Thinking of becoming a welder? Doing so would open many different career doors for you. Welders are known for their abilities to plan, design, and build just about everything. They can be employed in a variety of fields as well.
When you work to become a welder, you will gain many skills. These skills are used to bond metals, so that they meet certain requirements.
There are so many different paths that you can follow to become a welder. We will be discussing this topic here in detail, so be sure to keep reading. We will also be covering how much money you can expect to make as a welding professional.
Let’s get started.
Step 1 – Education
Your first step should be to earn your high school diploma. Welders are required to have an education, especially if they want to become certified professionals.
We recommend that you take all of the classes that are related to welding that you can. They can help give you the background and experience you need to break into the field.
Science classes, such as chemistry, are also excellent options. They can provide you with the information on how the welding process is working on a different scale.
Overall, your first step should be to get your diploma.
Step 2 – Welding Certification
Next, you will want to get your certificate in welding. There are programs available that allow you to earn your certificate in a short amount of time, which would be between six and eighteen months all together.
The programs vary, although they almost all will be taught in a setting where you can get hands-on experience during class, using a Mig welder or Tig welder. The prices of these classes can vary greatly, depending on the program and the area, as well as your specific certificate.
For instance, you can expect the price for the classes to fall between $2,800 to $20,000. Although, the national average is at $6,850.
Step 3 – Apprenticeship
From there, you should be able to become an apprentice. Doing so is a great way to start working with a company and gaining experience on-site. That way, you can start developing your professional skills right away.
Getting Your Certificate
Certificates are used to show potential employers that you have spent time working hard to develop your welding skills. You will need to earn them through the American Welding Society, or the AWS.
Earning these certificates often requires that you complete an exam. You may also have to pay to take the test, so you will want to be sure that you have got more than enough time practicing in.
It is also worth noting that these exams can only be taken at an AWS Accredited Testing Facility. You will want to ensure that you know where your exam is going to be held before the day arrives.
The AWS currently offers all of the following certifications. They provide you with the opportunities for a higher salary and make companies much more likely to hire you. These certificates are:
- Associate Welding Inspector
- Radiographic Interpreter
- Robotic Arc Welding
- Certified Welder
- Welding Engineer
- Certified Welding Inspector
- Welding Sales Representative
- Certified Welding Supervisor
- Senior Certified Welding Inspector
Are Welders in Demand?
Of course, they are always in demand. Many different industries require welders to construct buildings, highways, manufacturing parts, bridges, automotive components, and much more. There will always be a need for new, professional welders on the scene.
The field is also flexible, which can be appealing to many. For instance, a welder who works as a fabricator could also move to the automotive manufacturing industry. This is because these skills and certificates are accepted across the entire field. If you are looking at a less in-demand area, you could move to another without getting more certifications.
How Much Does a Welder Make?
On the national average, a welder can expect to make $17.90 per hour. However, that amount can vary by what state you are working in. Alaska currently offers the most at $31.04 per hour, while Arkansas offers the lowest, at $14.35 per hour.
Entry-level will make less, while an experienced worker can make as much as $35.45 per hour. If you want to be experienced in this career, you will need to take on a lot of jobs and build your reputation as a talented welder.
We are confident that you can achieve experienced welder status as long as you take the time to learn, practice, and grow within the field.