Welders are highly skilled professionals with the ability and knowledge to work in a range of industries. It is well known that welders can earn very high salaries, making these positions extremely rewarding and highly sought after.
But beyond the highest-paid positions, there are plenty of challenging, interesting, and worthwhile careers that are perfect for welders. From creative, intricate detailed work, to large-scale industrial projects, there is something to suit every interest, personality type, and skillset. All one has to do is hone their skills and choose the path that speaks to them the loudest!
Here are a few of our favorites jobs for welders!
Top 17 Jobs for Welders
A boilermaker is a specialized welder that assembles, installs, and repairs boilers or large scale containers designed to hold gases or liquids.
This is a demanding job as it often requires the welder to operate in tight spaces with high temperature and humidity levels.
Boilermakers are most often needed in refineries or in natural resource companies but may also be called upon for the manufacture or repair of air pollution equipment, water treatment plants, blast furnaces, process and storage tanks, and smokestacks.
- Shipbuilding and Repair
Welding plays a significant role in shipbuilding and repair as it is a highly effective way of fusing two pieces of metal to produce oil and watertight joints.
Shipyard welders are often required to inspect vessels and apply any necessary repair or maintenance work. This job may require a welder to travel to different ports to work on different ships or they may be a part of the permanent crew on a vessel, traveling with it wherever it goes.
- Cruise Ship Maintenance
Some cruise ships are more like floating cities than they are ordinary ships. With so much happening on board, welders are often a necessary part of the on-ship maintenance team.
While it is unlikely that welders in this job will have to perform repairs to the ship’s hull, and will perform maintenance and repairs on engine rooms, pipes, and other facilities on the vessel.
The greatest benefit to this position is that where the ship goes, you go too. Meaning you can travel the world while earning a living!
- Autobody Technician
Cars are essentially moving metal boxes and so welders are highly sought after for auto body repair and maintenance.
Welders can cut and remove damaged parts, weld new parts, straighten bent frames, and inspect repaired vehicles for structural integrity.
These sorts of jobs can be found at most dealerships, garages, and collision repair centers.
- Jewelry Designer
For those welders drawn to delicate and intricate work, jewelry crafting and design may be the perfect career.
Welders working in this field will not only design and fabricate jewelry but will also restyle, resize, and repair jewelry.
These individuals will work with soft metals and stones to craft beautiful decorative pieces.
- Industrial Maintenance/Shutdown Workers
Many industries rely on machinery and equipment to carry out their daily operations. This means that these pieces experience significant wear and tear, making them vulnerable to damage and breakdowns.
Industrial maintenance workers look after the machines and equipment to make sure that everything is in working order and that all minor repairs are addressed to avoid failure.
Most businesses and industries will want to avoid breakdowns as even a few hours offline can result in a major loss of productivity. Industrial maintenance workers try to reduce these downtimes, saving companies significant money.
Industrial shutdown welders, on the other hand, perform repairs and maintenance on machines and equipment that have been taken offline. Some repairs cannot be made while in use so industrial shutdown workers are used to perform the necessary work and get things back up and running.
- Rig Welders
One of the biggest industries employing welders is the oil and gas industry. Rig welders are used to set up the steel foundations of an offshore oil rig or in the construction of a rig on land.
Typically, rig welders remain on-site to address any required repairs or maintenance. They may also be responsible for welding collars and pipes when necessary.
Rig welding is a physically demanding job that may require welders to be on the job for long periods of time with around the clock availability. Because of this, compensation for these positions is typically rather high.
- Pipe Welders
Pipe welders and pipefitters are specialists in high demand, especially in the natural gas, oil and gas, and water utility industries.
These types of welders are often needed to work on the pipelines carrying these valuable resources.
Welders are needed to shape metals to match certain specifications for industrial use. They work on the planning, fabrication, installation, and maintenance of these pipelines and structures.
- Underwater Welders
Underwater welders are put to work in some of the most challenging conditions imaginable.
Underwater welders work offshore or at more shallow in-land depths. They may weld in wet conditions or in dry conditions from inside a hyperbaric chamber.
This job is not for the faint of heart as the work conditions are often incredibly dangerous. Welders not only have to deal with the actual task at hand but must also contend with the risks associated with diving, such as extreme pressure and water conditions.
Underwater welders often work on offshore oil rigs, ships, dams, bridges, nuclear power facilities, pipelines, and sub-sea habitats.
- Custom Car Builds and Modifications
Anyone who loves cars knows that there is lots of opportunity in custom builds and modifications.
With mechanical knowledge and welding skills, you can make a career building hot rods and rat rods, performing restorations, or tricking out cars for a discerning clientele.
With enough skill and experience, a welder can open their own business or find work in a garage that specializes in custom builds and restorations.
