Facts About a Career in Welding

Welding is a great industry for you to consider. We’ve written this article to help you decide if welding is the right career for you. Let’s explore some important facts about careers in welding.

Welders cut, shape and join sections of metal plates and pipes in a wide range of industries. Welding is an ancient practice; the earliest welding is recorded as having happened in the Bronze Age (3500 B.C.). Common products rely on welding, such as bridges, computers, cell phones, MP3 players, and much more. For example, approximately 950 man-hours are spent on welding and associated tasks for each NASCAR race car. Hundreds of parts are hand-cut, welded and machined, from the chassis and suspension to the drivetrain.

The projected job growth for welding-related trades from 2012-2022 is 6% (this includes welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers). The average hourly wage for welders in Ontario is $22.40; New welders at the journeyman level can expect to earn somewhere in the neighbourhood of $41,000 and $50,000 per year. Welders with more experience can earn upwards of $67,000 per year!

Working in the welding trade offers a diverse array of career paths. Once you become trained and licensed, and in many cases complete an apprenticeship program, there are possibilities for you in the industry. There is a high demand for welders in Canada and globally, giving welders the potential for wonderful travelling opportunities. As well, welding is a “green collar” career choice, which means the position is ecologically-friendly and likely to stay economically feasible into the future.

“One of the great things about the welding trade and all the career paths that it brings is that welding is really everywhere,” said Craig Martin, the vice president of public safety for the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) Group, a non-profit certification and registration organization in an interview with The Globe & Mail. “Welding appears in everything from the cars we drive, to ships, to aircrafts, to infrastructure, to consumer goods – and everything in between,” Martin goes on to elaborate.

The basic tasks of welders include: selecting and laying out materials to be cut or joined (following engineering instructions and drawings), using suitable welding method for each job, inspecting and testing joins and cuts, and using various instruments to operate welding equipment.

Welders would normally work an average of approximately 38 hours per week. Shiftwork is common and overtime may often be necessary to meet crucial deadlines. Working conditions depend on the type of welding job one must perform. An example would include working in a shipyard, which would be cramped for welders working on repairs at the bottom of a ship’s hull. Welders working on oil pipelines or rigs at sea would be exposed to all types of weather conditions. Welders are usually required to wear clothing protecting their faces and bodies, such as gloves, face-shields, and aprons. Occasionally, welders may need to wear equipment designed for specific jobs, such as a breathing apparatuses for welding tasks which are located underwater. Another example would be a safety harness for welding items at heights.

We hope that we’ve illuminated some truths on pursuing welding as a career path. Welding is a tremendously gratifying career choice, with many fascinating specializations and areas to work in. The Institute of Technical Trade offers a wide variety of resources for pursuing trades like welding and much more. For more information, visit www.instituteoftechnicaltrades.com or call 1-800-461-4981 or 416-750-1950.