Career Outlook

According to the American Welding Society, the welding industry will face a shortage of approximately 400,000 welders by 2024.  Currently, the average age of a welder is 55 and soon many will be retiring which will leave the United States with an enormous deficit of welders in the work force.  Due to the shortage of skilled welders, welding will be a great career choice for many years to come.  Skilled welders can expect to have many job opportunities, most likely for the entire span of their career.   

Welding is a major part of many different industries including the automotive industry, shipbuilding industry, boiler industry, aerospace and aircraft industry, military, energy industry and infrastructure creation. Because welding is a major part of most all industries, the world's economy cannot survive without welding. It does not matter if it is building bridges, nuclear power plants or drilling for oil, welders will be needed.  The future outlook for skilled welders is bright.

Career Opportunities 

More than 50% of all man-made products require welding.  Because so many industries hire welders, there are many different types of career opportunities available.  Skilled welders are sure to be in high demand and have a unique opportunity to have a career based upon their interests. Also, since welders are needed in almost every industry, it gives them the flexibility to switch industries without changing careers. Some of the many types of career opportunities include the following:

  • Manufacturing
  • Fabrication
  • Nuclear Plants
  • Ironworking
  • Plumber/Pipefitter/Steamfitter
  • Sheet Metal Worker
  • Pipeline Welder
  • Oil Rig Welder
  • Welding Educator
  • Underwater Welding
  • Welding Sales
  • Welding Inspection
  • Welding Consultant

Earning Potential 

Everyone wants to know "How much can welders earn?" When it comes to welding, the salaries vary a lot.  It all depends on how skilled you, what type of welder you are and your location. Welders can expect to earn anywhere from $35,000 to over $100,000 per year.  The huge range in salary is all because of the so many different types of career opportunities available in welding. Highly skilled welders who are willing to work far from home and/or work in hazardous conditions can expect to earn the highest salary. Welding is one of the very few skills that can earn you a six figure income without a college degree.  Although most welders do not make a six figure salary, most welders do make a good living with their skills.