These days, pursuing a college degree before obtaining a career is increasingly expensive, and there’s no promise that you will make enough money to outweigh the education costs. Therefore, many are turning to learning skilled trades instead, like welding. So, is welding a good career to have?
Welding is one of the best trade careers to have, as just about every industry has need of skilled welders to employ. From job and salary opportunities, this article will explain for you in full detail why welding is a great career to pursue.
Why Welding is a Good Career
Easily the best reason why welding is a good career is that you don’t need a college or university degree. All you need is training, skill, and a good work ethic.
And the best part of that is you won’t be burdened for years to come with student debt from all the college courses that you didn’t need. Your future income from welding jobs won’t be used up trying to pay down that debt, so living off of it will be a whole lot easier and less stressful.
If you want to learn to weld, the best thing to do is enroll in a vocation program at a technical or trade school near you, and start taking welding classes. The beauty of welding training is that it only takes roughly 7-9 months to complete training.
The cost of your training will depend on where you get your training done. On average, a welding training program could cost somewhere between $5,000-$10,000. Once you complete your training, you’ll be eligible for entry-level jobs.
Apprenticeships are also an option, and cost much less, but they will last about two years or more before you’re able to work on your own.
Your training will, of course, involve learning how to weld two or more pieces of metal together, but also what are the best tools to use, such as this list of top beginner tools we reviewed here.
Sense of Accomplishment
While many jobs and careers mostly consist of ongoing work that never seems to be completed, with welding there is always going to be an end to a project. Even if said project takes 9 months to a few years to complete.
Whenever you complete a welding project, and you complete it well, what comes with that is a sense of accomplishment you simply don’t get in other professions.
Even at the end of each day, you can feel a sense of accomplishment for the work you’ve completed thus far. Every day you’ll have certain tasks set before you, or a productivity goal, and completing even those small sets of tasks can give you an amazing feeling of accomplishing something.
Shortage in Qualified Skilled Workers
Though welding is an excellent career to get into, not many people are aware of this and will opt for the college degree route.
In fact, many teachers and school counselors will advise students that welding is only a dead-end job and instead guide them to going to college or university to obtain a degree. As a result, the American Welding Society predicts a shortage of about 400,000 welders by 2024.
The demand for qualified skilled workers is extremely high, so anyone skilled enough will be able to find welder jobs easily. So really, the upside to most people getting college degrees in various fields, is that the job market for any welder is ripe for the taking.
As long as industries are using metal pipes or construction materials, the need for welders will always be there.
Fresh out of training, you’ll be able to begin with entry level welding jobs. But as you keep working, you’ll continue learning from colleagues and supervisors, and eventually be able to move up to better paying welding gigs.
Booming Industries Employing Welders
Welding jobs can be found in just about any industry, many of which may require travel to exotic places. And because of the huge shortage of skilled welders, every industry is actively hiring welders.
Some of the top industries today hiring welders are:
- Cruise ships/shipping
One of the main industries that will always need skilled welders is the energy industry. As energy resources change and evolve, allowing more alternative options for people to use, as long as these companies are using metal for their products, they will need welders.
Robotics are a field of the future, and a really good field to get a welding job in. As robots are created and designed, welders will be needed to help in the construction and building, making the designs come to life.
Welders Have Endless Career Paths to Choose From
One of the major benefits of being a welder is that there are literally endless career paths to choose from. The list above of industries that hire welders is by no means an extensive list. And even within those industries, there are hundreds of welding careers.
As a welder you could get a job as a mechanic, or work for local energy or construction companies. If you want to stay relatively local, sometimes industry shutdowns will need welders. You would only have to travel for the duration of the shut down (as much as 6 months), and then you have the rest of the year to do what you want.
Some of the best welding jobs, though, require travelling to far places. Some welders live on the road, calling themselves “road warriors”. They work a welding job, then just move to the next one. Such jobs include ship building and repair, military support, pipe-line installation, or underwater welding.
Cruise ships will also need welders for on-board ship repair and maintenance. Welders who get such jobs not only get paid really well, but get free room and board, as well as full access to all of the amenities the cruise ship offers to guests.
Career Advancement Potential
Not only are there plenty of career paths and opportunities for welders, the chance for career advancement is also wide open. Advancement not only allows welders to fine-tune their current skills and gain more, but it also allows them to earn higher salaries.
Advancing in your welding career usually just requires additional training, especially if you’re transitioning from construction or mechanic welding to something like pipeline or underwater welding.
Underwater welding, for instance, will also require a short period of diving training so you can learn how to properly navigate underwater while also using your tools.
The base welding salary for entry-level welders is close to about $40,000 a year, and that’s just with a GED or HS Diploma, and your basic welding training.
Should you want to advance, though, you can make much more than that. For instance, a pipeline welder salary starts at $50,000 a year, while underwater welding salary starts at $100,000. Totally worth the extra training to be bringing in that kind of money.
Opportunities for Women Welders
Welding isn’t just a man’s career. In fact, woman welders has long been a thing since the 1940s, when women would take up welding to fill labor shortages when most of the men were away at war.
Now, with the ranks of welders vastly dwindling as more and more people pursue college and other careers, women are again looking to welding to fill the need.
It can also be just as lucrative a career for women as it is for men, and it’s an easy career to pick up at any point in life.
Women can also bring something unique to the table that men don’t. Such as greater attention to detail, the ability to multi-task and work efficiently, and be more patient. Their greater dexterity and motor skills also makes women some of the best welders in the field.
Welding is a wonderful career for anyone to pursue and comes with many benefits. Not only does it pay extremely well, it allows the chance for travelling to far away places that you may not ever get to visit under normal circumstances. Places such as the Bahamas, Caribbean Islands, Canada, the Middle East, and more.
And with all kinds of industry option, you can literally find work in any field you want: supporting the military, underwater welding, building robots, working on ships, or even as a mechanic or plumber.
Welding is a great career for men, women, young and old, and requires very little training and money, as compared to four year university degrees.
If you’re looking for a career change or start your job search right, and you enjoy working with your hands, consider taking up welding. In less than a year you’ll find yourself in an entry-level welding job, easily making $30,000 a year or more. This could be just what you need to pay your bills while living a life that you enjoy.
1. Is Welding really a good career?
Numerous businesses need skilled welders, making this one of the more secure jobs available. Pursuing safety awards and honing your skills can also be high on your priority list. While welding is not for everyone, for those who are interested, it can be a lucrative and rewarding career.
2. Do welders make good money?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average welder earns $42,000 per year. However, according to BLS statistics, 50% of welders in the United States earn more than that figure, and 50% earn less. According to the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association surveys, most entry-level welders make around $17 per hour.
3. Is welding a dying trade?
All of the statistics indicate that welding is not only not dying but rather growing daily. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, welding employment will increase by an average of 3% by 2029, adding 13,600 jobs.
4. Is welding a stressful job?
Welders are highly susceptible to self-inflicted burns or severe injury. This has a predisposition to induce stress. Additionally, you're pressed for time. The job is stressful, but it is managing stress.
5. Is welding a hard job?
Welding is a physically demanding profession; you operate large machinery and work with delicate materials exposed to extreme heat. Precision is also critical in this line of work. However, skilled workers in this trade can earn a good living and enter the industry relatively easily.