So, you are considering welding as a career option? Great choice! Becoming a welder is a respectable career that can be fun, offer tons of opportunities, and even take you places if travel is your thing. Below is some information to answer the questions “is welding a good career?” to help you understand if it is right for you.
You can also take a look at our career guide to find out more information about how to become a welder and what you can expect when working as one.
Now, let’s talk about why welding is not just a good career, but a great career.
Is welding a good career?
Yes, welding is an amazing career due to its job security, salaries, and range of opportunities and benefits. If you love a challenge, are willing to work in all types of weather, are comfortable with a little bit of danger, and can handle a variety of job environments then this career is a top option for you.
Many people choose this trade because it offers security, good pay, minimal educational needs, and allows for so much opportunity all over the world. There is a creative element to it as well that many get a feel of satisfaction from as well. You can see why welders love what they do here.
Why Being A Welder Is Awesome!
The world needs welders. Our world would not be what it is without them. That alone is an awesome reason, but there are so many more which we talk about in more detail below.
No College Needed
As with all of the jobs we profile on Blue Collar Brain, there is no college required to be a welder. While you will need to receive some education to become a welder, it is much less than that of other careers. There are options to attend welding specific trade schools or a welding program at a local community college, and you can expect to do an apprenticeship as well. There are even a few online schools as well for those that may struggle to get to a trade school.
See what others say about not needing a degree to be a welder on Reddit
Range of opportunities
This might be one of the best things about this career, especially for those that get bored easily. The range of opportunities to grow and expand you knowledge in various industries is huge. If you love the water, you may want to look into becoming an underwater welder. Love cars? Then working as an automobile welder may be more your thing. There is also a pipefitter or sheet metal welder (considered part of the basic industries career path) – just to name a few more.
Travel the World
If traveling is your thing, welding is a career that can take you places! There is demand all over the world for welders, offering you the opportunity to work in other countries. These types of jobs will often have you away from home for lengths of time, but can often pay very well and the ability to see the world is priceless.
Some types of jobs you might find yourself doing include ship building or repair, industrial maintenance, motorsports, or even work in the military are just a few of the traveling opportunities.
There is not really a place in the world that does not need welders, making it a stable long-term career. While the industries you work in might change, the career itself remains strong. The versatility of welding skills can help you find work in many different industries making it one of the strongest careers for stability.
While you may not make 6-figures right away, the prospect of getting to a 6-figure salary is real – and obtainable if you put in the time and effort. With a median salary of $44,190 you can feel good knowing you can provide for your family and still have the chance to earn more.
But, that salary is just a base! The opportunity to earn over $100,000 as a welder is not that far-fetched. When you continue to learn and grow and open your mind to working overseas or in more dangerous positions like as an underwater welder, the opportunities can be very lucrative. Also specializing in something like rig welding or working with exotic metals can help improve your salary range.
Excellent Future Outlook
No matter what the world is going through, welders are needed. Even during the pandemic – welders still often continued on. Welders were always needed during war times and often see an increase in opportunities. There are not many times in history where welders went without work, and we could not even find any when we did a search. While many jobs may someday not exist, or may be temporarily halted by what is going on in the world – welding jobs will remain secure.
Start A Business
Maybe working for someone else is not your long term plan and you have always dreamed of owning your own business. Welding can offer that opportunity too! After you have worked for someone else for a few years, you can break out on your own if you are the entrepreneurial type and be your own boss. This allows you so much more flexibility and an opportunity to earn even more money.
But, it can be a hard path too! We do highly recommend you take a few business classes before heading out on your own.
You definitely want to check with your boss first, but if they are OK with it you can do some side hustles to earn some extra income when you need it. Whether you do welding projects for friends or family or even start a small business on the side, there is definitely the chance for you to broaden your earning potential with side work. Even working with precious metals can be an option on a smaller scale.
Become An Artist
There are some welding artists that are actually making money selling their art. While some of these artisans might be self trained or attended hobby welding classes, it does not minimize the skill or talent they have. Some do work for cities, some do work for museums, and other sell their art to the public. If you build a niche within the metal art community, there is a lot of potential.
The Downside Of Welding
As with any trade career, there is some not so great things too and we want to give you all the information you need to make the right choice for you.
1 | You Will Get Dirty
If the thought of getting dirty gives you the creeps, then this is definitely not the job for you. In most cases, welding can be a very dirty job. The soot from the welding will get everywhere – even with face masks on you can expect it on your face, in your nose, in your hair, and of course your hands will be a shade of gray.
2 | It Can Be Very Physically Demanding
Depending on the type of welding you do will determine the level of physical demands on your body. Underwater welding is dangerous and requires a lot of skills and physically ability. There is climbing and sometimes working in very small areas.
3 | The Danger Factor
Day to day danger is real in this job. While modern day technologies and safety standards have reduced the danger of this job, there are still risks when you are working with welding machines and metal. The heat factor, sparks, and metal shards can make for a dangerous environment.
Some types of welding jobs are much more dangerous than others as well. For example, underwater welding is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. This is a large reason why it is one of the best paying welding career options.
4 | Location
While the amount of welders needed is high, it is not the case for all areas. There are several welders who come out of school and quickly become frustrated because they cannot find jobs in their hometowns. The truth is the high paying jobs may be in certain parts of the country – or even the world. This Reddit thread has some great insight into issues with finding welding jobs and some ideas to improve your odds.
5 | Newbies Will Have To Be Patient
Newly certified welders will not get out there and make $40K a year. Just like any job – you will start out at much less and have to work hard and learn a lot to prove your value. This career path requires years of experience to get the right skills that employers need, so hang in there and you will be welding your way to the top in no time.