In this article, we explained different types of welding jobs and how these can change your entire life. People always assume that only those with a four-year degree from a university (and other supplemental academic titles such as MA or PhD) can get ahead in life. While there is no doubt that many have succeeded, armed with the necessary diploma from the right school and specialisation, in some instances that is not the case.
Choosing the right university and discipline is not always a prerequisite. The fact of the matter is, especially in this day and age, specific industries require specific skill sets that many degree holders do not possess – either because graduates don’t have the appropriate training or, this expertise is not widespread by those who do not think highly of particular occupations. Let’s face it, some scoff at the idea of doing manual or even mechanical work.
How to be a welder
While welding is technical and involves learning concrete competencies, one does not need to take a certification yearly, or even a test from state to state as expertise and knowledge on how to be a welder are precisely the same. Companies won’t ask you to take other aptitude exams as you can use the same certification wherever you go. Training is either done extensively in vocational schools and online. But of course, the training and online schools should be credible and of good repute.
Moreover, since welding is quite versatile, welders can also work in different occupations that command a competitive monthly wage like construction, manufacturing, shipping, manufacturing and, oil and gas.
So for those who may not be armed with a university or an advanced degree but would love a good challenge, learn a highly coveted skill sought by top industries, earn decently and, have the chance to work in a different country – then welding may be what you need in your life.
Different Types of welding jobs
Take for example welding. Often associated with unskilled work as welders are often seen toiling under the heat of the sun or exposed to harmful elements thus, the majority of the people will not choose this line of work. Unbeknownst to many, workers who do this kind of workers earn more than the average 9 – 5 employees working in sprawling offices equipped with ergonomic chairs and desks.
While not all welders have big take-home pays, their wages can still allow them to live a relatively cosy life. In the United States, for instance, the median salary or income for workers clocking in 40 hours of work per week is around USD 35,000. This is also around the same for those engaged in welding – the majority of whom did not graduate with a bachelor’s degree.
Welders on the other hand who do more specific and sensitive work can earn as much as USD 170,000 + annually. While the sensitivity and nature of the work may oftentimes go beyond one’s comfort zone, there are some perks that go along with it like (1) being associated with a high profile company or even agency, and the ultimate dream, (2) work in countries that many of those suffering from chronic wanderlust will surely crave.
- So which industries seek this type of workers and skills set?
- And how does one get in if welding is not particularly part of your armada of know-how?
For those who are interested, industries that put high value in welding jobs are – not surprisingly, gas and oil, shipping, military, manufacturing and construction. And based on the nature of these industries, mobility or frequent travelling is essential as the job placements are most often offshore like gas and oil. But again, a certain degree of caution is needed to execute this type of job properly.
High paying industries
As mentioned, people with welding experience and knowledge are highly sought after by big industries. In gas and oil, welders do the work in putting the pipelines, fitting, rigging, securing the pipes in place and even non-destructive testing.
Underwater welding jobs
There is, definitely, a high degree of complexity since while some oil fields located inland, others are strategically on high seas, which require welders – or underwater welders to not only know how to weld but also learn how to use scuba diving equipment and stay underwater for a long time, which is a challange to match. Hence, welders who do this work have had passed rigorous physical examinations.
In the highly lucrative oil and gas industry, companies invest heavily in welders as they serve as the backbone of the sector – connecting pipes and cables, fixing them if broken and monitoring their maintenance for operations to continue without a glitch.
While machines do the work of building the pipes and other metals or the oil rigs, welders do the painstaking work of connecting them from end to end and securing the bolts. Only welders can do this type of job as the work requires handling equipment that can heat up and melt the metals even in temperatures that are colder than average.
During maintenance work, a complete shutdown of oil rigs occurs, which would result for companies to incur financial losses. This happens during an industrial shutdown, which could last for about a month or so. Thus, managing the time and following the schedule plan is of utmost importance. During this period, welders not only check for defects but also remove other foreign bodies that could weaken the structure, and highly skilled welders are capable of doing such delicate task. And oil companies pay a high price to those who can do the job.
Likewise, those who wish to explore other countries could benefit from welding as many oil rigs are offshore, thus frequent travelling and staying overseas remains the norm. But travelling is not always an option as there are oil rigs that don’t require welders to travel as much. Then again, spending considerable time away from one’s home is needed as welders do detailed work that could last for six months straight.
An oil rig welder can fetch an annual income of USD 54,000 – the highest could be around USD 94,000 for welders who do underwater work.
Those employed during an industrial shutdown earn from USD 71,000 to 175,000.
Like the oil and gas industry, this industry also invests heavily in the workforce that can do welding work. Since ships transport valued cargo and people regularly in volatile waters, they need to be in tip-top shape to function smoothly and withstand the acidity of saltwater and not to mention the impact of significant waves.
Since welders can also do construction work, naturally they are also involved in shipbuilding. They mainly do the technical job of smelting and ensuring the navigation part of the vessel remains aligned.
Welding job does not end in building ships alone, since maintaining the worthiness of the ships is vital. A shipping crew always includes a team of welders who can fix and regularly check the seaworthiness of the ship. At times, they also might do the maintenance work while submerged in water – using heavy equipment that generates heat.
For the welder’s skills set, he or she can earn an annual income of USD 46,000 with an additional perk of visiting new places even outside one’s own country as mobility and travelling to new territories are part of welders’ scope of work. If a welder is part of the vessel’s crew, then he or she would then need to stay abroad for a considerable amount of time too.
If you wish to be part of the military, one does not need to be a soldier, or an officer or fighter pilot to be part of the system as skilled welders do specific critical work. They are an integral part of the military entourage and support team.
So what are their main responsibilities?
Welders mostly ensure that the machinery, armoury and vehicles remain in good shape and not hampering the movement of the personnel.
Since the military also maintains bases overseas, they also do work there as well by doing repair work and strengthening the structures to ensure the stations have proper cover and protection from both natural and human-made damaging elements.
What’s the average income of a welder in the military annually? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it could go as high as USD 160,000 – which is even higher compared to a Portfolio Manager working in a bank in mainland USA.
Since welders also do construction work, companies recruit skilled welders as their expertise needed in foundation work. Construction does not only engage in putting gravel, cement blocks and metal beams on top of each other but requires the people working in development to have the necessary aptitude to secure them tightly to maintain the structural integrity of the building or even of a simple house. In industrial construction, welders provide support in constructing bridges, highways and commercial buildings. They are integral in civil engineering also if they are not engineers themselves.
Unlike in shipping, oil and gas and, military, the possibility of moving to a different location is not high in construction though. Therefore, those who wish to stay closer to home can still work as a welder. The pay may not be as competitive compared to gas and oil or shipping, but the annual income of a construction welder would still allow one to live decently. For this industry, yearly salary is at USD 39,000.
Aside from the leading sectors above, motorsports and manufacturing put high premium in welding jobs too. In construction, welders naturally are involved in crafting products made of metals.
In motorsports, where maintaining cars excellent performance and speed are essential, welders are part of the team or racing crew. NASCAR the most popular racing event in the US, welders regularly travel with the squad to continually check the condition of the racings car. They also do the customs building.
Throughout the entire article, we tried to make a list of different types of welding jobs that can be an excellent source of happiness and earn money. Some jobs are really exciting and adventurous. Enjoy your work, enjoy your life. Happy Welding.
May 8, 2018