7 Reasons Why Now is the Best Time to Switch to a Career in Welding
Timing can be everything in life. If you’re contemplating a career change, you don’t want to rush into a decision but you also don’t want to put it off any longer than necessary. It’s also important to join an industry that is booming today but also ...
Timing can be everything in life. If you’re contemplating a career change, you don’t want to rush into a decision but you also don’t want to put it off any longer than necessary. It’s also important to join an industry that is booming today but also has a good long-term outlook – otherwise, in a few years you could find yourself in a similar position of feeling stuck or unsatisfied with your job.
When you’re ready to make the leap, one field you should consider is welding. It’s a skilled trade that’s needed in more industries than you probably realize, with jobs that are stable even during down economic periods. Plus, speaking of timing, now may be one of the best times ever to get into the welding industry. Here are seven reasons why.
1. Jobs are in High Demand
The welding industry is currently undergoing a major transition.. As the Baby Boomer generation begins to retire, it’s leaving a large gap in the welding workforce. That means trained welders, especially those who pass the AWS Certified Welder test, are in very high demand. If you’re looking to move to a fast-growing industry with excellent job security, welding is a very smart path.
1. Excellent Salary Potential
Since welders are in such high demand, jobs in this field can pay very well. In fact, the average salary of all welders in the US is around $44,000. You can also expect good benefits (such as healthcare and retirement), either from an employer or union.Just like breaking into any career field, you’ll likely start at an entry-level position. But with hard work, quality results and potentially more training, you can quickly work your way up the ladder. It’s not unheard of for experienced welders to make $100,000 a year or more, depending on location and specialty.
3. Short, Cost-Efficient Training
For someone who has a full-time job or family responsibilities, finding the time to go back to school can be a challenge. So you’ll be happy to know that welding training can be done around your busy schedule, and it doesn’t take very long to finish your program.
A welding certificate program can take about a year to complete at a technical school, while an associate degree at a community college is usually two years. These types of schools are also more affordable and require less student debt than attending a four-year college. Plus, there any numerous scholarship programs available for aspiring welders. There are also welding apprenticeships and employer on-the-job training. So there are multiple ways you can switch to a career in welding.
4. Opportunities for Advancement
One common misconception about welding is that it’s a menial job where you’ll do the same thing for 40-50 years. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There are so many career possibilities within the welding field, we couldn’t possibly list them all. But for a few examples, you could advance to become a supervisor, technical sales rep, welding instructor or Certified Welding Inspector. Bottom line – you can take your welding career in many different directions and you’re only limited by your ambition.
5. High Job Satisfaction
If you’re reading this, odds are you are not happy with your current job. Welding can be many things – but boring is not one of them. Studies show that working with your hands can be a key aspect of job satisfaction. There’s a special sense of pride in seeing a product come to life or being part of building a large structure.
Depending on your job, you may have the opportunity to work outside or have a more flexible schedule than the normal 9-5. There’s also a unique comradery among welders, making every day at work more engaging and fulfilling.
6. Technology is Creating Opportunities
Another misconception about the welding industry is that jobs are being replaced by robots. While it’s true that automated technology is being used in some welding applications such as assembly line work, the truth is that the vast majority of tasks are too complicated for robots and still require the hands-on expertise of human welders. There’s also a growing need for welding professionals to design, maintain, and operate new technology that is helping to boost productivity, efficiency and safety.
7. Access to Many Different Industries
Welding is a great way to get your foot in the door in a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, infrastructure, telecommunications and more. No matter where you live or what industries and employers are in your area, your welding skills can prove to be very valuable in a career change.
Take the Next Steps Toward Becoming a Welder
There’s good news if you’re looking to change careers – welders are in higher demand than ever. That means having the right skills can lead to a lucrative, fulfilling, and stable career in a growing industry.
To learn about more welding careers or to search for welding schools in your area, visit CareersInWelding.com.
Sources: Emsi – economicmodeling.com
The AWS Foundation supports programs to ensure the growth and development of the welding industry through research and educational opportunities. Our industry depends upon education that prepares the next generation to meet the challenges ahead.