4 Misconceptions About Working as a Welding Technician
You’ve heard of welding, and you probably know a little bit about it! However, how much of what you think you know isn’t true? Welding has the potential to be a rewarding and lucrative profession, providing the opportunity to work in a variety of different environments, ranging from assembly lines and construction sites to underwater oil and gas lines. A welder’s work holds together buildings, vehicles, and infrastructure that society relies on. Like many trades, there are certain common misconceptions about working as a welder.
At Rosedale Technical Institute, welding students learn a range of welding techniques and skills that prepare them for a successful career as a welder. Continue reading to learn several common welding misconceptions and get the facts about pursuing a career in welding.
Misconception 1: Welders Don’t Make A Lot Of Money
Welding is a very broad and versatile career. Everything from cars and buildings to aerospace infrastructure and gas pipelines requires welding.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for welders is $45,190 per year. However, depending on the specialty, experience level, and location of work, it’s not unheard of for welders to earn over six-figure salaries. Certain jobs, particularly positions that require multiple skill sets like underwater welding, or positions in the aerospace industry or military have the potential to be even more lucrative.
As with most jobs, the more experience, education, and drive you have, the more you can make. Because a welding education can take less time to complete than a four-year degree, welding students can enter the workforce and start getting vital experience and getting paid faster.
Misconception 2: Welding is a career for those who can’t go to college and does not take much skill
Welding is not simply holding a torch or electrode. Learning to weld requires a scientific mindset and ability to understand physics and chemistry. There are over 30 different welding methods that are used in different situations and with different materials.
Experienced welders have a strong knowledge of the metals they work with and how temperature and welding styles impact the quality of the weld. Working as a welder is a practical application of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills, all of which are taught in a traditional college classroom setting.
Welding students learn the same concepts taught in physics and chemistry classrooms but get to tie the knowledge directly to the trade. Beyond science, welders need to be good at reading and understanding blueprints and instructions, have strong math skills and attention to detail so they can recognize potential problems while they work.
Misconception 3: There Aren’t Many Job Opportunities in Welding
Skilled welders are in demand. With a welding education, there are many different career paths you can take. You can work on bridges and buildings as an ironworker, fix, assemble, and maintain pipe systems as a pipefitter, or build, maintain, and repair boats as a ship fitter. As our country’s infrastructure ages, the need for welders remains in constant demand. If education and management come easy to you, welders can work as instructors, welding supervisors, or inspectors. Welders are not restricted to one career path and have the ability to work in a variety of fields.
Misconception 4: Welding jobs are being replaced by automation and robots
A more recent concern, the idea that welding jobs are being replaced by robotics is false. Certain repetitive assembly tasks, such as welding in automotive plants, are done by automation. However, once a task steps outside of the very narrow confines of the robots programming, it can no longer do it.
Tasks that require customization, on the fly decision making or non-repetitive welds can not be done by robots, meaning these positions need to be filled by people. Even in situations where automated welding could be used, it is often too expensive for companies to use these technologies, meaning these positions are filled by people.
Because of the complex nature of certain welding tasks, you can rest assured that automation will not take the place of a human welder.
Welding is a crucial part of many different industries and is vital to the development of infrastructure we use every day. Welders use applied skills backed by a knowledge of science to work in a variety of different industries and positions. Working as a welder has the potential to be a lucrative and rewarding career that has a good job outlook.
Are you ready to get started on your education as a welding technician? In as little as eight months, students can receive extensive hands-on training that gives them the confidence and skills to feel prepared for a career in the Welding Industry.
Contact us today to speak with a representative about the admissions process as well as any questions about financial aid*, student housing, job placement, and more. Also make sure to ask about our new grant programs, which provides eligible applicants with funding that does not have to be paid back.
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