Welding is an extremely important and in-demand trade. MIG welders are needed to build everything from small structures like storage units to large ships.
Because so many construction projects need welders, this is one of the most common blue-collar trade job options for a career change. Welding is also a field with plenty of opportunities for those interested in pursuing it.
Welding is a skilled trade that has grown in demand in recent years. Job openings for welders are expected to grow by 19% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. And this has had many ask the question,
How much do MIG welders make?
On average, MIG welders in the USA make $ 40,970 annually or $ 19.70 per hour. The lowest 10% make $26,000 annually, while the highest 10% make $43,000. Welders with higher certifications and years of experience may earn up to $47,919. Location, experience, and education determine how much a MIG welder makes.
How To Become a Certified MIG Welder
- Get a high school diploma.
Most welding jobs require a high school diploma. Some companies may require a GED, but having a high school diploma is imperative for getting started in this career.
Courses offered in high school provide the basic foundation for future studies. More so, it gives the students an opportunity to be sure they want to pursue a welding career.
- Earn a degree or certificate in welding
While a high school diploma is a minimum requirement for getting your foot in the door for most welding jobs, a certificate or degree in welding can make you more appealing to employers. The cost of a welding certificate ranges between $3,500 and $20,000.
Students interested in higher education Degree can enroll in Welding Technology Associate's Degree. The program takes only two years and costs between $6,000 and $55,000.
- Participate in an Apprenticeship
Many companies still prefer to hire skilled workers who have participated in an apprenticeship program. These programs are common in many industries but especially popular in blue-collar jobs.
While an apprenticeship program may not necessarily help you get hired, it can be a tremendous way to gain experience, earn money, and get your foot in the door in your desired field.
- Get a welding certification.
A welding certification is a great way to prove your proficiency and skill. It can also give you the edge over your competition when applying for jobs.
You can earn multiple certifications, but the most common are the following: Certified Welder, Certified Welding Inspector, Senior Certified Welding Inspector, and Certified Welding Educator.
Welding certification isn't necessary for all jobs, but it can help your career if you receive one of these certifications.
Some of The Skills Needed To Become a Competent Welder include;
There are many different skills needed to become a good welder. Some include;
- Steady hands and good hand-eye coordination
The first trait needed to become a good welder is steady hands and good hand-eye coordination. Welding requires a lot of precision and attention to detail, especially when working with thicker metals.
Dealing with these small and delicate pieces can be challenging without steady hands and good hand-eye coordination. And when you have to work quickly, these two traits become even more essential.
- Mathematical skills
Most welders need to have a solid grasp of simple mathematics and be able to work with numbers, especially when they are working with drawings and blueprints.
Engineers and designers use math to design objects and structures in various industries. Welders are in charge of building these objects, so they need to be able to read and understand math.
- Attention to details
Welding requires great attention to detail, especially when working with smaller pieces. You can damage the material or even injure yourself if you're not careful.
When working with small pieces, details such as your hand's position, the torch's position, or the material's angle are essential for creating a strong bond. A good welder must carefully pay attention to these details to avoid damaging the material.
- The Ability to Learn New Things
Welding is a constantly evolving trade that requires the welder to stay up-to-date with new technologies and skills.
You also need to be up to date with the latest MIG machines in the market to ensure that your skills don’t become obsolete. This MIG welders comparison will give you a sneak peek of some of the commonly used MIG welders you expect to find out there.
To become a skilled MIG welder, you need to be able to constantly learn new things and apply them to your job. You also need to be able to adapt to the changes in workplaces and welding technology.
- Physical strength and endurance
Welding is a physically demanding job and requires a high level of endurance. When welding, you have to be standing in an upright position for long periods.
You also have to be able to lift heavy pieces of metal and move around with those pieces in your hands. You are also exposed to intense heat and can experience hearing loss if you don’t wear proper ear protection.
These things can be difficult for people who don’t have enough physical strength and endurance. If you want to become a good welder, you need to be able to handle the physical demands of the job.
- Good Communication and Teamwork Abilities
Welding is an extremely team-based job. You work with other welders, engineers, and designers. You have to be able to work well with others and communicate with them to get the job done. You also need to be able to take feedback and criticism and use it to improve your work.
How Can Welder Earn More Than Average Salary?
A welding career can provide a variety of opportunities for advancement. As a welder who has finished the required level of education, you can go back to school for more education.
This will allow you to gain more certifications and pursue more demanding job positions, resulting in higher pay.
A common question asked by those who want to pursue welding as a career is, how much do MIG welders make? As discussed, MIG welders can earn upwards of $40,000 per year.
Becoming a certified MIG welder is one of the most important and useful blue-collar jobs. This is a trade that can be performed almost anywhere, and this provides job security.
You can learn how to weld in a technical training program, and you’ll need to pass a state certification exam to be a welder.
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