Is it just us, or is welding in the news a lot lately?
When it comes to jobs, we're hearing phrases like: Skills gap. Aging workforce. Increased enrollment at technical schools. Breaking gender stereotypes. Skilled trades. STEM. Increased manufacturing.
It turns out that welding certificate or diploma may be worth... well, a lot.
A welding certificate or diploma can open doors for steady income with jobs that are expected to grow 6% between 2012 and 2022.*
Increasingly, what employers say they need are workers with a specific skill set. There are jobs available for people with experience in trades such as welding and other technical and practical fields, yet according to many businesses there simply aren’t enough people with the right skill set to fill them.
FILLING THE (SKILLS) GAP
Many schools are attempting to answer this growing problem by providing more courses and certificates for these in-demand specialty jobs. Welding technical programs, for instance, are on the rise at many community colleges. Even some high schools are building up their welding programs to show students expanded career options.
Specialty training for welders is especially growing in demand in areas such as engineering and robotics, two growing industries. By gaining skills in these areas, welders can stand out from the competition and often earn a more significant wage because of their training and experience.
“Employers are looking for workers who can weld using multiple welding processes and who can multitask a project from interpreting the blueprints to fitting and welding the materials together,” said Charles Bell, a Central Carolina Community College instructor and an American Welding Society Certified Welding Inspector.
Here are a few of the latest types of welding programs:
- Programs that combine classroom theory with hands-on, practical experience
- Programs that co-op welding students with local manufacturers
- Specialty degree programs that train in specific types of welding or multi-process welding
- Programs that encourage women to consider hands-on careers like welding
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for welders, cutters, and brazers is expected to grow six percent between 2012 and 2022. Employment growth reflects the need for welders in manufacturing because of the importance and versatility of welding as a manufacturing process. The basic skills of welding are similar across industries, so welders can easily shift from one industry to another, depending on where they are needed most. Welding workers earn a median wage of $36,300 a year in North America (the national median annual wage for all jobs is $34,750).*
And yet another reason welding is awesome... Not many jobs out there can be made into a comic book worth reading! Thanks Marvel and American Welding Society for showing how welding is truly a job for heroes!
AWS Presents: Iron Man in Forging the Future #1
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU: Are you in school for welding? Are you specializing in a certain area? Tell us in the comments below!