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Monthly Archives: September 2019

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What is a welder’s salary?

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How much do welders make in a year?

The average annual salary for a welder was $39,600, as of July 2019. This wage may be higher depending on your employer. It’s also important to note that many welders get paid commission for the number of pieces or jobs they complete in addition to their usual salary.

How much do welders typically make per hour?

Welding, like most trade work, pays well. The average hourly rate in the United States for welders is $19.00 per hour, although you can make much more or much less than that depending on a number of factors.

The going rate for welders depends on what company you work for, what your specific skill set and qualifications are, and of course, your geographical location.

As the old saying goes, “location, location, location.” Where you live really will affect your salary. The highest paying states are New York and Massachusetts, who often pay close to this average $19.00 hourly rate. Florida and North Carolina though, are some of the lowest-paying states with an hourly wage closer to $14.00 an hour. That said, places that pay more oftentimes have higher costs of living and places that pay less can also have lower costs of living.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that welders are often paid commission in addition to their salary. This is especially common in the manufacturing sector. So even if your hourly wage is on the low side of the national average, you could still bring in a big paycheck if you complete a lot of commission work.

What is the typical job description of a welder? 

If you are on the hunt for a welding job, you are likely to see a job description similar to this:

In search of a hard-working, passionate individual who is a certified welder. Will be responsible for producing pipe welds that consistently meet company standards. Must also follow company policies of safety and integrity. Must be able to pass 6G Welding Test on 6 sch. 40 Carbon Steel: 6010 Root 7018, as well as pass a drug test. All equipment is provided.

How many years does it take to become a welder?

Welder training can take anywhere from 7 to 16 months. This seems like a large gap, but that is due mostly to the many different specialist training you can take on. Because a welder can work with many different kinds of metals in many different situations and for a multitude of purposes, there is a lot to cover when it comes to educating a welder. 

Are welders paid weekly?

Employers determine their employees’ pay schedules, so there is no set standard for what jobs get paid when. Some companies will pay every week while others may pay bi-weekly. That said, it is rare to see any welding employer who pays on a monthly basis.

This is a great question to ask your future employer in an interview so you can budget for your needs going forward.

What kinds of welding positions are there? 

The easy answer is there are a lot. There are many different types of welding certifications. Welding certifications and codes exist because there are so many types of welding patterns and materials to work with.

Some companies may need a welder to construct metal furniture that requires simple weld points. Other companies are creating vehicles that need to withstand hundreds of pounds of pressure. Even others may utilize welders to precisely cut metals for production. With all of these possible needs, there are a plethora of welding opportunities that may take you to an indoor factory, an outdoor construction yard, or even hanging off the side of a building!

Where do welders work?

Given the nature of the job, welders are not going to be found in an office space. Welding jobs exist in construction and manufacturing because of the line of work. Shipyards, car manufacturers, aerospace companies, building construction and industrial manufacturing are the most common places a welding opportunity would be available. Other operations that may use welders include utilities and city governments. These companies will often have welders install pipelines, weld bridges or repair existing metal infrastructure.

What kind of education do you need to have to become a welder? 

Many vocational schools offer welder training programs. These programs can take anywhere from 6 months to a year, depending on the intensity of the classes. The classes will include hands-on training, best safety practices and the study of metals. 

Another similar option, sans the classroom time, is an apprenticeship. These are paid jobs that train you while you work. Most of this training is hands-on and, since you are working, you often get a better picture of the operations of the business as a whole. Apprenticeships, while more hands-on, do often take longer to complete — usually a few years.

Either option is a great way to pursue this career, but neither will get you to the finish line completely. No matter which education route you choose, you will still need to become certified to be hirable.

What is the job outlook for welder positions?

If you are considering welding as a career, it is likely to be a safe bet. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that welding jobs are projected to grow over the next few years. It attributes this growth to the aging infrastructure of the nation (i.e., bridges, highways and buildings) that will need the expertise of welders to be rebuilt, repaired or maintained. Also, there is a massive shortage of people with a skilled trade to fill jobs in the manufacturing sector. This industry sector, in particular, relies heavily on welders who help them craft their goods.

What is the difference between a coded welder and a certified welder? 

A certified welder is one who has been certified, on paper, to be able to physically weld pieces that comply with a set of industry standards. These pieces must be welded correctly so they can stay strong under pressure. A certified welder is, technically, certified to weld but may not have complete knowledge of how to weld for a particular company or material. This is where a coded welder title comes in.

A coded welder is one who has learned a specific “code” or specific weld practice. These codes are normally material or industry-specific, such as pipe welding. A welder who holds both certification and codes is a wealth of knowledge. Normally, though, a certification is all that is required to be hired on with a company. The company will most likely send you for code training after being hired so you are familiar with their specific welding needs.

What are the different types of welding certifications?

Each welding certification and code is based around the types of metals being welded or the type of weld pattern being used. There are numerous types, but some of the most common are:

  • Structural Steel
  • Structural Aluminum
  • Bridge Welding
  • TIG
  • MIG
  • Robotic Arc Welding
  • Pipe Welding

What is a welders certification?

A welder’s certification is a document issued by a trusted entity (in the U.S. normally the American Welding Society) vouching for your skills as a welder. It is proof that you know how to perform basic welds to a national standard and can do so with instruction and safety in mind. While this is a very important document to pursue it simply verifies you know how to weld at a basic level.

To get a job or move up in your career as a welder, you will need to find valuable welding codes. Determine which codes will show you are competent in specialized welding areas, such as pipe or bridge welding.

What are the typical hours for a welder?

Welders can work nearly any hour or schedule depending on weather, industry and need. Some welders work standard hours while others work may depend on various business circumstances.

For instance, if you are constructing a building, your company may not need you to weld or cut until the survey crew has completed their work first. In instances like these, you may be called in at a later hour to work around when the job-site can use you.

This isn’t always the case though. If you work in a car manufacturing plant, it is highly likely you will be working the same shift each day and for weeks at a time. That’s because these facilities can better plan their need for welders based on demand, and they don’t have to work around things like weather. You may also be asked to travel for work, especially if welders are in low supply with your company or geographic area. If this is the case, you may be working odd hours that accommodate the traveling.

Can you get your welders certification online? 

While there are several great educational resources available online for the welding field, there is not a legitimate way to become fully certified online. Given the dangerous nature of welding, grinding or soldering, it is required that you take an in-person certification test to prove your competency.

Many sites offer courses on the basics of welding, safety and blueprint reading. Some others may introduce you to working with particular metals or specific industry standards. None of these online courses can provide you with your full certification. An online certification also will not give you the hands-on experience you need to be successful as a welder.

What is the career outcome for a welder? 

If you want to climb the ladder as a welder, there is plenty of room to climb if you are willing to learn. There are a number of advancement opportunities in this field that can help you grow your skills and paychecks.

Often, welders become certified in another welding specialty such as a Tig Welder or Combo Welder. These specialized paths can mean job security and greater pay, since they are the next step in welding school and knowledge. You can also go the route of teacher and instructor certify future welders. 

If you’re really brave — or just looking for something different — you can be trained on extremely specialized welding, such as underwater welding or military-support welding. These jobs pay extremely well, some in the $100,000 range and more, but — as you’ve probably guessed — these jobs are often dangerous.

No matter which route you take, it is clear there is a lot of opportunity for welders.