Call them “welders,” “cutters,” “solderers,” or “brazers”… they’re all pretty much the same and most people simply call them welders. Welding is an “old” career that never really gets “old” – it just evolves to embrace new technologies.
Many welders today are utilizing a practice known as CNC welding – welding using Computer Numerical Controls. In a way, this approach is using robotic welding by controlling the process using a machine. Welding, as a whole, is ranked by G.I. Jobs in the top 20 of 2018’s Hot Jobs for Veterans, but which careers are the hottest, or trendiest?
If you’re going by highest-paying careers, the Welding Schools Guide lists Industrial Pipe Welders, Underwater Welders and Military Support Welders as its top three choices. Industrial pipes are used in a number of industries, gas and power generation among them, so they must be properly fitted and installed to prevent accidents and interruptions in supply. The demand for military welders is very strong – both here in the U.S. and abroad. The jobs are usually stationed at military installations and sometimes can be risky, so the pay often is higher to offset the risk.
People who love the ocean can turn their passion into a career as an underwater welder. But, it’s not an inexpensive career to pursue, with tuition reaching $17K, plus the underwater equipment. But accomplished professionals can earn upward of $200,000 a year! And, if you’re interested in automobiles, you might consider becoming a motorsports welder. NASCAR and other racing venues rely on welders to keep their cars safe, and at top speed.
For a country that depends on gasoline and oil for much of its transportation needs, becoming a refinery welder also can be a good choice. These welders usually spend their days assembling or repairing pipelines, rigs, plans and other facilities. Some offshore rigs will have full time welders on staff just to ensure equipment is always maintained and fully functional. While the pay for rig workers can be enticing, the job means spending a lot of time away from family.
Overall, welding is projected to continue growing at a rate of about 6 percent through 2026. To become a professional welder, candidates need a high school diploma, or GED, followed by a technical education and on-the-job training. Fortis offers welding programs at campuses in Smyrna, GA, Cincinnati, OH, and Erie, PA. Visit our Skilled Trades & Welding programs pages to learn more about the programs and available career opportunities as a welder.