Welder

Alternative titles for this job include Pipe welder, MIG welder, TIG welder, arc welder, boilermaker

Welders cut, join and shape metal plate, pipework and composite materials in the aerospace, construction and civil engineering industries.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter

to

£34,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

44 to 46 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a welder

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
  • specialist courses run by private training organisations

College

You could take a welding qualification at college before applying for a job as a trainee welder. Relevant courses include:

  • Level 2 Award in Welding Skills
  • Level 2 Award in Welding Techniques and Skills
  • Level 3 Diploma in Fabrication and Welding Engineering Technology
  • T Level in Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing and Control

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level

More Information

Apprenticeship

You can get into this career by doing:

  • a general welder intermediate apprenticeship
  • a pipe or plate welder advanced apprenticeship

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs if you have welding experience. For example from working in engineering construction, marine engineering or pipefitting.

Other Routes

You could take a course in welding techniques or inspection work through The Welding Institute. You'll normally need to be working in engineering to do this.

More Information

Registration

Professional and industry bodies

You could join The Welding Institute for professional development and training opportunities.

Further information

You can find out more about welding careers through the Engineering and Construction Industry Training Board and The Welding Institute.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • the ability to work on your own
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • design skills and knowledge
  • knowledge of maths
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • the ability to analyse quality or performance
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a welder, you will:

  • follow engineering drawings and instructions for each job
  • check dimensions and thicknesses of materials to be welded
  • prepare and set out sections to be joined or repaired
  • calibrate tools and machinery
  • operate welding equipment
  • inspect and test welds and joins, using precision measuring instruments
  • dismantle and cut up metal in structures that are being demolished
  • clean tools, equipment and work areas

Working environment

You could work in a workshop, on a construction site or on a demolition site.

Your working environment may be hot, cramped and at height.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You could become a supervisor or metal fabrication workshop manager.

You could also work in welding inspection, non-destructive testing and quality control.

With commercial diver training, you could specialise in underwater welding, for example in oil, gas and marine engineering.

You could also teach in a further education college.

Find out more about teaching in further education from Teach in further education.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

General Welder (Arc Processes) Apprentice

  • Wage: £172.00 Weekly
  • Location: Doncaster

Apprentice Welder

  • Wage: £234.00 Weekly
  • Location: Alfreton

Courses In England

Welding - Level 2

  • Provider: BLACKPOOL AND THE FYLDE COLLEGE
  • Start date: 01 December 2021
  • Location: Blackpool

Metal Inert Gas Welding Unit

  • Provider: PRESTON COLLEGE
  • Start date: 03 March 2022
  • Location: PRESTON

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