Industrial welders or maintenance welders join metal components of products, such as automobiles, boilers, ships, aircraft, and mobile homes. They accomplish this with specified layouts, blueprints, diagrams, work orders, welding procedures, or oral instructions, using electric arc-welding equipment. Welders connect cables from welding units to obtain amperage, voltage, slope, and pulse. They may clean or degrease weld joints or work pieces, repair broken or cracked parts, fill holes, and operate other machine shop equipment to prepare components for welding.

Working Conditions

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers may work outdoors, often in inclement weather, or indoors, sometimes in a confined area. They may work on a scaffold, high off the ground, and they occasionally must lift heavy objects and work in awkward positions. Although most work full time, overtime is common.

Length of Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship applicants must be at least 18 years of age. In addition, they must provide proof of high school graduation or general education development (GED) equivalent. Local apprenticeship committees may require additional qualifications.

Minimum Qualification

Workers typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and less than one year of related work experience to enter this occupation. Those with a postsecondary non-degree award have a competitive advantage in the labor market. In addition, long-term on-the-job training is typically needed, once employed, to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Wage Averages for Oklahoma (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015)

Mean Hourly Wage: $19.21

Annual Mean Wage: $39,960