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Fact or Fiction: Are Welders Recession Proof?

Person welding on the job


A Brief Overview of Welders vs. an Economic Recession

The beauty in being a welder is knowing that your skill will always be needed. No matter how much technology advances, no matter what state the economy is in, skilled laborers will be in high demand. Right? Not so fast.

Excuse me while I put on my Myth Busters cap to separate the fairytales from the facts.

Fact or Fiction? In this current recession (or whatever they’re calling it now), welding is one of the most secure career paths to follow.

Answer: A little of both

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects only a 5% increase in the employment of welders over a decade (from 2006-16). On average, welding jobs eat up a sizable portion of the employment feast. However, like all other industries, welders are feeling the recession, though not as hard as others.

Despite the recession, there is still a high need for skilled welders. Welding is a process that needs human skill, the kind no machine can match. This is why other manufacturing occupations are feeling the brunt of the recession. Employers in industries such as construction and manufacturing are always on the lookout for skilled welders. The keyword is skilled. A recent article in the New York Times sheds light on this demand. Employers have a need for welders with at least five years of experience under their belt. New welders, like Dan Geenan (who’s making the switch from paper mill worker to welder), have the upper hand if they can match experience with the needed education.

What’s the solution?

New welders, experience isn’t enough. Welding knowledge isn’t enough. After you’ve graduated from welding school, there are many places that offer welding internships. You will not be making wicked money like more experienced welders (and, in some cases, you will not be making anything/much at all), but you will be able to put your classroom education to use in the real world.

Sometimes, it’s not the job that’s recession proof’- it’s the person. How valuable are you as a welder? Has the recession had any impact on you? What changes have you made to keep yourself recession proof?

Dylan B.


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