Why Become a Welder?

From the cars we drive to the houses we live in, the welding industry is constantly shaping our world. Skilled welding professionals keep our industries and economy moving forward each and every day and work behind the scenes from constructing bridges to Hollywood movie sets. Welding offers multiple career paths and is consistently in high demand.

Career Pathways

Becoming a Welder

Technical College

Welding certificate programs prepare students for careers in the welding industry and emphasizes welding theory and practical applications necessary for successful employment. Students are prepared to gain entry-level training in the construction industry as a welding and joining technician and to take the qualifications tests. Standard pathway to obtaining a technical degree includes:

Meet Education Requirements
High school diploma or GED required
Attend Technical College or Trade School
Minimum of 3 semesters is required
Complete Apprenticeship
Combine paid onsite training with classroom instruction

*Please note, requirements may vary by State and location.

Straight to Workforce

Although numerous employers are willing to hire inexperienced entry-level welders and train them on the job, many prefer to hire workers who have been through training or credentialing programs. Even entry-level workers with formal technical training still begin their working career with several months of on-the-job training. An understanding of electricity is helpful, as well as skills and knowledge of computers is gaining importance as welding, soldering, and brazing machine operators become more responsible for programming robots and other computer-controlled machines.

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Trade Career Opportunities for Welders


Work in a wide variety of industries, from car racing to manufacturing. The work that welders do and the equipment they use vary with the industry. Arc welding, the most common type of welding today, uses electrical currents to create heat and bond metals together—but there are more than 100 different processes that a welder can use. The type of weld normally is determined by the types of metals being joined and the conditions under which the welding is to take place.


Use heat to cut and trim metal objects to specific dimensions. The work of arc, plasma, and oxy–gas cutters is closely related to that of welders. However, instead of joining metals, cutters use the heat from an electric arc, a stream of ionized gas called plasma, or burning gases to cut and trim metal objects to specific dimensions. Cutters also dismantle large objects, such as ships, railroad cars, automobiles, buildings, and aircraft. Some operate and monitor cutting machines similar to those used by welding machine operators.

Solderers & Brazers

Use heat to join two or more metal objects together. Soldering commonly is used to make electrical and electronic circuit boards, such as computer chips. Soldering workers tend to work with small pieces that must be positioned precisely. Brazing often is used to connect cast iron and thinner metals that the higher temperatures of welding would warp. Brazing also can be used to apply coatings to parts in order to reduce wear and protect against corrosion.

Business Owner:

Use the skills and experience learned from technical degree, apprenticeship, or on the job training and start a business to become your own boss.

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**Above career path chart shows how you might advance from one job title to another within the trade industry; not all trade pathways are the same and depend on each person’s ultimate goals and job opportunities


Have a career path in mind? Find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

Dual Enrollment

Maximize education and career training by taking courses that earn college and high school credit at the same time.

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