Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 418,200 people employed as welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $44,200.
Entry level employees earn approximately $30,640 per year and senior employees earn approximately $66,250
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- Ignite torches or start power supplies and strike arcs by touching electrodes to metals being welded, completing electrical circuits.
- Connect and turn regulator valves to activate and adjust gas flow and pressure so that desired flames are obtained.
- Preheat workpieces prior to welding or bending, using torches or heating furnaces.
- Align and clamp workpieces together, using rules, squares, or hand tools, or position items in fixtures, jigs, or vises.
- Develop templates and models for welding projects, using mathematical calculations based on blueprint information.
- Guide and direct flames or electrodes on or across workpieces to straighten, bend, melt, or build up metal.
- Position and secure workpieces, using hoists, cranes, wire, and banding machines or hand tools.
- Detect faulty operation of equipment or defective materials and notify supervisors.
- Clean or degrease parts, using wire brushes, portable grinders, or chemical baths.
- Set up and use ladders and scaffolding as necessary to complete work.
- Hammer out bulges or bends in metal workpieces.
- Melt and apply solder to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products, using soldering equipment.
- Determine required equipment and welding methods, applying knowledge of metallurgy, geometry, and welding techniques.
- Monitor the fitting, burning, and welding processes to avoid overheating of parts or warping, shrinking, distortion, or expansion of material.
- Mark or tag material with proper job number, piece marks, and other identifying marks as required.
- Chip or grind off excess weld, slag, or spatter, using hand scrapers or power chippers, portable grinders, or arc-cutting equipment.
- Prepare all material surfaces to be welded, ensuring that there is no loose or thick scale, slag, rust, moisture, grease, or other foreign matter.
- Operate safety equipment and use safe work habits.
- Examine workpieces for defects and measure workpieces with straightedges or templates to ensure conformance with specifications.
- Recognize, set up, and operate hand and power tools common to the welding trade, such as shielded metal arc and gas metal arc welding equipment.
- Weld separately or in combination, using aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, and other alloys.
- Select and install torches, torch tips, filler rods, and flux, according to welding chart specifications or types and thicknesses of metals.
- Use fire suppression methods in industrial emergencies.
- Melt and apply solder along adjoining edges of workpieces to solder joints, using soldering irons, gas torches, or electric-ultrasonic equipment.
- Grind, cut, buff, or bend edges of workpieces to be joined to ensure snug fit, using power grinders and hand tools.
- Repair products by dismantling, straightening, reshaping, and reassembling parts, using cutting torches, straightening presses, and hand tools.
- Check grooves, angles, or gap allowances, using micrometers, calipers, and precision measuring instruments.
- Operate metal shaping, straightening, and bending machines, such as brakes and shears.
- Weld components in flat, vertical, or overhead positions.