Starting Your Career: How to Become a Certified Welder

Do you love watching literal sparks fly? Do you enjoy working with your hands? Are you hungry for creative, well-paid work?

If this sounds familiar, becoming a welder may be for you!

While this isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, entry-level certified welders can expect an initial welder salary of $40,000 a year. Experienced welders can earn $80,000 or more, depending on their specialization.

Interested in your next steps? Here’s what you need to know before choosing welding as a profession.

Research Welding Jobs and Options

Before you get started, you should know what options are available to you. This is a great way to understand the tasks and responsibilities of different welding jobs, which can help you decide which one is right for you.

You may need a specific welding certification for specific jobs, and training options may vary depending on the type of opportunity you’re hoping for. MIG, TIG, and stick welding are common disciplines, but you may find that another option appeals to you.

Become a Certified Welder

Though you may get started in welding through high school courses, it’s important to further your education with certification.

For this, you’ll want to head to a welding school that specializes in the industry. Check out some of the best welding schools to decide what works for you. Alternatively, you may be able to find a local community college or certification center.

Get Welding Experience

You can opt for this step before, while, or after you earn your certificate, especially if you already have an informal background in welding from work or high school courses. Because welding is skill-based, you’ll need all the hands-on experience you can get. Enroll in community college courses, take on apprenticeships, and learn all you can about the world of welding.

Seek Jobs in Welding

If you’ve worked with a company during an apprenticeship, you may be able to work your way up to a full-time welding career. However, you can also try alternate routes.

Talk to your local welder’s or ironworker’s union. These groups may be able to connect you with job opportunities. You can also look for postings online that match your experience and welding discipline of interest.

Continue Growing Your Skills

As a craftsman, it’s important to keep pursuing more knowledge and growing your pool of existing skills. The more experience you have, the more opportunities you’ll have later down the line.

Get Started on Your Welding Career

As a professional certified welder, you’ll find that there are many opportunities to climb the ladder while doing interesting hands-on work. If this sounds like a rewarding career for you, do your research to decide how you’ll take the next steps. Get started today!

Want more of the career and education insights you need? Find your path forward with the other helpful guides here on our site.


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