Career Spotlight on Welders

Welding represents an excellent career choice for many workers. The training process is relatively streamlined (no advanced degrees necessary), and it offers solid wages and job prospects. At the same time, the position offers a chance for creativity and provides an engaging task to fill your workdays.

For the right person, a professional welding career feels like making your hobby into a paying gig. But how can you go from a novice to the point where you’re earning a paycheck? Take a look at our Career Spotlight on Welders to learn some basics about the industry:

Job Outlook

According to statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor, the median pay for a welder comes to $20.43 an hour. That equates to approximately $42,500 a year.

The government data counts more than 400,000 welding jobs in the U.S. It also estimates a growth rate of 3% over the next 10 years. That’s about the average for all professions.

Other sources put the hourly rate slightly lower. Indeed suggests an average wage of just under $18 an hour, while PayScale puts the number at $18.42.

General Training for a Welder

You can learn basic welding skills in a few weeks. Courses are available at community colleges and vocational schools. However, those rudimentary lessons likely won’t prepare you for a professional assignment. For that, you’ll need more intense training.

Many employers require welders to pass a certification process. This takes the form of a practical test. Basically, the process gives you a chance to show the skills you boasted about on your resume.

Beyond these employer tests, you can also receive a certification from the American Welding Society. The program examines your ability to complete various welding operations. If successful, you will receive a Certified Welder distinction, which can help you land future gigs.

Other organizations offer welding certification programs as well. You can check out the American Petroleum Institute and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers as examples.

Types of Welders

There are two main kinds of welding: MIG and TIG. The difference comes from the way the equipment uses the electric arc.

  • MIG: The acronym stands for “metal inert gas.” This form of welding is generally simpler to learn. It serves well for thicker metals and less elaborate jobs.
  • TIG: Here, the name comes from the phrase “tungsten inert gas.” The method requires additional training to perfect, making it a more difficult skill to obtain. It provides more precise control and is usually used for thinner materials.

How to Get Started

At the very beginning, you’ll probably want to take a basic course to see if welding makes sense for you. Best not to invest a significant amount of time and effort into your welding dreams, if it turns out you don’t really like it. Start with a basic course at a local venue.

Once you’ve got a taste for welding, you can move on to a more formal process. Look into the certification processes we mentioned earlier. This will put you on the path towards a professional welding career.

From there, take whatever gigs you can find. Freshly certified and without much of a work history, you might have trouble landing the best jobs. Have patience. Your goal in the early going is to fill out your resume and to gain experience.

At the same time, try to make contacts. Once you build a reputation as a quality welder, you should be able to gain work by word of mouth. You can also go about the normal job hunting routine.

Apply to Welding Jobs in Jacksonville FL and Beyond

Looking for another way to accelerate your journey into the welding industry? Turn to a strong staffing agency, like LaborMAX. They can direct you to the ideal gigs for your skills and background.

Contact LaborMAX Staffing today to jumpstart your welding career.