Pursuing a new career path is a big decision: It’s not only how you’ll spend your dollars and time in training now, but it’s also how you’ll spend your future years making a living.
As such, you may have several questions come to mind about a career path.
- How much does it pay?
- How long is training?
- Will I bury myself in debt paying for school?
- Is this a career that I can do long-term?
Fortunately for those interested in becoming a welder, it’s a path with high pay, fast and affordable training, and a number of specialties so you can shape your career to your current and future passions.
Good Pay at First, Better Pay to Come
First, let’s address the elephant in the room. Money. Welders tend to earn a very nice income, and the pay tends to grow with years of experience and on more restricted job sites.
In 2021, welders earned an average of $48,290, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the top 10 percent of welders earned $59,720 or more in 2021. And as mentioned, you can earn much more if you choose to pursue a uniquely specialized field in welding. For instance, in 2021, welders specializing in Ship and Boat Building made an average of $63,110 (bls.gov). If you are someone who can see yourself enjoying a specialization, it can be a great investment for your future.
Four Years, Large Cost—or, Welding Training
Next, consider how much you want to invest into learning, and long it can take. Does welding still make sense for you?
According to the US News, the average cost of a four-year degree can easily amount to six figures, putting a number of students in debt for decades. Welding training, thankfully, is much faster and more affordable than a four-year degree. While the costs of programs nationwide vary, a ballpark range of a community college welding program will likely cost somewhere between $1,020-$20,945. These are simply samples pulled from real colleges across the United States, before any applicable financial aid is used.
While that is no small amount, it’s a fraction of what is typically spent earning a four-year degree. And remember, costs can vary significantly based off of location, level of diploma or degree, scholarships, and other forms of financial assistance.
Additionally, welding training programs are often expedited. Through one of our partner schools, you can complete your training and be career-ready in as few as 10 months!
You Won’t Get Bored
Finally, as a reminder, with welding, you can master as many specialized techniques as you like. You may want to start your career on dry land, working on diesel and farm equipment — and later take your work offshore as an underwater welder.
Of course, any specialties would require additional training and costs after your general trade school education. However, in some instances, your employer may be able to help you offset these additional costs. Certification in welding specialties can allow you to earn more in the long run. Those with specialty welding training, such as pipe welders, are less common, which can increase your value for years to come.
Welders are in high demand across a number of industries, meaning qualified welders can often bounce around from one field to another. The ability to move around in the field can help you learn more about various forms of the craft until you settle on your industry favorite.
It’s Hard to go Wrong with Welding
Once you’ve given the field of welding a good look, you may find that it makes perfect sense for you. With welding, you have quick training options, and may end up earning a decent living right after training. As you practice new techniques and are exposed to more opportunities, your career can develop exactly as you'd like it to.
Career Talk: Interview With Welder Steve Leach
If you're looking to pursue a great career path with quick training options, welding may be a great fit for you!