Skip to content
Logo Careeronestop
careeronestop
your source for career exploration, training & jobs
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.
A proud partner of the american job center network.

Occupation Profile

Learn details about any occupation including what you might do on the job, how much you might earn, and how much education or training you might need.

Get started by entering a keyword for a career, a job title, or a type of work in the box below. Then enter your location and click "Search". Or, click "List of Occupations" to select from a list of careers.

Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Show More

Select items to add to your view

Overview


Employment


Wages

Education





Job Details






More Info


= not available for this occupation
Description: what do they do?
Set up, operate, or tend welding, soldering, or brazing machines or robots that weld, braze, solder, or heat treat metal products, components, or assemblies. Includes workers who operate laser cutters or laser-beam machines.
Also known as:
Machine Operator, Fabricator, Mig Welder, Fitter-Welder, Braze Operator, Finishing Technician, Technical Associate (TA), Spot Welder, Robot Operator, Operator

    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
00:00
00:00

    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 less 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. 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" above. 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 the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
United States
37,700
2018 Employment
34,800
2028 Employment
-8%
Percent change
3,700
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 2016 (for states) or 2018 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2026 (for states) or 2028 (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.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office, 2016-26.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2018-28.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders in United States
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationUnited States
10%$26,200
25%$31,050
Median$37,670
75%$46,160
90%$54,400


    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.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    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 Statistics Program, 2018 data. 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, 2018.

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, 2016–17.

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.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications.
  • Review blueprints or other instructions to determine operational methods or sequences.
  • Read work orders or other instructions to determine product specifications or materials requirements.
  • Feed materials or products into or through equipment.
  • Load materials into production equipment.
  • Monitor equipment operation to ensure proper functioning.
  • Assemble metal or plastic parts or products.
  • Align parts or workpieces to ensure proper assembly.
  • Operate welding equipment.
  • Lay out parts to prepare for assembly.
  • Enter commands, instructions, or specifications into equipment.
  • Record operational or production data.
  • Calculate specific material, equipment, or labor requirements for production.
  • Adjust equipment controls to regulate gas flow.
  • Adjust flow of electricity to tools or production equipment.
  • Direct operational or production activities.
  • Mount attachments or tools onto production equipment.
  • Select production equipment according to product specifications.
  • Draw guide lines or markings on materials or workpieces using patterns or other references.
  • Reshape metal workpieces to established specifications.
  • Clean production equipment.
  • Maintain production or processing equipment.
  • Lubricate production equipment.
  • Operate grinding equipment.
  • Move products, materials, or equipment between work areas.
  • Operate cutting equipment.
  • Conduct test runs of production equipment.
  • Remove products or workpieces from production equipment.
  • Design tools, fixtures, or other devices for production equipment.
  • Assemble machine tools, parts, or fixtures.
  • Apply solutions to production equipment.
  • Apply lubricants or coolants to workpieces.
  • Immerse objects or workpieces in cleaning or coating solutions.
  • Solder parts or workpieces.
  • Heat material or workpieces to prepare for or complete production.

    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.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or display screens to make sure a machine is working.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

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

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Control Precision - Quickly changing the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
  • Manual Dexterity - Holding or moving items with your hands.

    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.
  • 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
  • Inspect, measure, or test completed metal workpieces to ensure conformance to specifications, using measuring and testing devices.
  • Read blueprints, work orders, or production schedules to determine product or job instructions or specifications.
  • Load or feed workpieces into welding machines to join or bond components.
  • Observe meters, gauges, or machine operations to ensure that soldering or brazing processes meet specifications.
  • Assemble, align, and clamp workpieces into holding fixtures to bond, heat-treat, or solder fabricated metal components.
  • Set up, operate, or tend welding machines that join or bond components to fabricate metal products or assemblies.
  • Lay out, fit, or connect parts to be bonded, calculating production measurements, as necessary.
  • Turn and press knobs and buttons or enter operating instructions into computers to adjust and start welding machines.
  • Compute and record settings for new work, applying knowledge of metal properties, principles of welding, and shop mathematics.
  • Correct problems by adjusting controls or by stopping machines and opening holding devices.
  • Set dials and timing controls to regulate electrical current, gas flow pressure, heating or cooling cycles, or shut-off.
  • Give directions to other workers regarding machine set-up and use.
  • Select, position, align, and bolt jigs, holding fixtures, guides, or stops onto machines, using measuring instruments and hand tools.
  • Mark weld points and positions of components on workpieces, using rules, squares, templates, or scribes.
  • Prepare metal surfaces or workpieces, using hand-operated equipment, such as grinders, cutters, or drills.
  • Clean, lubricate, maintain, and adjust equipment to maintain efficient operation, using air hoses, cleaning fluids, and hand tools.
  • Transfer components, metal products, or assemblies, using moving equipment.
  • Record operational information on specified production reports.
  • Conduct trial runs before welding, soldering, or brazing, and make necessary adjustments to equipment.
  • Remove completed workpieces or parts from machinery, using hand tools.
  • Select torch tips, alloys, flux, coil, tubing, or wire, according to metal types or thicknesses, data charts, or records.
  • Tend auxiliary equipment used in welding processes.
  • Devise or build fixtures or jigs used to hold parts in place during welding, brazing, or soldering.
  • Start, monitor, and adjust robotic welding production lines.
  • Add chemicals or materials to workpieces or machines to facilitate bonding or to cool workpieces.
  • Immerse completed workpieces into water or acid baths to cool and clean components.
  • Dress electrodes, using tip dressers, files, emery cloths, or dressing wheels.
  • Anneal finished workpieces to relieve internal stress.

    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.