Employment of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers is expected to grow 15 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Employment growth reflects the need for welders in manufacturing because of the importance and versatility of welding as a manufacturing process. The basic skills of welding are the same across industries, so welders can easily shift from one industry to another, depending on where they are needed most. For example, welders laid off in the automotive manufacturing industry may be able to find work in the oil and gas industry.
Growth of the defense industry, including the manufacturing of aircrafts and missiles, is expected to contribute to employment growth.
In addition, the nation’s aging infrastructure will require the expertise of many welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers to rebuild bridges, highways, and buildings, resulting in some new jobs.
Overall job prospects will vary by skill level. Job prospects should be good for welders trained in the latest technologies. Welding schools report that graduates have little difficulty finding work, and many welding employers report difficulty finding properly skilled welders. However, welders who do not have up-to-date training may face competition for jobs.
For all welders, job prospects should be better for those willing to relocate.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition