Welders are essential for various businesses and industrial needs across the country.
This in-demand career has been a source of stability and pride for generations of skilled workers.
Those who choose to become welders have flexibility and options in addition to a competitive rate of pay.
People who specialize in working with certain metals have the opportunity to earn a much higher rate of pay with the proper training and experience.
Anyone currently interested in becoming a welder should consider the pros and cons of this potential career to determine if it is the right choice for their personal goals and lifestyle.
Keep reading to find out more details.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Pros of Being a Welder
- 2 Cons of Being a Welder
- 3 Should You Become a Welder?
- 4 Pros and Cons of Being a Welder – Summary Table
- 5 Source
Pros of Being a Welder
If you are considering a career as a welder, there are plenty of pros to entice you to begin finding out how to begin the journey.
Consider these top pros associated with this career.
Weekends and Holidays Off
Working as a welder usually offers this benefit if you want to have weekends and holidays off.
Most companies hiring full-team employee welders observe national holidays and usually offer time off during the weekends.
This is not always the case, but companies that keep welders on the clock during weekends and holidays pay a substantially higher rate of pay for this extra time.
Opportunity to Move Up
Most welding jobs have supervisors in place who work their way up the chain over time.
If you pursue a job as a welder, you likely have the option to move up the chain if you work with the company for several years.
This means an increase in pay and other likely attractive benefits.
Before applying for a position with an employer, inquire whether there is an option for upward mobility with the company.
Plenty of Work Nationwide
Qualified welders are always in demand across the country.
Whether working with a small business or a large military contractor, there are many job opportunities in most states.
That means if you decide to move to another area at some point, you will likely have an easier time finding work that helps you regain stability quickly.
This is especially true for welders with plenty of experience in specialty areas.
Good Job Security
If you get the training you need and exhibit a good work ethic with employers, you will have better than average job security.
Most welders stay with a company for many years if they offer good pay and benefits.
Although opportunities vary and workloads fluctuate, some top welders can find stable positions with large contractors that provide a lifetime of job security and stability.
Multiple Ways to Certify
Unlike some professions with a singular path to certification, welding offers multiple opportunities to get the training you need to acquire certification.
You can begin your path early in life by enrolling in vocational programs in high school or taking technical or community college courses.
There is also the chance to enter an apprentice program at a larger company or work under the direct supervision of a master welder.
This means you can get training in a way that suits your circumstances and creates a solid career path.
Job Opportunities Abroad
If you want to work in a field that allows you to travel to many places, this might be the perfect opportunity.
You can go anywhere in the country and sometimes out of the country to lend your talents to new projects.
Welding is an essential skill that is prized and needed all over.
That means there are always positions that need to be filled in companies of all sizes and all areas.
No matter where you travel, you will probably be able to land a good-paying welding job.
This is especially true for those welders who work with specific materials such as aluminum.
If you work for a company or contractor, you will likely have a wider range of benefits such as health and retirement.
You will likely have the choice to join a union and other perks if you choose to become a welder.
Benefits can vary from job to job.
Cons of Being a Welder
While there are plenty of reasons to become a welder, there are also several drawbacks the potential candidates should know about before pursuing this career.
Consider these cons that could pose an issue or create some uncertainty.
Working with certain materials and being exposed to chemicals and other hazards on the job site can create significant health problems over time.
While this is not true for everyone, some jobs pose more health threats than others.
If you have a pre-existing condition, make sure you can withstand the demands and exposure to welding materials and byproducts.
Welding is not easy and requires you to endure certain physical demands.
Not only do you have to work with heavy wearable gear and equipment, but you also must stay in uncomfortable positions and work in places that are hard to reach and hard to stay in to complete the job.
Over time, those physical demands can take a toll.
Some welding jobs have more physical demands than others, so make sure you can keep up with the workload and requirements of the projects.
Exposure to the Elements
Welders are outside in all types of weather conditions and at all temperatures year-round.
If you work in extreme climates, your workday can be very challenging.
Make sure you have the appropriate equipment and safety measures in place when working in very hot or very cold weather.
You will also work in the rain and possibly at night if you take on overnight shifts.
Be sure you can withstand those extremes and can deliver the same high-quality work each time.
May Need to Travel Long Distances
Your job may require you to travel long distances to take on projects.
This is especially common when welders work for large contractors with multiple projects scattered across the country.
If you do not want to travel, be sure to work for a company that does not send its welders to different locations to meet work demands.
If you are looking for a local welding job, you might have some stiff competition, so you might need to commit to traveling until you get more experience and can offer more skills for a position at a localized job site.
You Need Plenty of Safety Gear
Not only is safety gear heavy and possibly uncomfortable, but it is also expensive.
Your employer may or may not provide the equipment you need.
Some may offer the basics, such as a mask or gloves, but if you need extra equipment, you will likely need to make those purchases out of pocket.
There may be a need for some special gear depending on the material and the project.
Investing in the appropriate equipment and gear is essential to ensure you protect yourself and avoid the potential for injuries while on the job.
Uncomfortable Work Conditions
Welding in small or tight spaces is a common occurrence.
Additionally, you might need to go into a dark, confined space or very high up on scaffolding.
Keep in mind that this job can be pretty uncomfortable at times and might pose challenges for those who have issues with these obstacles.
Make sure you are up for the hazards and discomforts of the job before you begin your training.
To get a better idea about the specific demands of the job, consult with the hiring manager before accepting the position and take a tour of the project site to get an accurate view of what to expect.
If you are a welder, you will get burned.
Whether it is small burns or large patches, there is a significant risk for injury.
It is essential to wear the appropriate safety gear to protect the majority of your body and sensitive areas.
However, be prepared for frequent minor burns and the potential for fire.
The best way to minimize these risks is to have the proper training and follow the prescribed safety protocol for each job.
Be aware of the conditions around you and the sparks and hot materials you work on during the day.
Should You Become a Welder?
If you are thinking of becoming a welder, you should consider these pros and cons seriously and use the information to help guide your decision-making.
A welder’s job is physically demanding and requires working at various temperatures and in all elements.
You will also face various hazards daily, such as burns and exposure to fumes.
Additionally, you will need to overcome uncomfortable working conditions that might involve working on high scaffolding or in tight, cramped areas.
However, if you can successfully complete the necessary training and get certified in one or more welding methods, you can carve a stable and lucrative future for yourself.
Pros and Cons of Being a Welder – Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Welder||Cons of Being a Welder|
|Weekends and holidays off||Health issues|
|Opportunity to move up||Physical demands|
|Plenty of work nationwide||Exposure to the elements|
|Good job security||May need to travel long distances|
|Multiple ways to certify||You need plenty of safety gear|
|Job opportunities abroad||Uncomfortable work conditions|