Welders and Welding Technicians


Employment Prospects


Approximately 438,900 welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers are employed in the United States. Workers in welding occupations work in a variety of settings. About 63 percent of welders are employed in manufacturing plants that produce fabricated metal products, transportation equipment, machinery, and architectural and structural metals. Most of the remaining welders work for repair shops or construction companies that build bridges, large buildings, pipelines, and similar metal structures. All welding machine operators work in manufacturing industries.

Starting Out

Graduates of good training programs in welding often receive help in finding jobs through their schools' career services offices. Online job postings and the classified ads sections of newspapers often carry listings of local job openings. Information about openings for trainee positions, apprenticeships, and government training programs, as well as jobs for skilled workers, may be available through the local offices of the state employment service and local offices of unions that organize welding workers. Job seekers also can apply directly to the personnel offices at companies that hire welders.

Advancement Prospects

Advancement usually depends on acquiring additional skills. Workers who gain experience and learn new processes and techniques are increasingly valuable to their employers. Welders can become welding supervisors and take on the responsibility of assigning jobs to workers and showing them how the tasks should be performed. They must supervise job performance and ensure that operations are performed correctly and economically. Others may become welding instructors, teaching welding theory, techniques, and related processes. Some welders advance to the position of welding production manager, responsible for all aspects of welding production: equipment, materials, process control, inspection, and cost control. Finally, some experienced welders go into business for themselves and open their own welding and repair shops.

Tips for Entry

Visit https://search.jobsinwelding.com for job listings.

Join the American Welding Society to access training and networking resources, industry publications, and employment opportunities.

Talk to welding professionals about their careers. Ask them for advice on breaking into the field.  

Check out Careers in Welding (https://careersinwelding.com) for information on career paths, education, welding videos, and profiles of welders.