General Question

iBite's avatar

What are the pros and cons of becoming a welder?

Asked by iBite (243points) June 10th, 2012 from iPhone

I have heard that welding is a good profession. Can anyone tell me what the pros and cons are of training and working as a welder?

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12 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

It’s a good craft and well paid when there is work. If you’re into the building trades, it is a good choice.

On the other hand, you don’t do much more than weld all the time. And if you’re working construction you might be in a ditch or outdoors in bad weather. But that’s true of a lot of jobs.

bewailknot's avatar

I did some production welding years ago in a factory. I loved it, but I think most factory work is done by robots now. One thing you have to think about is where do you want to live and will the opportunity to work as a welder be there. I had a friend whose daughter went into welding, but they lived near a shipyard and that was where she wanted to work.

Nimis's avatar

There are a lot of health hazards. But that’s probably true of most metal-working.

Like @bewailknot already mentioned, the need for hand-welding is also dwindling. So job security can be erratic.

But there’s such satisfaction in working with your hands. If your heart’s in it, the pros outweigh the cons.

chyna's avatar

My brother was a welder years ago and worked in the union. He was asked to work on the longest steel expansion bridge and the highest in the U.S. at that time. He worked for only a few days and quit because he was afraid of heights. Welding can also burn your skin and your eyes if you aren’t careful. The pay is good, however.

missingbite's avatar

Great trade to have. You can also specialize like underwater welding. Some of it can be dangerous but if you practice and are good at it there is a lot of money to be made.

dontmindme's avatar

I live in the Midwest and one of the jobs that I almost always see listed in the classifieds is for welding. I guess the job outlook depends where you live?

Employment of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers is expected to grow 15 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Properly skilled welders with up-to-date training should have the best job prospects. Bureau of Labor Statistics

missingbite's avatar

I might add that if you have a creative side you can do other things like make outdoor table bases for outdoor dining. I designed one that I want and can’t get a welder to do the work because it is too small of a job. You could open your own business and be your own boss if you are creative.

Paradox25's avatar

I’ve performed welding and fabrication work, but I did this in the maintenance field, which pretty much means that you’re not welding fulltime since you have to perform other trades. You can make decent money welding, but it depends. Many companies don’t want to pay a decent wage for many skilled blue collar trades anymore.

Your best bet would be welding for a union and/or construction firm if you want to make the best money. If you weld working for a manufacturing facility or in a maintenance setting then your wage will likely be alot less. Most guys that I knew who welded fulltime have breathing problems, and had to give it up. Also, if you don’t like the heat then welding is definitely not for you.

woodcutter's avatar

Welders are always going to be sought after. I used to fabricate welded awning frames and other pieces and used other related tools like a pipe bender and other tools and its pretty fun to boot, at least I thought it was. The hang up I had was it was a small company that didn’t have adequate ventilation and I got sick from it and had to stop..not because welding is dangerous but the company owner didn’t want to make the needed upgrades to the shop so I left. Welding is not dangerous as all the tricky aspects have been worked out decades ago. As with any occupation care has to be taken. I bought my own mig welding rig to free- lance with as well as make stuff for my own personal use. It’s a valued trade that the majority of people have no idea how to do so it is one more thing in my portfolio of skills. As has been mentioned here, it is a good idea to have other shop skills besides welding to make yourself more marketable but that usually comes with the territory and there is no such thing as having too many skills for the handimeter..

dabbler's avatar

I’ve done only a small amount of sculptural cutting and welding, under expert supervision.
[ Few tools more amazing than a plasma cutter! ]
But I’d say to be very careful of your eyesight. Even with the very-fast-acting blackout glass on welding helmets your eyes are still exposed to some extremely bright light. I noticed some affects on my eyesight for a few months after I did the work.

mattbrowne's avatar

Pro: In building construction it cannot be done offshore.
Cons: Manufacturing progress might reduce the need long term

iBite's avatar

Thank you all for the responses- especially those who pointed out the creative aspects. That would be a big plus that I had not thought of.


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