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:
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.
On the job, you would:
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.
Assemble, align, and clamp workpieces into holding fixtures to bond, heat-treat, or solder fabricated metal components.
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Engineering and Technology
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
talking to others
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
Hand and Finger Use
hold or move items with your hands
keep your arm or hand steady
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:
Operating system software
Electronic mail software
high school diploma/GED or certificate after high school usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.