- Motosport Welders
In the world of motorsports, the vehicles don’t build and fix themselves. Welders make up an important part of any race team.
Most cars are entirely custom-built, so welders are required to fabricate the necessary parts and they will be on scene to repair any damage to the vehicle after the race.
As new high-performance materials are constantly being introduced, and the associations that govern motorsports have strict rules, the welders in this field must remain up to date on best practices to keep their teams in the race.
- Military Welders
Military welders are welders that work within the various branches of the military on the manufacture, maintenance, and repairs of vehicles, weapons, and facilities. This type of welding job differs from the others in that military welders work for the military and as such are required to go through basic training.
This is an important position as it ensures that the military is able to carry out its missions knowing that it has functioning equipment and safe facilities. This is a risky position as military welders may be required to deploy with a unit to active combat zones.
The upside to this position is that you do not need to have welding knowledge or experience prior to enlisting. The military will cover the training for you.
- Structural Steel Welders
Structural steel welders are the workers behind structural frames and steel structures. They work in both the fabrication and erection of these structures for both small and large buildings.
Many different industries require the use of structural steel welders including construction, shipbuilding, aerospace, oil and gas, and mining.
This type of work is not without its risks as oftentimes the work will take place at high altitudes.
- Tool and Die Makers
Tool and Die Makers are machinists and skilled craftspeople that make objects like jigs, molds, dies, machine tools, gauges, and fixtures.
Essentially, these individuals make the pieces that allow for other projects, like building and construction or transportation, to move forward.
This is a manufacturing space with many subdisciplines and to be successful, a welder will need to have a solid grasp of several other skills as well. These additional skills may include woodworking and a general understanding of machine room tools.
Die making is one of the subdisciplines in this field. These individuals make specialized machine tools, known as dies, which are used to cut or form other materials to a required shape.
Tool making, yet another subdiscipline, makes the tools (as the name suggests!) that are used in the fabrication of other products.
These disciplines overlap and in most cases, one person will perform both tasks. This career typically begins with a multi-year apprenticeship and depending on the employer, some possible classroom training. While prior qualifications are not necessary, an understanding of mathematics, science, engineering science, or design and technology can be helpful.
- Sheet Metal Workers
Sheet metal workers are specialized welders used to create, install and repair products made from sheet metal.
Typically, the process begins with reading a blueprint and determining the appropriate materials to use and the welding techniques that should be employed.
A sheet metal worker is responsible for cutting metal sheets to the appropriate size and welding the parts together where necessary. They will assemble the unit and weld it together on-site. Sometimes the pieces can be large and heavy so this is one of the more physically demanding welding positions.
Sheet metal workers most often used in the fabrication and repair of ventilation, heating, and air conditioning systems. They may also be used in roofing repair.
- Aerospace Welder
Aerospace is the brave new frontier of welding! This field focuses on the equipment and technology used in airplanes, spacecraft, and other similar, supporting structures.
This is a particularly challenging career as the work environment changes and the positions a welder must take can be difficult or awkward. An aerospace welder may be required to weld high off the ground or flat on the back. They may be reaching to weld something above the head or have to work in tight spaces.
This is not a job for a rookie welder as it requires a high level of skill, laser-like focus, and above-average physical strength. Their skills may be called into use to build and repair a wide range of aircraft.
Aerospace welders need to understand how to use a variety of welding equipment like arc welders and blowtorches, and will be expected to work with a range of metals like stainless steel and aluminum. Because these materials can be difficult to work with, aerospace welders will be required to wear special personal protective equipment (PPE). Welders working in this field can expect uncomfortable working conditions but it is a small price to pay to play such a pivotal role in one of the most innovative and fascinating industries on the planet.
- Construction Welders
Construction is one of the most common industries employing welders. Since many construction projects utilize metal for buildings, bridges, and civil engineering projects.
Construction welders can experience a number of different job opportunities as the differences between commercial and residential constructions are significant.
Welders working in residential construction are skilled at working on piping that will carry gas or water to and from the house. These welders will understand plumbing and be able to make sure all lines are properly routed.
A welder working in commercial construction will often be tasked with more complicated jobs. Commercial builds can have complex plumbing designs, electrical conduits, and HVAC systems.
Get Started With Welder 101
If you are interested in becoming a welder or want to upgrade your skills to join one of the above careers, Welder 101 has everything you need to get started!
Welder 101 is an online education program comprised of professional video tutorials that will help you develop the skills you need. Hosted by Steve Darnell, these videos share his 30 plus years of welding experience in an easy to follow and understandable format.
The program content is frequently updated and because enrollment gives you lifetime access, you can easily stay up to date and keep your skills sharp. With community support and discounts on welding gear and tools, Welder 101 can get you started on a new career path or help you achieve greater success with your passion projects.
Don’t waste any more time, get started today with Welder 101.