In 2007 the American Welding Society projected a shortage of 200,000 skilled welders by 2010.
EDITOR’S NOTE (Sept. 2013): Since at least 2008 there has been a shortage of approximately 250,000 welders–a shortage that has remained consistent.
From the AWS Welding Shortage Fact Sheet:
The United States is in the midst of a welder shortage that is expected to intensify as baby boomers age and the need for skilled labor grows. Studies show that there are more than 500,000 welders employed in the U.S. And the need for these skilled workers is only getting stronger as virtually all construction and manufacturing companies require some form of welding, from the production of assemblies to maintenance and repair….. the average age of a welder is in the mid-fifties, with many approaching 60 years old. It is estimated that more than half of the industry’s highly trained workforce is nearing retirement….-continue reading about the welder shortage–>
I’ve written about it before on this blog. It is part of what inspired me to begin the New Rosies series, which will hopefully inspire some young women to go into welding as a career. But how do you get into welding as a career? How do you get the really high paying welding jobs?
I recommend starting with professional training. There are a lot of low cost programs out there that will at the very least get you started. Check out my earlier post on How to find a Welding School.
Welding is far more complex than many people realize. A good welder needs to know about metalurgy, geometry, electricity AND have good eye/hand coordination to actually lay down some beads.
Look for a school that offers an open enrollment program so you can practice, practice, practice. One of the benefits of an open enrollment program like the Simi Valley Career Institute (we featured welding instructor Tony Marsden over on JoeWelder.com earlier this month) is that students can learn at their own pace and the classroom serves as a workshop. Beginners can learn, or they can improve their skills– learning to weld titanium or Inconel, or getting a pressure vessel pipe certification– which means additional money!
How did you learn to weld? How did you get your first welding job? What advice would you give anyone interested in joining the industry? First five to leave a comment (who aren’t related to me or Arc-Zone.com) will get a free t-shirt!