These are the 5 welding industries you need to check out ASAP if you're thinking of making a career out of welding.
What do you think of when someone mentions they are a welder? Welding as a craft is required in many places all around the world. There are all kinds of industries that utilize welding as a primary force in their work and process chain. In this post I will count down the five welding industries you need to check out ASAP in order to broaden your horizon if you are interested in making a career out of welding.
Welding Industry #5: Mobile Commercial/Industrial
From large bakeries to manufacturing plants, and everything in between, welders are needed to come in and make emergency repairs. Most of these places have maintenance teams on site ready to put the occasional band aid on something when it breaks, but when the repair is larger than what they can handle, or a full overhaul is required, teams of mobile welding contractors are called in to tackle the job. Emergency welding repair can be a very lucrative industry to work in because a lot of these places cannot afford the downtime and are therefore very willing to pay a premium for a talented welder to come in and get the job done. They say diamonds are created under pressure and if you think that is an environment in which you shine best, then mobile commercial welding is for you.
Pros: Very lucrative.
Cons: Fast paced, never know what you're going to get.
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Welding Industry #4: Manufacturing
Welding is best under a controlled environment, at least in an ideal world. The closest we can get to having a controlled environment in which we can control as many variables as we would like is in a shop environment. Welding manufacturing occurs in welding shops of all sizes working for many different industries. The pay range for any given job will definitely depend on the industry for which it welds for but these jobs usually offer more longevity if you are looking to settle somewhere and perhaps nurture your family.
Pros: Stable, can make a whole career at some of these places.
Cons: Medium pay, may become repetitive.
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Welding Industry #3: Maritime/Ports/Offshore
Like I mentioned above, welding is super broad and you can find yourself in all kinds of industries through out your career, a very lucrative career option for many individuals is working in at ports and shipyards as well as on oil rigs off shore. The pay is usually very good and the jobs are challenging, but in order for you to become the best version of the welder you are meant to be is to work in challenging environments. In this industry you may find yourself working in a port inside a product barge, or 10 feet above water in the gulf coast on an oil rig. This industry is definitely not for the faint of heart as it will push your welding (and physical) skills to the limit.
Pros: Lucrative, daily challenges will up your welding skill daily.
Cons: May be too dangerous for some, physically demanding work and long shifts.
Welding industry #2: Oil and Gas
I had a super tough time deciding to place Oil and Gas in the number two spot because just like my number one choice, it's a very lucrative career choice for a lot of up and coming welders. Welders deciding to work in the oil and gas industry are expected to know multiple welding processes, be able to follow many different welding procedures, and be away from the family for months at a time since a lot of the job sites are located in very remote areas of the country. A lot of the welders in the industry are called Rig Welders, since they carry their own tools and are "rigged out" for any challenge that may show up on the job site that day. They have diesel or gas welders ready to go in the back of their trucks, and carry their tools in and out of the job site daily. A lot of the work as a rig welder is contract 1099 work so keep an eye on your finances. With big income comes big responsibilities.
Pros: High paying, Rig welders carry a lot of pride.
Cons: High expectations, unforgiving environments, long periods of time away from home.
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Welding industry #1: Chemical Plants/Facilities
Finally, industry choice number 1. This industry could have easily been number two, but the main factor deciding the outcome was the fact that in order for you to work in a chemical plant or facility, you are going to have to be A1 on your welding game. And to me being challenged everyday and asked to up your game daily is a very important factor. Welders in chemical plants are required to not only know and understand different processes and procedures, they are also asked to know how to weld very many different types of materials and alloys, and be GOOD at it. A lot of the chemical plants also have very high safety requirements so be sure to stay on top of your safety game as well. Chemical plant welders that know how to weld multiple processes and materials earn a very good amount of money and work a lot so the checks look amazing. Look for specialty welding contractors in your area in order to attempt getting into a chemical plant as a welder.
Pros: Very high paying, Very safety minded environment.
Cons: Long hours, Very high skill requirement.
Not sure if you should go to school to become the best welder you can be? Check this 3min article out.
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About the author: Luis Alejandro is the owner and one of the instructors at Southern Arc Welding Services Ltd. Co.. He enjoys family, reading books on history, and writing to share his knowledge about the many situations welding can place us in.