Skilled Trade


 Average Hourly Wage


What You Need

  • 18 years old
  • Secondary education preferred
  • Long term on-the-job training

Job description

Industrial welders (Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers) or maintenance welders join metal components of products, such as automobiles, boilers, ships, aircraft, and mobile homes. They accomplish this with specified layouts, blueprints, diagrams, work orders, welding procedures, or oral instructions, using electric arc-welding equipment. Welders connect cables from welding units to obtain amperage, voltage, slope, and pulse. They may clean or degrease weld joints or work pieces, repair broken or cracked parts, fill holes, and operate other machine shop equipment to prepare components for welding.

Working conditions

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers may work outdoors, often in inclement weather, or indoors, sometimes in a confined area. They may work on a scaffold, high off the ground, and they occasionally must lift heavy objects and work in awkward positions. Although most work full time, overtime is common.

Length of apprenticeship

Length of program can be as little as six months or as long as two years depending on the certification.

Minimum qualifications

Workers typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and less than one year of related work experience to enter this occupation. Those with a postsecondary non-degree award have a competitive advantage in the labor market. In addition, long-term on-the-job training is typically needed, once employed, to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.


Beginning apprentices start at about 75 percent of the journey-level wage. Upon successful completion of required class work and on-the-job hours, wages increase usually every six months until the journey-level rate is achieved.

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