Welding Salaries and Work Hours
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the median annual wage for welders averages $36,720 nationally and $39,230 throughout the state of Virginia. Of course, these figures will vary significantly, based on experience and skill level, industry, and the size of the company.
The majority of welders work full time, with overtime common. Many companies work 8 to 12 hour shifts each day. Welders should be prepared to work evenings and weekends.
Welding is the most common way of permanently joining metal parts. During the welding process, heat is applied to metal pieces, melting and fusing them together to form a permanent bond. Welders can work in various environments from shipyards, automobile manufacturing, construction sites, power plants, to refineries. As a welder, you can expect to work in dirty, noisy, tight conditions, or even heights.
Careers in Welding
Overall employment in welding is expected to grow 6% from 2012-2022, with a projected job growth of 8% in the state of Virginia. According to Career Info Net, by 2016 there will be an estimated need for 238,000 additional welders. The basic skills of welding are similar across the industries; therefore, welders can easily shift from one industry to another. Welders can find jobs not only as welders but also as fitters, cutters, fabricators, solderers and brazers.