Welder, Cutter, Solderer, & Brazer Career Information

The following information is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers. Please visit the website for a more comprehensive breakdown of the data.


Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers use hand-held or remotely controlled equipment to join or cut metal parts. They also fill holes, indentations, or seams in metal products.

Job Duties

  • Study blueprints, sketches, or specifications
  • Calculate the dimensions of parts to be welded
  • Inspect structures or materials to be welded
  • Ignite torches or start power supplies
  • Monitor the welding process to avoid overheating
  • Maintain equipment and machinery


National Average Annual Pay (2019): $45,190

Top 5 States

1. Alaska


2. Hawaiʻi


3. Wyoming


4. New Mexico


5. Delaware


Bottom 5 States

50. Georgia


49. Idaho


48. South Dakota


47. Iowa


46. Arkansas



The best way to become a welder is to first attend a technical school. There you will learn about welding techniques in a more formal learning environment. Employers may be willing to hire inexperienced workers but you will have an advantage if you already have some training.

Many trade schools across the U.S. offer welding programs, and the U.S. Armed Forcers operates welding schools as well.

Certification isn’t usually necessary but if you are interested in certification, check out the American Welding Society that offers the Certified Welder Program.

The Institute for Printed Circuits offers certification and training in soldering.

  • Option 1: Technical School

    Technical skills can offer formal learning and more comprehensive training. Many U.S. Armed Forces operate welding schools as well.

  • Option 2: On-the-Job Training

    Employers may prefer to hire workers who have received some training, though some are willing to hire inexperienced entry-level workers. Even those with experience will still receive several months of on-the-job training.


Manual Dexterity

Welders must have a steady hand to hold a torch in one place. Workers must also have good hand–eye coordination.

Technical Skills

Welders must operate manual or semiautomatic welding equipment to fuse metal segments.

Physical Stamina

The ability to endure long periods of standing and repetitious movements is important for welders.

Physical Strength

Welders must be in good physical condition. They often must lift heavy pieces of metal and move welding or cutting equipment, and they sometimes bend, stoop, or reach while working.

Spatial-Orientation Skills

Welders must read, understand, and interpret two- and three-dimensional diagrams in order to fit metal products correctly.

Detail Oriented

Welders perform precision work, often with straight edges and minimal flaws. The ability to see details and characteristics of the joint and detect changes in molten metal flows requires good eyesight and attention to detail.

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