Career Detail

“Metal Melter”
Welding is the most common way of permanently joining metal parts. Heat is applied to metal pieces, melting and fusing them to form a permanent bond.
The Job
welding is used in shipbuilding, automobile manufacturing and repair, aerospace applications, and thousands of other manufacturing activities. Welding also is used to join beams when constructing buildings, bridges, and other structures and to join pipes in pipelines, power plants, and refineries. Skilled welding, soldering, and brazing workers generally plan work from drawings or specifications and use their knowledge of welding processes and base metals to determine how best to join the parts. The massive heat created by the electrical current causes both the piece and the steel core of the rod to melt together, cooling quickly to form a solid bond.
Work Environment
Welders and cutters may work outdoors, often in inclement weather, or indoors, sometimes in a confined area designed to contain sparks and glare. They wear safety shoes, goggles, hoods with protective
College Majors
Minimum Qualifications
Formal training is available in high schools and postsecondary institutions, such as vocational-technical institutes, community colleges, and private welding schools.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Good eyesight, hand-eye coordination, and manual dexterity
Quick Facts
  • About 2 out of 3 jobs are in manufacturing industries.
  • For more information: American Welding Society, 550 N.W. Lejeune Rd., Miami, FL 33126. Internet:
Compensation and Outlook
Median wages of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers were $16.13 an hour in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $13.20 and $19.61. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $10.85, and the top 10 percent earned more than $24.38.
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