Welding has played a significant role in man’s ability to create and build since the Bronze Age. Today, it remains a critical aspect of metal fabrication and manufacturing. A career in welding is part art and part science and is a rewarding vocation both financially and personally. It is a career that demonstrates increasing demand, good wages and one that is becoming more appealing for women. Training is inexpensive, especially when compared with a four-year college. From start to finish, a welder can be certified in less than a year and opportunities are plentiful. There are a lot of very good reasons to seriously consider a career in welding, especially for those who enjoy working with their hands.

What is Welding?

Welding is simply joining separate metal parts using heat to fuse them together. Ancient welders heated metal pieces to be welded using fires and then pounded them together using hammers. When properly done, welds are stronger than the original metal and are permanently fused. Welding is critical in metal fabrication and manufacturing today. In fact, it is used in creating more than half of all of the products manufactured in the United States.

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers use hand-held or remotely controlled equipment to join or cut metal parts. They also fill holes, indentations, or seams in metal products.

What Opportunities are there for Welders?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, welding jobs are projected to grow by 6% by the year 2026. As of 2016, about 405,000 held welding jobs in the United States. That means over 22,500 welders will be needed in less than a decade. Median annual pay for welders in 2017 was $40,240, which translates to just under $20 per hour. Experienced welders and those who specialize in certain welding careers can earn significantly more.

How Does One Become a Welder?

Barriers to becoming a welder are minimal, requiring just a high school education or GED and the proper training. In some circumstances, on-the-job training may be available. To become a Certified Welder, classes must be taken and tests successfully completed. Classes, however, can be completed in just months without accumulating large amounts of student loans. This direct, quicker path to a career is one of the appealing aspects of becoming a metal fabrication or production welder.

What Specifically Does a Fabrication Manufacturer Welder Do?

A metal fabrication manufacturer welder joins pieces of metal using a variety of appropriate welding processes that may include Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding and Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding, Today’s welders are learning increasingly more about robotic welder and laser welding procedures and have a working knowledge of how various metals respond to each other. In a metal fabrication plant, welders often work on creating pieces that will work with other components that are combined to produce a completed part.

With robotic welders completing more and more of the mundane welding processes in a manufacturing plant, welders are often left to the more creative, rewarding hands-on projects. Welders are also key in ensuring these robotic welders are performing properly.

Are you a recent graduate looking to start a rewarding working career? Perhaps you are stuck in a job you feel is not heading anywhere. If so, a career in fabrication, manufacturing or production welding may be a good choice for you. If you would like to know about welding as a career, we invite you to learn more. Visit the Wiley Metal Fabrication Career page and get started on a new, rewarding career today!