Converting your hobby into a career that can pay you back in money is an awesome notion. You get not only to work on your favorite past time but also to make a living out of it if you follow the proper means. So if you happen to be a hobbyist welder with the same thinking, you are at the right place! Here is a detailed guide to how to start a welding career.
What is the job description?
Before we move on to the specifics of the profession, let us guide you through the itinerary of things you will need to prepare yourself for. We start with the job description of a welder and what you will need to do once in the profession. For starters, you will know that welders are professional in the art of joining two metals applying various welding techniques.
They tend to work with several metals like brass, aluminum, iron, steel, alloys and you name them and their demand comes in every sector of the manufacturing industry. Building, construction, shipyards, automobile industry, and aircraft; you will see the extensive deployment of welders in these specific areas.
In all these sectors, there are certain duties that are expected to be performed or fulfilled being a welder:
- You should be aware of the proper positioning and the securing of metals using clamps to keep your metals in place. While this may seem not so essential, it is required if you need to ensure a smooth sturdy weld.
- You also need to be good with torching up the flame and playing with it. This involves keeping in mind the safety hazards and alike.
- Practicing with lighting up the torch is one thing, using the torch in the work area is another.
- When welding, you need to be able to monitor the temperature and set it according to the requirement and the metal thickness you are using. Maintaining the right temperature will, in the end, decide whether the weld was successful or not.
- Once the weld is done, you need to be able to inspect it and analyze whether the joint made lives up to the safety standard or not.
- Finally, you should be able to take care of your welding equipment, clean and store it safely after use.
So in all the job requires you to do all of the above and I am pretty sure, being a hobbyist or a DIY welder you might already be doing all of the above-mentioned tasks. So one thing marked off the list to your bright career as a welder!
What salary are you going to make?
The next thing that will act as a strong motivator is of course how handsomely you get paid for this. If you ask me, the pay is pretty alluring and will definitely boost you to choose to weld as a career. Well, you have the figures to verify it for yourselves; the average annual salary for a welder amounts up to almost $41,000. As for the hourly wage, that accounts for almost $19.
However, if you happen to add certifications and degrees to your career, the average annual salary goes up by $4800 roughly. Additionally, the figure can vary by plus-minus 5% depending on the area you are employed and the industry you are working for.
So, we hope you are warmed up for the following tips on becoming a welder.
What do you need to do to become one?
Now we lure you enough into becoming a welder, which you might already be but you need to be a certified welder, to get the salary gains and work for the industrial sector. Plus, it gives you extra skills and improves your work ethic throughout the way.
So let’s start by getting a high school diploma.
Clear your high school
In high schools, you will come across several institutes that offer varying courses on welding. As a student keen on becoming a welder, you are recommended to take on every course available on welding or metal fabrication. This will not only help polish your rusted skills but give you an insight into the complexities involved in different scaled projects. You will be able to form solid foundations using these courses and they will help you with your courses in college later on.
In addition to the welding courses, taking up courses in Math and algebra will prove to be beneficial as, being a welder, you will be required to measure and play with numbers. Science courses will also enhance your knowledge of material properties and guide you on the thermal processes.
Obtain a degree in welding
Once you are done with your high school, you can participate in the welding program that lasts from 6 to 18 months. In this program, you are given a degree or certificate which declares you as a certified welder.
As for the content of the program, many courses are taught which not only uphold theory but also give you hands-on experience in various practical situations. So this one is a good way to hone and polish your skill and get professional experience before you apply for a job.
The welding program costs vary depending on the institute that offers it and the duration of the program. Roughly, the cost falls into the range of $3500-$20,000.
Apart from the program, you can also opt for an Associate Degree in welding which will require you to undergo an intensive 2-year program in welding. After the Associate’s degree, you can apply for a Bachelor’s in welding, which covers 4 years of welding program offering different courses in the field.
Get an apprenticeship
Once you are done studying the courses and getting the degree, you need to get a real-world experience of the career you are opting for. An apprenticeship is an awesome way to do this. You will receive plenty of hands-on experience on real-life projects, which will let you apply all the skills you learned in your high school and college.
In addition to the practical implementation, an apprenticeship will give you a boost start to earning as a welder and give you a sound rooting to start your own company.
Finalize your certifications
The final step to start your career is to get certified. These certifications will help you validate your position and skill as a welder. Each of these certifications costs different but once you obtain them you can very well be on your way to apply for a job.
Finally, it’s time to look for a job! Given its welding, you will come across plenty of opportunities to make a do with it. As the manufacturing units are always on the road to deterioration, the need to patch them and repair them is inevitable. So a welder will always be required to perform these patching up tasks.
You may choose to opt for automobile industry if you happen to be a huge fan of cars. Similarly, if your long-lost dream was to become an astronaut, you can also work for NASA, helping them in their workshops to work on different space shuttles.
However, do keep in mind, given the nature of the job, you will be required to relocate or travel frequently to manage the sight work. So if you happen to be a fan of traveling, you can always fulfill this wish as a certified welder!
So that brings us to the end of our guide towards a career in welding. Hurry up to be welders, get on your horses and start studying and working to make your way in a career that will promise you great monetary returns in addition to traveling in space!
Sean Coby is a welder par excellence and well respected among the welding community in Woodbridge, VA. He prides himself to be the fabricator and mechanic in the automotive/ diesel industry for the past more than eight years now. As the chief editor of his https://weldinginfocenter.com, he shares his experience to be safe during welding and to take proactive steps for becoming a successful welder like him.