12 Types of Welding Jobs

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 11, 2021 | Published February 4, 2020

Updated February 11, 2021

Published February 4, 2020

Welding is the process of joining two or more pieces of metal together using intense heat and pressure. A career in welding offers many different opportunities in several industries. In this article, we list different types of welding jobs, including their typical duties and average salaries.

What does it take to become a welder?

Education requirements for welding vary greatly by employer. Some employers only require a high school diploma, while others also require that you pass an employer-based test. For some companies, it's required to have an undergraduate college degree, additional training and certification.

Most employers require you to have a welding certificate, which you receive when you complete the Certified Welder program This program tests welders on procedures that are used in the sheet metal, structural steel, petroleum pipelines and chemical refinery welding industries.

Related: Learn About Being a Welder

Types of Welding careers

Consider the different types of welding careers available to you:

  1. Master jeweler

  2. Mig welder

  3. Sheet metal worker

  4. Fabricator/Welder

  5. Structural iron and steelworker

  6. Welding inspector

  7. Tool and die maker

  8. Master plumber

  9. Oil rig welder

  10. Pipefitter

  11. Auto body welder/technician

  12. Industrial boilermaker

1. Master jeweler

National average salary: $14.12 per hour

Primary duties: Master jewelers are responsible for designing, fabricating and repairing jewelry metals and stones. Their main duties include:

  • Cutting and shaping soft metals into jewelry pieces

  • Soldering pieces of jewelry together

  • Restyling, resizing and repairing jewelry and

  • Smoothing soldered joints with emery paper and hand files

2. MIG welder

National average salary: $16.15 per hour

Primary duties: MIG welders measure, cut and assemble pieces of metal using an electric arc and inert gas. Their usual duties include:

  • Interpreting blueprints and specifications accurately

  • Determining correct gas ratios

  • Preparing work surfaces and metals

In all functions, MIG welders need to ensure assembly that is safe, effective and each join is strong during and after project completion.

3. Sheet metal worker

National average salary: $17.26 per hour

Primary duties: Sheet metal workers are responsible for fabricating, installing and maintaining thin sheet metal products. Their primary duties include:

  • Welding thin sheet metals and similar materials

  • Fastening metal seams

  • Creating supportive frameworks

  • Bolting materials together

4. Fabricator/Welder

National average salary: $17.73 per hour

Primary duties: Fabricators and welders are responsible for designing, cutting and shaping metal. Their primary duties include:

  • Evaluating engineering drawings

  • Performing efficient welding of various metal objects

  • Analyzing diagrams

  • Cutting all-metal accordingly

5. Structural iron and steel worker

National average salary: $20.39 per hour

Primary duties: Structural iron and steel workers are responsible for laying out and fabricating steel and iron, to build structures. Their responsibilities include:

  • Making, welding and cutting structural metal in fabricating shops

  • Drilling holes into steel for bolts

  • Cutting bars with metal shears and torches

  • Tightening cables with jacking equipment

6. Welding inspector

National average salary: $23.92 per hour

Primary duties: Welding inspectors are responsible for ensuring that weldments and welding-related activities comply with quality and safety criteria. Their primary duties include:

  • Verifying that the material is correct and in order

  • Watching weather conditions

  • Monitoring repair work in accordance with procedures

  • Making sure each weld is marked and identified

7. Tool and die maker

National average salary: $24.94 per hour

Primary duties: Tool and die makers are responsible for analyzing specifications, operating machine tools and fitting and assembling parts to make dies. Their primary duties include:

  • Cutting, shaping and trimming blocks to specified lengths and shapes

  • Using computer-aided design software to design and develop new tools and dies

  • Operating drill presses to drill and tap holes in parts for assembly

  • Lifting and mounting materials or workpieces onto production equipment

8. Master plumber

National average salary: $25.38 per hour

Primary duties: Master plumbers are responsible for planning preventive maintenance, performing repairs and maintaining the inspection backflow preventer. Their typical duties include:

  • Maintaining and repairing general plumbing components

  • Ensuring equipment is handled and maintained properly

  • Promoting the improvement of safety in the workplace

  • Installing, repairing and replacing domestic cold and hot water lines

  • Providing dimensions and sketches to drafters for creating plans

9. Oil rig welder

National average salary: $26.01 per hour

Primary duties: Oil rig welders are responsible for maintaining and repairing the rig structure. Their primary duties include:

  • Performing routine repairs

  • Building new metalwork as needed

  • Constructing pipes; bonding metals to create vessels and beams

  • Ensuring the proper use, storage and maintenance of welding equipment

10. Pipefitter

National average salary: $27.71 per hour

Primary duties: Pipefitters are responsible for the layout, assembly, installation and maintenance of pipe systems. Their usual tasks include:

  • Welding, soldering or cementing joints on pipes

  • Attaching pipes to fixtures using welding equipment or clamps

  • Resolving pipe issues, such as leaks or clogs

  • Using specialized power tools to remove and replace worn-out components

11. Auto body welder/technician

National average salary: $59,302 per year

Primary duties: Auto body welders/technicians are responsible for repairing and refinishing automotive vehicle bodies, as well as straightening vehicle frames. Their primary duties include:

  • Removing damaged parts of vehicles with metal cutting guns

  • Installing replacement parts using a welder

  • Inspecting repaired vehicles to check for dimensional accuracy

  • Performing test drives to check for proper alignment and handling

  • Shaping plastic panels by applying heat with a hot-air welding gun

  • Removing damaged panels

  • Identifying the properties of the plastic used on the vehicle

12. Industrial boilermaker

National average salary: $32.64 per hour

Primary duties: Industrial boilermakers are responsible for making and installing large containers that hold gases or liquids, such as oil. Their primary duties include:

  • Welding or bolting pieces together

  • Reading blueprints

  • Casting pieces and bending them into the correct shape, testing completed boilers

  • Performing routine maintenance

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