Welders join pieces together that Fabricators have made. The materials that can be joined are metals such as steel aluminum, brass, stainless steel, etc. Welding can be performed manually or by programming Robotic Welders to perform the operations. Robotic Welders are often used in larger quantity production.
Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers use hand-held or remotely controlled equipment to join or cut metal parts, or to smooth surfaces. These workers study sketches and specifications to understand the full picture of the structure and materials before they start their work. Welders’ and cutters’ tools use high heat to soften the material. Welders use these tools to join metal. Bending, stooping, and heavy lifting are common. Soldering and brazing workers use molten metal to join two pieces of metal. Soldering involves precision tasks such as forming joins in electronic circuit boards, while brazing uses metals at higher temperatures to —for example—apply coatings to parts for protection against wear and corrosion. Other workers in this field manage machines or robots that perform welding, brazing, soldering, or heat treating tasks. These workers may also operate laser cutters or laser-beam machines. Hazards include very hot materials and the intense light created by the arc. While employers are required to provide safely ventilated areas, these workers typically wear safety equipment to prevent injuries. Most positions are full time; evenings, weekends and overtime hours are common. High school education, along with technical and on-the-job training is typically required to enter these fields. A certification or other skill credential is attractive to employers.
Related Careers: Fabrication Welder, Maintenance Welder, Robotic Welder, Welding Machine Operator
Sources: Minnesota CAREERwise & CareerOneStop
Typical Work Tasks
People who work in this career often:
- Operate grinding equipment.
- Operate metal or plastic forming equipment.
- Adjust equipment controls to regulate gas flow.
- Align parts or workpieces to ensure proper assembly.
- Apply protective or decorative finishes to workpieces or products.
- Assemble metal or plastic parts or products.
- Assemble metal structures.
- Assemble temporary equipment or structures.
- Cut industrial materials in preparation for fabrication or processing.
- Disassemble equipment for maintenance or repair.
Typical Working Conditions
- Wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, safety glasses, gloves, hearing protection, or hard hats.
- Using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools, or controls.
- The importance of being accurate or exact.
- Having face-to-face discussions.
- Working indoors in non-environmentally controlled conditions.
- Exposure to contaminants (like gases or odors).
- Frequent decision-making.
- Working with a group or team.
- Meeting strict deadlines.
- Responsibility for others’ health and safety.
- Exposure to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings.
Tools & Technology used by Welders
Source: Minnesota CAREERwise
Most Important Skills for Welders
- Controlling Quality—Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Monitoring Performance—Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Coordinating with Others—Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Thinking Critically—Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Operating Equipment—Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Reading—Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Teaching—Teaching others how to do something.
- Listening—Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Mathematics—Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Monitoring Equipment—Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Most Important Knowledge Areas for Welders
- Mechanical—Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Design—Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Production and Processing—Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Engineering and Technology—Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Mathematics—Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- English Language—Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training—Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Building and Construction—Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
- Administration and Management—Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Physics—Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Different careers may be a good fit for your personality or interests. This career is:
- Realistic—Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional—Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Source: Minnesota CAREERwise
|Wages Per Hour For Welders (MN)|
Low indicates 25% of workers earn less and 75% earn more. Median indicates 50% of workers earn less and 50% earn more. High indicates 75% of workers earn less and 25% earn more.
Source: Minnesota DEED, Career & Education Explorer
This career is seeing high growth compared to other careers. There will be a 4.9% growth for Welders to meet market demand between 2018-2028. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.
This career requires at least a high school degree, and a few professionals attend some college. This career does not require a license but certifications may help you advance.
View the local post-secondary education options for this career from Central Lakes College.
Spotlight on Central Lakes College
- Why consider CLC?
- Virtual Campus Tours: Brainerd Campus, Staples Campus
- Learn more about the CLC Honors Program.
- Attend CLC, and you may never need to buy a textbook.
If you have a physical, mental, developmental, or cognitive condition that requires educational support, learn about support options at CLC.
Helpful High School Courses
Examples of helpful classes that help you prepare for this career:
- Applied Math
- Blueprint Reading
- Computer Applications
- Industrial Technology
- Introduction to Business
- Technical Writing
Source: Minnesota CAREERwise
Visit Minnesota Manufactured for more information about Welding careers, as well as links to education and training programs in Minnesota.
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