Welding has no age limit. Becoming a welder is a great career move if you're 20, 30, or even over 50. If you have a passion for the craft and a willingness to learn, read further to learn more about beginning your welding journey.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Welder?
Depending on where you go for the educational portion of your welding training, it could take anywhere from as few as 10 months to a several years. There are many different types of training programs available that offer certificates or associate degrees.
- Technical school: Depending on where you attend, welding programs may range from a few weeks to approximately 10 months. Find local welding training programs here.
- Associate degree: Welding programs at community colleges vary in length, but most will have you trained in 18-24 months. Some may only require you to take a certain amount of credits, while others will take two years if you attend as a full-time student.
- Apprenticeship: Apprenticeships for welding last 3-4 years. It will include 2,000 hours of paid training per year, plus 144 classroom hours per year. You’ll be trained under a journeyman welder or a master welder, depending on where you’re apprenticing.
Check out: Welder Careers
Can You Become a Welder with No Experience?
In some rare instances, you may find a company needing a welder who is willing to provide training, even to someone without prior experience. Since welding is a skill-based occupation, some sort of formal education, either through a mentor or a welding program is highly recommended (and most often required).
There are many industries in need of welders, so if you find a job posting that mentions “some experience preferred,” then don’t be shy about applying. Many companies are prepared to provide training if necessary.
How Old is Too Old to Start a Welding Career?
The ability to weld is not a matter of your age; it’s dependent on whether you can handle the physical demands of the job in a safe manner. You'll stand for long periods of time, you many find yourself hunched over a project, or needing to remain in an awkward position for an extended amount of time. To be a good welder, you’ll need to have good hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity.
The average age of welders in the United States is 55, with less than 20 percent under 35 years old. Starting a welding career at the age of 30 may actually let you enter a profession with people in your age group! There will be many in the same boat as you.
It’s never too late to start a welding career!
Do Welders Make Good Money?
In 2022, the average pay for a welder in the United States was $50,460 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov). Factors such as where you work, what industry you’re employed in, and how much experience you have, can impact your salary.
Read about three of the highest paying welding specialties.
Find a local welding program to start toward your career training today.