If you’re an experienced welder who has become frustrated with working for others, maybe it’s time you considered starting your own contracting business. Owning your own welding contractor business can be rewarding and lucrative; welding is a highly sought after skill and is always in demand. But with the rewards also come challenges. As your own boss you will be in charge of all the advertising, scheduling, and all of the other day to day tasks that are necessary for running a successful operation. Owning your own business will be a rewarding experience, but it will also be a time consuming one as well. Below we are going to offer you some helpful tips to help make your welding contractor business a success.
- The first step will be to become a certified welder, if you aren’t one already. To become certified you will need to register for training with an accredited welding program. This will provide you with the necessary skills to become a welder. Once you have received the appropriate training, your next step would be to apply for your welder’s license. The requirements vary from state to state, but some certification tests require the welder to have some on the job experience. A welder’s license and exam will typically run between $300 – $400. To find out what the requirements are in your state, you should contact the licensing board.
- Once you have accomplished the above you are now ready to set out on your own. In the beginning you may want to start out as a mobile welder. This will save you money by not having to pay for a rental space for your business. This is also a good choice because typically most of your jobs will be done off site and require you to travel to the job instead of having the job come to you. This is also a good way for you to gain some experience; it will help you know what the going rates are and what you need to charge in order to get business. After you have done this type of work you may feel ready to open your own business and work out of your shop.
- The next step in setting up your welding business is to purchase insurance. You will need to have liability insurance, and if you have employees you will also need to invest in worker’s compensation insurance. To find the best rate for your needs it is recommended that you contact several insurance agencies for quotes.
- After you have found a suitable location and have all of the appropriate insurance, you are now ready to begin stocking your welding shop with supplies. Your first purchases should be for equipment that are must haves. This includes welding machines, cylinders, exhaust systems, welding safety gear, welding blankets, cables, grinders and other equipment that is essential for welding. If you’re short on money, in the beginning you may want to consider purchasing used equipment. This will provide you with the necessary equipment at a lower price than purchasing brand new welding machines.
- Next you will want to purchase a vehicle that will be used as your primary work vehicle. Don’t forget to advertise your business on this vehicle. It’s a great way to get some needed attention and possibly new clients for your business. You should also start contacting contractors, plumbers and electricians to let them know that you are open and available for any work that they may need. The better your contact list is, the more business you will gain.
Running your own welding business can be very stressful in the beginning, and even after you’ve been open for a while. Make sure before you start that this is really something that you want to do. After your shop has been open for a while you will become more comfortable with the procedures of running a successful welding business. The opportunity is there if you’re ready to take the chance.
Additional Resources for Starting a Welding Contractor Business: