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Is Welding a Good Career Plan?

Jun 2, 2023 ·

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A science and an art — Welding is the process of bonding two or more metals using heat and pressure to create new structures and parts, ranging from buildings and bridges to aircraft and automobile components.

Welding can be an exciting career path for individuals who enjoy problem-solving, creating, and getting their hands dirty. If this sounds like something you desire out of a future career, consider studying to be a welding technician at Universal Technical Institute (UTI).1

But first, keep reading to learn more about why we think welding could be a good career path and determine if you do too.

Welding Technician Job Description

Welding technician skills are in demand across various industries, including:

  • Oil rigging
  • Construction
  • Power plants
  • Aerospace plants
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation
  • Motorsports
  • Robotics

Welding duties can vary depending on the work environment. For instance, one welder’s day might look like manufacturing farm equipment, while another’s may consist of inspecting and repairing pipes.

With that said, there are responsibilities employers generally require of their techs, regardless of the industry. This includes:

  • Reading, interpreting and carrying out plans detailed on blueprints, sketches and other instructions
  • Calculating and measuring part dimensions
  • Inspecting structures and other materials before welding
  • Maintaining welding equipment and tools
  • Monitoring the welding process and adjusting as necessary
  • Inspecting and testing the quality of complete welds
  • Adhering to safety standards

If you’re still wondering, “But why is welding a good career?” Keep reading!

Benefits of a Welding Career

Because most welders enjoy thinking outside the box, they also appreciate opportunities to try new things. In fact, some welders keep inspired by pursuing employment across industries throughout their careers, while others might use their experience to start their own businesses.

When discussing why he chose to study welding, UTI graduate, Spencer Rowett, shared, “I liked the options that would be available to me.”1

Aside from the versatility, a welding career could offer room for growth for those with the right skills, certifications and industry experience. Most UTI grads start out working as entry-level technicians or in other entry-level roles. With enough experience and hard work, some welding technicians may be able to advance into positions such as certified welding inspectors, teachers or project managers.77

Is Postsecondary Education Required To Be a Welding Technician?

While some employers are willing to provide on-the-job training that begins at square one, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that most prefer to hire candidates with a high school diploma and technical training.1

Candidates with technical training typically enter the field with an entry-level understanding of blueprints, safety standards, electricity and shop mathematics that employers can build upon.

UTI’s welding school teaches a curriculum that was created with the help of Lincoln Electric — a manufacturing and design leader in welding technology. Students learn the four types of arc welding and various welding positions to help prepare them to pursue entry-level careers. Welding courses include:

  • Introduction to Welding, Safety and Careers
  • Principles of Welding
  • Gas Metal Arc Welding I and II (GMAW)
  • Shielded Metal Arc Welding I and II (SMAW)
  • Engineering and Fabrication
  • Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
  • Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)
  • Pipe Welding
  • Welding Applications I (GMAW & FCAW)
  • Welding Application II (SMAW & GTAW)

How Long Does It Take To Become a Welding Technician?

Most welding training programs range from a few months to a year. The welding technician training program at UTI is 36 weeks from start to finish. Once students graduate, they can lean on our Career Services department. Our specialists have relationships with employers across the country and can assist students in finding potential career opportunities.1

We also help prepare students through résumé development, interview training, career development classes, career coaching and more.

While employment cannot be guaranteed, we place great emphasis on assisting you.

Welding Career Outlook

The BLS projects over 47,000 estimated average annual welding job openings in the United States between 2021 and 2031.42

As our nation’s infrastructure continues to age, structural iron and steel welding technician skills are expected to be in demand. Manufacturing industries will also require welders to produce metal parts for the transportation industry. But what kind of roles can new grads pursue?

Here are a few entry-level welding roles:

  • Welders inspect and maintain welds and use various methods to fuse metal.
  • Welding fabricators use tools to cut, bend, shape, and bond raw materials for various projects.
  • Welding fitters consult blueprints to gather and assemble materials to be welded.

To learn more about advanced welding career paths, check out our career page

Welding Career Salary Outlook

According to the BLS, the median annual wage for welders, cutters, solderers and brazers in the U.S. was $47,540 in May 2022.26 This means half of the welding technicians earned more and half earned less. Keep in mind that salary depends on several factors, including experience, employer, demand and cost of living in the area.

Welding Career FAQ

Is Welding a Stressful Job?

Welding can be a mentally and physically demanding job. Welders are required to produce precise work while meeting deadlines. They often work in hot environments, must bend into uncomfortable positions, and lift heavy objects.

What Are the Highest Paying Welding Jobs?

According to the BLS, welders who work in the electric power generation, transmission and distribution sector are among the highest paid.

Do Welders Do a Lot of Math?

Welding technicians are generally comfortable with fractions, decimals, geometry, formulas, trigonometry, conversion and other forms of math. Attending a welding school before pursuing a career may increase your comfort level with the type of math required for this career.

Prepare for a Welding Career at UTI

We hope this guide has answered your question, “Is welding a good career?” as well as, “Is it for me?

Pursuing a welding career can be an exciting journey for creative problem-solvers who also consider themselves lifelong learners. If you think that might be you, request more info online. We’ll connect you with an Admissions Representative who can answer any remaining questions you have or walk you through enrollment! 

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1) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit

26) UTI’s Welding Technology Training Program prepares graduates for entry-level positions using the provided training, primarily as welders. Estimated annual salary shown above is for Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers as published in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2022 Occupational Employment and Wages. Entry-level salaries are lower for UTI graduates. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on economic factors, personal credentials, work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer, and their compensation programs. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than as a welding technician, such as inspector and quality control. Salary information for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: The average annual entry-level salary range for persons employed as Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers (51-4121) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is $36,160 to $50,810 (Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development, May 2020 data Salary information for North Carolina: The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the hourly median wage for skilled welders in North Carolina is $22.69 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2022 Occupational Employment and Wages, Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers). The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish entry-level salary data. However, the 25th and 10th percentile of hourly earnings in North Carolina are $18.91 and $17.16, respectively.

42) For Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an annual average of 47,600 job openings between 2021 and 2031. Job openings include openings due to net employment changes and net replacements. See Table 1.10 Occupational separations and openings, projected 2021-31, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,, viewed October 13, 2022. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

77) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. UTI prepares graduates for entry-level careers using the provided training. UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than those listed.

Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.


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