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Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers
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Description: what do they do?
Use hand-welding, flame-cutting, hand-soldering, or brazing equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.
Also known as:
Aluminum Welder, Assembly Line Brazer, Brazer, Fabrication Welder, Fabricator, Maintenance Welder, Solderer, Sub Arc Operator, Welder, Wirer

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
    Transcript: Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers use hand-held or remotely controlled equipment to join or cut metal parts, or to smooth surfaces. These workers study sketches and specifications to understand the full picture of the structure and materials before they start their work. Welders’ and cutters’ tools use high heat to soften the material. Welders use these tools to join metal in a wide variety of industries, from car racing and manufacturing to steel beam construction. Cutters cut and trim metal objects, or dismantle large objects such as ships and railroad cars. Work may be outdoors on a scaffold or high platform, or indoors in confined areas. Bending, stooping, and heavy lifting are common. Soldering and brazing workers use molten metal to join two pieces of metal. Soldering involves precision tasks such as forming joins in electronic circuit boards, while brazing uses metals at higher temperatures to —for example—apply coatings to parts for protection against wear and corrosion. Other workers in this field manage machines or robots that perform welding, brazing, soldering, or heat treating tasks. These workers may also operate laser cutters or laser-beam machines. Hazards include very hot materials and the intense light created by the arc. While employers are required to provide safely ventilated areas, these workers typically wear safety equipment to prevent injuries. Most positions are full time; evenings, weekends and overtime hours are common. High school education, along with technical and on-the-job training is typically required to enter these fields. A certification or other skill credential is attractive to employers.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Please note that this does not account for the impacts of the current pandemic. Many occupations are likely to have very different outlooks due to the rapidly changing economy. When new outlook information is developed, it will be reflected here.

    Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings". This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET Bright Outlook occupations and My Next Move career outlook designations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Wisconsin
15,180
2018 Employment
16,120
2028 Employment
6%
Percent change
1,810
Annual projected job openings
United States
438,900
2019 Employment
452,500
2029 Employment
3%
Percent change
43,400
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2018 (for states) or 2019 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2028 (for states) or 2029 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    Please note that these projections do not account for the impacts of the current pandemic. Many occupations are likely to have very different projections due to the rapidly changing economy. When revised data are available, they will be published here.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office, 2018-28.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2019-29.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers in Wisconsin
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationWisconsinUnited States
10%$33,820$30,640
25%$39,240$36,140
Median$46,530$44,190
75%$53,910$53,820
90%$65,370$66,250


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Program, May 2020 survey. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • No work experience
  • 1 to 12 months on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Education and training assignments by detailed occupation, 2019.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2018.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Operate welding equipment.
  • Maintain safety.
  • Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications.
  • Select production equipment according to product specifications.
  • Ignite fuel to activate heating equipment.
  • Adjust equipment controls to regulate gas flow.
  • Determine metal or plastic production methods.
  • Monitor equipment operation to ensure that products are not flawed.
  • Mark products, workpieces, or equipment with identifying information.
  • Operate grinding equipment.
  • Trim excess material from workpieces.
  • Clean workpieces or finished products.
  • Heat material or workpieces to prepare for or complete production.
  • Design templates or patterns.
  • Align parts or workpieces to ensure proper assembly.
  • Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment.
  • Watch operating equipment to detect malfunctions.
  • Notify others of equipment repair or maintenance needs.
  • Melt metal, plastic, or other materials to prepare for production.
  • Solder parts or workpieces.
  • Clean production equipment.
  • Operate firefighting equipment.
  • Cut industrial materials in preparation for fabrication or processing.
  • Reshape metal workpieces to established specifications.
  • Disassemble equipment for maintenance or repair.
  • Repair parts or assemblies.
  • Operate metal or plastic forming equipment.
  • Assemble temporary equipment or structures.
  • Shape metal workpieces with hammers or other small hand tools.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - Keeping your arm or hand steady.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Investigative - Occupations with Investigative interests frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They often involve research and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Weld components in flat, vertical, or overhead positions.
  • Operate safety equipment and use safe work habits.
  • Examine workpieces for defects and measure workpieces with straightedges or templates to ensure conformance with specifications.
  • Recognize, set up, and operate hand and power tools common to the welding trade, such as shielded metal arc and gas metal arc welding equipment.
  • Weld separately or in combination, using aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, and other alloys.
  • Select and install torches, torch tips, filler rods, and flux, according to welding chart specifications or types and thicknesses of metals.
  • Ignite torches or start power supplies and strike arcs by touching electrodes to metals being welded, completing electrical circuits.
  • Connect and turn regulator valves to activate and adjust gas flow and pressure so that desired flames are obtained.
  • Determine required equipment and welding methods, applying knowledge of metallurgy, geometry, and welding techniques.
  • Monitor the fitting, burning, and welding processes to avoid overheating of parts or warping, shrinking, distortion, or expansion of material.
  • Mark or tag material with proper job number, piece marks, and other identifying marks as required.
  • Chip or grind off excess weld, slag, or spatter, using hand scrapers or power chippers, portable grinders, or arc-cutting equipment.
  • Prepare all material surfaces to be welded, ensuring that there is no loose or thick scale, slag, rust, moisture, grease, or other foreign matter.
  • Preheat workpieces prior to welding or bending, using torches or heating furnaces.
  • Develop templates and models for welding projects, using mathematical calculations based on blueprint information.
  • Align and clamp workpieces together, using rules, squares, or hand tools, or position items in fixtures, jigs, or vises.
  • Guide and direct flames or electrodes on or across workpieces to straighten, bend, melt, or build up metal.
  • Position and secure workpieces, using hoists, cranes, wire, and banding machines or hand tools.
  • Detect faulty operation of equipment or defective materials and notify supervisors.
  • Melt and apply solder to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products, using soldering equipment.
  • Clean or degrease parts, using wire brushes, portable grinders, or chemical baths.
  • Melt and apply solder along adjoining edges of workpieces to solder joints, using soldering irons, gas torches, or electric-ultrasonic equipment.
  • Use fire suppression methods in industrial emergencies.
  • Grind, cut, buff, or bend edges of workpieces to be joined to ensure snug fit, using power grinders and hand tools.
  • Repair products by dismantling, straightening, reshaping, and reassembling parts, using cutting torches, straightening presses, and hand tools.
  • Check grooves, angles, or gap allowances, using micrometers, calipers, and precision measuring instruments.
  • Operate metal shaping, straightening, and bending machines, such as brakes and shears.
  • Set up and use ladders and scaffolding as necessary to complete work.
  • Hammer out bulges or bends in metal workpieces.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.