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

Welders work in different industries, cutting, shaping and joining sections of metal plate and pipes.

Average salary (a year)

£16,000 Starter


£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

44 to 46 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends on shifts

How to become a welder

You can get into this job through:

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


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

  • Level 1 Award in Introductory Welding Skills
  • Level 2 Certificate in Fabrication and Welding Practice
  • Level 3 Diploma in Fabrication and Welding Engineering Technology

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G) for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information


You can get into this career through an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in welding or engineering manufacturing.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, 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

Other routes

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

More information

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

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work on your own
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • leadership skills
  • design skills and knowledge
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • setting out the materials to be cut or joined
  • following engineering instructions and drawings
  • inspecting and testing cuts and joins, using precision measuring instruments
  • operating the semi-automatic spot-welding equipment used in high volume production lines

Working environment

Your working environment may be cramped and at height.

You may need to wear safety clothing and protective clothing.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could be promoted to a supervisory role or be a workshop manager.

You could also work in welding inspection, testing and quality control or, with commercial diver training, underwater welding.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Precision Engineering Apprentice

  • Wage : £154.05 Weekly
  • Location: Shildon DL4 2QN

Applications/Design Engineering Office Apprentice TT Pumps Ltd

  • Wage : £163.13 Weekly
  • Location: Crewe CW3 9RU

Courses In England


  • Provider: Lancaster & Morecambe College
  • Start date: 21 January 2020
  • Location: Lancaster

P4121 - Welding - MIG Welding Level 1 Award

  • Start date: 24 January 2020
  • Location: STOKE - ON - TRENT

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