How to become a welder

Enjoy working in roles where you are active and using your hands as well as your brain? A career in welding might be for you. With an estimated starting salary of £18,000 and an estimated average salary of £30,000, it’s a career with good progression opportunities for the right person.

For welders, no job is too big or too small – they can be found in companies up and down the country, whether they’re repairing vehicles, working on an oil rig or building new components for aeroplanes or the military.

What exactly does a welder do?

The first thing that comes to mind when most people think of a welder is a masked individual manipulating metal using a flaming torch, but they do so much more than that.

Individuals working as welders may be responsible for:

• Selecting and laying out materials to be cut or joined
• Following engineering instructions and drawings
• Using the most suitable welding method for the job
• Inspecting and testing cuts and joints, using precision measuring instruments
• Operating semi-automatic spot-welding equipment
• Carrying out repairs on manufacturing equipment and machinery

What do you need to become a welder?

People pursuing a career in welding need to have good numeracy skills and the ability to understand detailed technical plans, whilst having the capability to concentrate for long periods of time.

The qualifications needed to work as a welder vary employer to employer, but most usually accept individuals as apprentices or as trainee welders given that they already have a basic welding qualification such as a CPD Certificate in Welding Training or Level 1 Award or Level 2 Certificate in Welding Skills.

Most local colleges provide qualifications in welding – a quick internet search will provide you with the colleges nearest to you or you can search the National Career Service database.

Once you have the basic qualifications and a foot in the door with an employer providing you with a traineeship or apprenticeship, it is not necessary to gain a degree level qualification. Most welders gain additional qualifications based on the areas they want to specialise in.

If you’re already a qualified welder and are looking for a new position, check out all our current vacancies.