Art, craft and scienceWelding is described as much of an art as it is a craft and it’s not surprising that it appeals to a diverse range of people looking for something different than the corporate grind. It’s a skilled trade that combines practical skill with some simple science. Even as the trade becomes increasingly automated, industry analysts expect that hand welding, and the expert hands doing that welding, will still be in demand for years to come. The most successful welders will tell you that it is more than simply ‘laying down a perfect bead.’ Welders read blueprints, inspect piping and perform a range of calculations so, if you’re a detail-oriented person with a perfectionist tendency, you’re likely to excel and enjoy your work.
A wealth of welding opportunitiesDemand for welders continues to outpace supply. Baby-boomers and Gen Xers are retiring faster than they can be replaced. This creates serious opportunities for people entering the trade. Welding has a lot to offer someone thinking about switching careers — a short training program, travel opportunities, and job variety. Many professionals are turning to this position as a second career path.
Back to school seasonSome welders are lured to the profession by the range of training choices. New schools, training facilities, and programs are being established, with many institutions and universities initiating apprenticeship programs for students. Unlike the university route, an ambitious candidate can complete their welding training in as little as seven months and start a rewarding career in a skilled trade with opportunities for growth in multiple industries and US regions. In some cases, salaries can be on par with those of newly graduated engineers in some high-demand industries and regions.
Road warriors wantedSome new welders are drawn to the craft by the opportunity to hit the road with a skill where they can work with their hands. Some positions provide opportunities for travel over typical shop positions. With the boom in the gas, oil and construction sectors, some newly certified welders are enjoying multiple job opportunities with serious benefits, fresh out of their training programs. Aerotek recruiters tell us that categories like energy — ranging from oil and gas to power plants — are creating career destination spots for welders, in regions as diverse as the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes and California.