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Fact or Fiction Revisit: Have You Kept Yourself Recession-Proof?

Depiction of Recession

We first brought up this topic in the kickoff blog post written on Weld My World, “Fact or Fiction: Are Welders Recession Proof?” We’d like to know what changes have occurred in the job market since our last look. What changes have you made in your life to keep yourself recession-proof, or is it even possible to find job security in these uncertain times?

How much change has occurred in the job market for welders since we last took a look at the data?

In October 2009, the data available from The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted only a 5% increase in employment of welders over a decade, from 2006-2016. Fast forward to March 2011 and the outlook is even more grim than before. According to the BLS 2010-2011 Occupational Outlook Handbook, there will be about a 3.7% decline in employment across welding occupations from 2008-2018. To be more specific:



Projected Employment 2018

Change 2008-18

Change 2008-18 Percent

Welding, soldering, and brazing workers





Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers





Welding, soldering, and brazing machine setters, operators, and tenders





One of the reasons given for this decline in employment include:

“Enhancements in productivity and increased automation” – In other words, robots. Here we go again.

On the bright side, welders can easily make the change from one industry to the next – like changing from automotive manufacturing to the oil and gas industry – because the basic skills needed to weld are basically the same across industries.

What steps can you take to make yourself recession-proof?

Update your welding skills. Every year there are a new crop of welding school graduates ready to make their mark in the welding field; you need to keep up with the changes in the industry in order to stay competitive. Welding schools have reported that graduates are having little trouble finding work.

Get certified in other areas/types of welding – Versatility coupled with experience and expertise is a major selling point for any employer, and earning certification in multiple welding areas is the way to show how valuable you are as a welder.

Be willing to move – Welders willing to relocate have better employment prospects than their home-staying competitors

Already felt the pinch of these times? How have you made a living as a welder without an employer?



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