Welding is a job that requires intense training and certification. Nearly every industry you can imagine needs welders at some point, so this is a good trade to learn if you are looking for job stability. However, because so many types of jobs use welders, there are a lot of different typs of welding jobs out there. Even if you decide to become a welder, at some point you will have to decide if you want to specialize in a specific type.
Of course, it’s important to know what those different positions are. Here are 13 different types of welder jobs you might want to consider:
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Types Of Welder Jobs
1. Construction Welders
When you think of welding, this job is probably what pops into your head first. Construction welders work on construction projects, including buildings and bridges. Whenever metal is involved in these projects, you’re going to need welders to join it together.
2. Manufacturing Welders
Manufacturing welders typically work in factories producing equipment. This can include equipment for industries such as automotive, mining and agriculture; anywhere there’s a need for large-scale equipment, you can bet a manufacturing welder helped to build it.
3. Structural Steel Welders
Also known as ironworkers, structural steel welders work in the construction industry as well. However, unlike typical construction welders who might work on any number of projects, ironworkers specifically help build the tall steel frameworks that hold skyscrapers, ships and other large structures together. These jobs are quite dangerous at times, and, as a result, usually pay more.
4. Sheet Metal Workers
As the name implies, sheet metal workers work specifically with sheet metal. This can include studying blueprints, cutting and combining pieces of metal to meet exact specifications for a variety of projects. You often find sheet metal workers in service repair jobs for heating, cooling and ventilation systems.
Boilermakers are specialists that work on large, metal containers. These containers are used to house liquid and gas, which are usually kept at high temperatures. Because of that, these containers need to be strong enough to hold extreme temperatures and pressures.
Boilermakers are another profession that carries a lot of risk, as you are often working in tight quarters at high temperatures. In addition, extra training is involved. You can usually expect to make more as a boilermaker than you would at many other welding jobs.
6. Industrial Maintenance Welders
These welders typically work in a factory or other high-impact setting where equipment sees a lot of wear and tear. Their job is to keep the equipment up and running by maintaining equipment, repairing damage and sometimes manufacturing new parts as needed. A good industrial maintenance worker is quick and skilled when it comes to diagnosis and repair, as a broken piece of equipment can cost a factory a lot of money.
7. Industrial Shutdown Welders
Industrial shutdown welders are related to maintenance welders, but their job is a little different. While maintenance repairs and keeps it working, there are times when equipment, or a whole plant, needs to shut down for inspection and repair. This is where shutdown welders come into play. When the plant shuts down, they come in and get to work repairing equipment and inspecting to make sure everything will run smoothly when production starts up again.
8. Rig Welders
As you can guess, rig welders work on giant oil and gas rigs. Usually, these steel monsters are set up offshore where a spot has been located. Rig welders help build the giant rigs, and then they stay on to help repair and maintain. They often work in extreme weather conditions and dangerous situations. Because of that, rig welders need to be strong and available at a moment’s notice.
The name says it all: pipefitters work with pipes. In this case, pipefitters help build the long network of oil and gas pipelines that help move products throughout a country and even the world. This is a rather specialized area that involves measuring, shaping, building and fitting, as well as basic maintenance.
10. Motorsports Welders
Motorsports welders work on vehicles – but not just any vehicles. These welders help to build, modify and maintain cars in the high-performance area of extreme racing. This involves keeping up to date with the latest industry standards and materials, designing fixes to problems and keeping the car running at optimal level at all times.
11. Shipyard Welders
Just as motorsports welders work on cars, shipyard welders work on boats, ships and all things nautical. There’s a lot of welding that goes into building a new ship, and shipyard welders are there through the whole process. They also often gets jobs on a specific ship as it travels, helping to keep it seaworthy.
12. Military Welders
These welders work for the military, as you might have guessed, and can work in a variety of fields in that respect. You could work on vehicles, buildings, ships or other facilities in whatever capacity you are need. Being part of the military, you can expect to be put in risky situations from time to time with this job.
13. Underwater Welders
You’ve probably heard already that underwater welding is extremely difficult and dangerous, and you would be 100% right. This job puts workers in extreme situations that usually involve deep-sea conditions and extreme pressure. These jobs are dangerous, but they are also some of the highest-paid jobs in the industry.
If you’re wondering how much a welder makes, the simple answer is that there is no simple answer. That’s because each type of welder job pays differently. Some of these jobs come with dangers that make them more risky; you can expect the pay to increase in this situation.
Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t look at where welding might start. The typical welding job pays anywhere from $25,000 annually to about $55,000. Obviously, there is a huge discrepancy there, and that difference typically takes the form of years of experience, areas of certification and geographical location. On average, though, you can expect to make about $35,000 a year.
As you can see, welding is a job that offers a wide variety. Depending on where you want to work and how much you want to make, you can find a lot of opportunities as a trained, certified welder. The pay is good, and the job stability that comes with being a welder can’t be matched.