What does a Welder do?
Welders work at manufacturing plants and construction sites to shape and modify metal objects. They can work with items at any scale, from small pipes and car parts to massive steel beams in the infrastructure of a building. Welders use detailed specifications to complete their role in a project’s construction and carefully inspect their work for imperfections and defects to ensure the structural integrity of their projects. Welders may help set up scaffolding to reach high places or climb into tight spaces. They are educated on workplace safety practices, including the type of protective equipment they need in various situations.
Welder skills and qualifications
Welders use a variety of skills to complete their jobs effectively, which can include:
- Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
- Ability to read blueprints
- Knowledge of metallurgy
- Knowledge of various welding techniques, including TIG, MIG, arc, and oxy-fuel welding
- Knowledge of manual and mechanical welding techniques
Welder salary expectations
A Welder makes an average of $17.85 an hour. Pay rate may depend on a candidate’s education, experience level, geographical location and industry in which they work. Welders who have significant work experience may expect higher pay that’s commensurate with their skills and experience. Welders who work in specialty fields such as welding underwater or commissioned works are typically paid more due to the amount of skill, training and experience required to perform the work in those specialized fields.
Welder education and training requirements
Welders typically attend a community college or technical school to learn how to weld and obtain their certification. Welders aren’t required to attend school to weld and can possess extensive experience and skills without a formal education. Education of some kind is preferable but not a necessity for someone to be a successful Welder.
Welder experience requirements
Welders are known either as an Apprentice, Intermediate or Journeyman. An Apprentice is someone who has finished schooling and has been in the field of welding for less than five years. An Intermediate Welder is someone who has worked in the position for more than five years but isn’t as proficient as a Journeyman. The Journeyman Welder has experience in just about every aspect of the welding field and can start a job with little instruction or supervision.
Job description samples for similar positions
If you’re looking for a job description for a related position to a Welder, see our job descriptions for similar roles: