What do Welders do?

Welding is a method of permanently joining two or more metal parts. It involves applying heat to metal pieces which melts and fuses them, creating a strong bond upon cooling. Welders use many different welding methods for specific purposes including maintenance and repair. Given the importance of welding as an industrial process, it is not surprising that welders are employed across a broad range of industries including construction, car racing, oil and gas, mining, and manufacturing. Welding is used to join steel beams in the construction of buildings, bridges, and other structures and to join pipes in pipelines, power plants, and refineries. Arc welding, the most common type of welding today, uses electrical currents to create heat and bond metals together, but there are more than 100 different processes that a welder can use.

Average Wage

Experienced Wage

As a Welder, you will

Inspect welds to verify quality and specifications
Read and interpret blueprints
Set up and maintain specialized tools and equipment
Use welding knowledge base to choose appropriate tools and materials
Weld components in flat, horizontal, vertical, or overhead positions

Training & Educational Opportunities

You will have plenty of employment opportunities as a welder, but first you will have to become proficient in blueprint reading, shop mathematics, mechanic drawing, physics, chemistry, welding technology, and metallurgy through coursework, experience, or an apprenticeship. Employers may require you earn a certificate from the American Welding Society.

Training Providers

The following certified training providers offer programs and certifications to train for a career as a welder:

  • College of DuPage
  • Elgin Community College
  • ETI School of Skilled Trades
  • Harper College
  • Illinois Welding School, Inc.
  • Jane Addams Resource Corporation
  • Waubonsee Community College

Need Help Paying for These Skills or Certifications?

A WIOA grant can pay for up to $10,000 of training.

Types of Employers

  • Commercial machine repair companies
  • Construction and building companies
  • Manufacturers
  • Railroad companies
  • Ship and boat builders
  • Utility and energy companies

Advancement Opportunities

  • Certified Robotic Arc Welder
  • Certified Welding Educator
  • Certified Welding Engineer
  • Certified Welding Inspector