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Welding

Welding is a technical and creative skill

Welding is both a technical skill and a creative art with applications for careers and personal use. Continuing education classes in welding can train you for immediate work or give you the ability to work on home projects such as repair or metal art. 

What does a welder do? 

Welders permanently join pieces of metal through welding processes. In addition to fusing metals, welders also repair metal parts, as well as grind and solder materials. There are many ways to make a weld and many different kinds of welds – more than 80. Some processes cause sparks, and others don’t even require extra heat. 

Welding can be done anywhere: outdoors or indoors, underwater and in outer space. Trades such as construction and pipefitting require experienced welders, and artistic welding has become an in-demand job skill in and of itself. 

Why is this a fast-growing occupation? 

More than half of the country’s gross national product is related to welding in one way or another, according to industry statistics. Welding is one of the most commonly used industrial processes, since it’s the only way to join two or more pieces of metal to make them work as a single piece. 

Workforce Solutions of Greater Dallas includes welders and cutters in its list of targeted occupations for in-demand workforce need, creating a projected 4,780 jobs locally at an average salary of $17.22 an hour. Skilled welders with up-to-date training should have good job opportunities.  

Welding is a skill essential to both construction and plumbing/pipefitting, two of U.S. News and World Report’s Money Careers’ list of the top 10 construction jobs through 2022. 

Where are jobs available? 

Welders work in a variety of jobs in wide-ranging fields that include:

  •  Construction
  •  Plumbing and pipe welding
  •  Aerospace
  •  Automotive manufacture and repair
  • Manufacturing
  • Oil and gas extraction
  • Government
  • Arts such as sculpture and decorative metal work 
Welding is a fast-growing field

What are some welding career paths? 

Welding is a principal skill set in many different jobs. Continued education, experience and certifications can qualify you to become a welding supervisor, inspector or welding engineer. If you enjoy working with people, positions are available as a sales or service representative or welding instructor. Artisanal metal workers create metal furniture and garden art, as well as original metal sculpture. 

Job paths include:

  • Construction and manufacturing
  • Skilled trades
  • Technical sales as manufacturer sales rep or distributor
  • Teaching in high schools, trade schools or community colleges
  • Artistic welding and decorative ironwork such as metal sculpture, garden furniture, gates, window grilles and balconies  

What skills and abilities are required? 

Skills that make a good welder include:

  • Good manual dexterity, with both broad and fine motor skills
  • Excellent hand-to-eye coordination
  • A questioning mind as to how things work and go together
  • An open-minded approach to learning new skills and techniques
  • Good communication skills in order to phrase questions and problems
  • The ability to “think outside the box” in solving problems 

What are average salaries and job growth? 

Welding is an essential skill for many jobs, from construction and manufacturing to metal art. Salaries vary by experience level and specialty certifications.  

America’s Career Infonet estimates median earnings and job growth in Texas for: 

​Job

Median​ Hourly
Rate 

Median​ Annual
Salary

Projected Job Growth
Through 2020​

Welders and solderers  $16.82  $35,000  +24%
Construction and related workers  $16.33  $34,000  +13%
Sculptors and other fine artists  $23.01  $47,900

 +14%

Auto body repairers  $17.66  $36,700  +11%
Plumbers and pipefitters  $22.34  $46,500  +19%

 

Certification 

The American Welding Society (AWS) is the primary resource for education, certification and careers in the welding profession. Founded in 1919 as a multifaceted nonprofit organization, AWS covers the field from factory floor to high-rise construction and military weaponry to home products. Check with the welding program you plan to follow for more information on which certifications might be helpful for your career goals. 

Noncredit welding programs at colleges of DCCCD 

Noncredit welding programs are offered through the Continuing Education Divisions of the following colleges of DCCCD. Note that program content, length and cost vary; please check with the college of your choice to ensure the right fit for your goals.

  •  El Centro College Continuing Education-Bill J. Priest Campus: 214-860-5806
  •  Mountain View College Continuing Education: 214-860-8835