According to the American Welding Society, there is an actual shortage of skilled welders.
Welding jobs in the manufacturing sector have steadily increased since 2000 and several major oil pipelines have begun construction.
Numerous bridges, highways, utility and water pipelines require considerable repair throughout the U.S.
Welding is what is known as an “evergreen career field.”
So many industrial fields require the use of welding that it is a career that will always be in demand.
Just a few fields that welders can find career opportunities in include: Manufacturing, Vehicle Assembly, Aerospace, Construction, Pipelines, Oil Refineries and Drilling, and Military Support.
How can you get a job in this growing field?
The following steps will help you locate the right job for your skillset.
1. Know what Employers Are Looking For
Most welding jobs will require a high school diploma or GED, technical and on-the-job training.
Employers will be looking for 3 things when interviewing welders:
- Understanding of common metalworking techniques tasks and tools.
- An Up-to-date certification acquired at a school or job site.
- Your ability to pass a hands-on-test to demonstrate your skills.
2. Get the Right Training
When looking for a welding training program, you want to focus on those that offer training in the most commonly used skills, provide ample practice of hands-on skills, show you how to prepare for company welding tests, offer free certification service administered by a certified welding inspector and assist you in finding an apprenticeship program and/or job.
3. Learn How to Test
What you might not know about the welding career is that you will constantly have to pass tests to prove your skill in a certain area.
Employers are looking for employees who can demonstrate specific skills related specifically to the products they produce. Every company that requires welding processes require its employees pass internal tests.
4. Participate in an Apprenticeship Program
Many companies offer on-the-job training through apprenticeship programs, where you'll be doing entry level welding work but hopefully have the chance to learn more.
As you complete more hours in apprenticeship programs, your level of accreditation will rise.
5. Prepare a Dynamite Resume
Welding is a large industry, and there are great opportunities for advancement and promotion.
You’ll be much more likely to get hired and advance by having a professional and up-to-date resume on hand.
A good format for a welding resume is as follows:
Samples of Work: keep samples of your best work in a lunch box or other container that you can show to your interviewer.
6. Make sure Your Resume includes Industry Keywords
Many employers have adopted the use of applicant tracking systems, which help them easily and efficiently sift through resumes.
These systems are set up to recognize certain keywords in resumes. If your resume boasts keywords that are relevant to the job position you’re applying for, then the system will specifically pinpoint your resume for hiring managers to look at.
Keywords that you should be using within your resume as a welder include:
7. Join a Welding Professional Organization and Network
Join a professional organization like the American Welding Society, which offers students a discount rate, and participate in local chapter activities.
This will keep you up to date on job trends and expand your network of contacts.
8. Apply to Online Job Boards and Major Employer Job Listings
When searching the job engines of major employers and Job Boards, look carefully at the categories.
Welding jobs may appear under "skilled trades", "manufacturing", "construction", "general labor", "repair and maintenance" or "industrial technology".
Be diligent and the welder listings should eventually appear.