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Outlook for Welding Jobs in 2011

Looking through binoculars

One thing that everyone is concerned about is the future of welding jobs. Is there any kind of growth expected in this field or are the jobs being outsourced or taken over by robots? Those kinds of questions are the ones that often weigh on the minds of many welders.

You need to remember a few things about welding jobs in 2011. For one thing, two out of three welding jobs are in the manufacturing industries. This alone makes many people nervous. You also need to remember that it can take a few weeks to several years of school training and on the job training for a welder to be certified in their field. In fact, employment for 2011 is expected to have very little change, if any. And if you are a skilled welder, then your job prospects are actually quite good because the reports coming from employers are saying that the employers are having a hard time finding enough welders who have the qualifications they need.

There is an expected 2% decline for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers through 2018. This is not to say a drop of 2% per year, but a slow decline over the decade of 2008 to 2018. Welding, soldering, and brazing machine setters, tenders, and operators are expected to have a 7% decline over the same ten year period. This is because of advancements and the increased use of automation. Even so, the outlook for welders in manufacturing is much better than for other manufacturing jobs.

Why is the outlook so good for welders? Because there are some jobs that a machine just can't do. Also, welders can always gain new skills and take on a wide variety of jobs as needed and can go where they are most needed. Someone who was laid off that worked in automotive plants can find a position in the oil industry. The hardest part is the relocating if it's required. The better a welder's skills and certifications, and the more willing they are to work hard to learn, the better their job prospects and they are just about guaranteed a good paying position in 2011 and beyond. Custom jobs such as underwater welding or other jobs such as factory repairs or construction will nearly always need an actual welder, not a machine, so there will be jobs if welders are willing to look and in come cases relocate.

Ed C.


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