Do you enjoy creating new things with your hands (and a blowtorch)?

Plankton, from the SpongeBob cartoon, lights a blowtorch with a striker and grins.

Are you an analytical thinker who enjoys problem-solving and detailed work?

A pink clipboard with a checklist is in the center. A person's hand holding a pencil checks off the 4th item on the list.

Do you want to positively impact your community by building bridges, improving gas and water pipelines to homes, or even creating art?

A man in glasses and a striped shirt standing up and pointing. He says,

If you answered yes, you might enjoy a career as a welder!

What does a welder do?

A welder leans over their work as they use a torch to join metal tubing together. They wear a face shield and thick gloves. Photo by Syd Mills on Unsplash

All welders’ work involves using a flame to join, bend, or cut pieces of metal. 

Welders can work in construction, industrial, commercial sites, and more.

There are many specializations within welding that have their own skills and applications, such as:

  • Welder fabricators: Create custom cars and motorcycles.

  • Ironworkers: Build structures like bridges and stadiums.

  • Pipefitters: Connect pipes to move natural gas or water to homes or factories.

  • Shipfitters: Repair damage to a tugboat's hull.

What skills does a welder use?

A welder working on tall piece of metal.

Welders use a variety of both hard and soft skills in their work.

Some examples are:

Hard Skills

  • Reading blueprints

  • Math for measurements and angles

  • Safe use of fire and equipment

  • Hand-eye coordination

Soft Skills

  • Problem-solving

  • Critical thinking

  • Collaboration

  • Punctuality


Jordan is a high school sophomore considering a career in welding. Which class(es) would best help them build skills that welders need?

What does a typical day look like?

A welder’s typical day depends on their specialty. Most welders work shifts in a shop, factory, or job site.

Meet Taylor, a welder fabricator at a construction site.

Flaticon Icon They work a 10-hour day shift 4 days a week from 8:00 am - 6:00 pm. Their daily schedule may include:

  • 8:00 am: Arrive at the job site. Review the plans and blueprints for today's work.

  • 8:15 am: Pick the right equipment and check it for safety.

  • 8:45 am: Put on personal protective equipment (PPE).

  • 9:00 am-5:00 pm: Do the welding tasks for the day, stopping for water and lunch.

  • 5:00 pm: Get the supervisor's sign-off on their work.

  • 5:10 pm: Clean up the work area for the next shift.

  • 5:45 pm: Remove PPE. Clean and store equipment.

What kind of experience do I need?

Flaticon Icon

  • Education: Get a high school diploma or GED.

  • Certification: Complete initial training in welding, usually a certificate or associate’s degree program (6-18 months).

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  • Apprenticeship: Gain hands-on experience in the type of welding you want to do.

  • Professional credential: Once you've finished your training, earn a general or more specific professional welding credential. Then apply for jobs.

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  • Further education (optional): Obtain a Bachelor’s (4-year) degree in welding, materials science, welding engineering, etc, can open up other careers like welding inspector or welding engineer.

How much do welders make?

Flaticon Icon United States

Welders earn an average of $22.30 USD an hour, which is about $50,000 a year.

Flaticon Icon Canada

Welders earn an average of $28.69 CAD an hour, which is about $60,550 a year.

More specialized or experienced welders can earn more, into the $90,000-$100,000 USD range.

Is welding right for me?

Rory, from Gilmore Girls, looks at her mom, Lorelai. Lorelai says,

You'll love it if you...

  • Like working with a team.

  • Enjoy making something with your own hands.

  • Might not want to get a 4-year degree.

  • Don't mind getting hot or messy at work.

  • Are detail-oriented and thorough.

Look for another career if you...

  • Want to work at a desk every day.

  • Don't like working with fire or heavy equipment.

  • Want to make your own hours.

  • Don't want to stand for a long time or lift equipment at work.

Take Action

A young Black woman in a work apron picks up a blowtorch and pulls down her welding face shield.

Does welding sound like a good fit for you? If so: 


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