mechanical or electrical engineers. Your ability makes a significant difference in whether a project succeeds or fails.

4. How many hours do welders work a week?

Welders are typically expected to work an average of 38-40 hours per week. Usually, this will occur during typical 9-5 business days, but frequent shift work and overtime opportunities arise. In addition, in some instances, you may be required to work outside of regular business hours, for example, to make emergency repairs to machinery.

5. What do welders do?

What exactly is the function of a welder? A welder uses a tool that generates intense heat to join metal components. Additionally, a welder is capable of polishing and smoothing the metal surfaces they join. Finally, they will use either a computer to control equipment remotely or hand-held equipment to cut or join metal parts, fill a hole, or repair metal seams.

About the Author Gregory

Hi, my name is Gregory! I have been welding practically all of my life and love it. As I have gotten older I have started to weld less and less, so in order to continue my love for welding I created this website. I like to write about my experiences and help you all become welders. I hope that you enjoy the site!

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