Welding has been a highly sought-after occupation for centuries, since societies first started using metals in construction. Welders receive training on how to use high heat to melt and form various materials together to build and create an endless list of products. If you are considering attending a trade school, and are interested in welding, you’ll want to know where your job opportunities lie. Here are four career paths that show exceptional promise for those who have been trained in welding.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, welders with training in the latest technologies should have little problem in finding a job. While those who have not remained up to date in their skills and the latest technology face stiff competition for the few low-tech jobs, and many employers are reporting difficulties in finding new workers who have the skills they are looking for. Being trained in the more hi-tech skills market will be essential in the coming years.
Welding, like many related fields, is becoming increasingly technological. From the use of lasers to robotic arcs to automation, the field is advancing rapidly. Those who take the time to become educated in the field and learn how to use these skills should fair well in the job market.
Sheet Metal Workers
Sheet metal is used to make a wide range of metal products. Workers in this profession construct and repair everything from rain gutters to siding to outdoor signs. The workers are responsible for fabricating sheet metal into the desired product and programming equipment while working either in shops or on a job site.
This specialty is growing rapidly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate is expected to increase by 15% from 2012 to 2022, which is an increase of about 22,000 new jobs. The rest of the general labor market is only expected to grow by 11%, so this is well above average. The field is projected to be especially strong for those who are certified welders and those who have completed apprenticeships in sheet metal working.
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Structural Iron and Steel Workers
Structural iron and steel workers, also known as ironworkers, are responsible for installing iron, or steel beam, and columns in a number of different structures, such as buildings and bridges. The anticipated need to replace or rehabilitate many aging structures in cities across the country mean that this field is one of the most rapidly growing for welders. The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a growth rate of 22% from 2012 to 2022, which is double the general labor market average of 11 percent. The market is again particularly strong for those who are certified welders as well as those who are certified in rigging.
Commercial Divers are people who take their welding underwater. This is a highly specialized field, as workers must be trained divers and know how to weld and repair structures underwater. Given the amount of training it requires, the wages also tend to be higher compared to other welding industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, annual mean wages range from $37,000 per year to over $80,000 per year depending on region, with California and New Jersey among the highest. Compare these wages to the average of $36,300 for welders in general. Keep in mind that those interested in working in this occupation will be concentrated in areas near water, such as along the coasts or areas with lakes.
Welders have the qualifications necessary to work in a number of different industries. From underwater to working with hi-tech robotics, the options are varied and expansive. Certain areas show particular promise for those looking for jobs in the field. The four areas above should offer great opportunities for those interested and trained in welding.