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.
What they do:
Use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.
On the job, you would:
Weld components in flat, vertical, or overhead positions.
Operate safety equipment and use safe work habits.
Lay out, position, align, and secure parts and assemblies prior to assembly, using straightedges, combination squares, calipers, and rulers.
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
manufacture and distribution of products
Engineering and Technology
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
Hand and Finger Use
keep your arm or hand steady
hold or move items with your hands
quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
use your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Office suite software
Computer aided design CAD software
certificate after high school or high school diploma/GED usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.