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Tips for Women Welders

Welding is typically considered to generally be a man’s career or hobby.  It has been estimated that only about 5% of all welders in the United States are women.  However, there are still women welders out there who have to compete with men for jobs and who may face a challenge when convincing others that their skills are up to par with those of the men in the industry.

Women welders also do not make the same amount of money as male welders do, earning about 80 cents for every dollar that a male welder earns.

Here are some general tips on what women welders can do to not only help themselves become better welders in general, but to help women welders in general gain more notoriety and respect in the welding industry. 


1.   Become the best welder you can possibly be.

If you’re good at something, you’re good at it and that’s that.  If you’re an outstanding welder it won’t matter if you’re a man or a woman.  What will matter is that your work product is better than almost everyone elses.

Since women already have a bit of a tough time in the welding industry, if you’re a woman welder you’re going to want to strive to be far beyond an average welder.  Take classes in all forms of welding, practice and then practice some more, and when you think you know what you’re doing, practice even more.  Get advice and tips from as many people and professionals as you can.  Question why everything is done the way it is done so you can fully understand the process of welding better than most.

If you’re the number one welder in your company or even state and are a female, nobody will care that you’re a woman.


2.   Be confident in yourself and your work.

If you maintain an air of confidence about yourself and your welding, your attitude will eventually rub off onto the men you work with.  Confident people always come across as stronger and more talented than those who have a certain level of self-doubt.

If you say you’re a great welder and actually put effort into your work, people will be more likely to look at your welds favorably.


3.   Always be very professional about your welding jobs.

Be very aware of the way you conduct yourself when around fellow welders.  Dress conservatively and never get involved romantically or sexually with anyone you work with, especially if that person is in a supervisory position.

While it’s unfortunate, it’s a fact that the men you work with are going to most likely going to scrutinize you more than they will their male co-workers, and anything you do to make yourself seem too provocative or sexual will result in them thinking that you may not be able to do your job up to par and are simply kept around for the men to look at.

By always remaining professional you will demand respect on a different level than may be expected.  This is good advice for anyone in the job market, but is especially important advice to heed in a male dominated work environment and industry.


4.   Don’t let most things get to you.

Face it.  You will most likely be working with a bunch of men.  There might be a lot of crude language, bad jokes, and profanity flying around most of the time.  You’re going to have to overlook most of this.  However, if someone says something offensive that is directed at you personally, there is nothing wrong with dealing with the situation and dealing with it immediately.

Know the difference between what is acceptable joking and what is direct personal harassment.


5.   Put your best welds forward.

Always take pride in everything you do at work and focus on doing each and every weld you do to the absolute best of your ability.  This will gain you respect and notoriety within not only your job but in the entire industry.  Make connections with talented and well-known welders in the industry and ask them for critiques on your welds and take their advice seriously to make your welds better and better.  Also, you never know when one of those connections will pay off with a fantastic job or recommendation.


6.   Know the industry inside and out.

Take time to learn exactly what each and every tool and piece of equipment is called, what each is used for, and eventually how to use it.  Not only will this make you more confident, but it will garner respect from the men when you clearly know the tools of your trade inside and out.

Read online manuals about different types of tools.  Take a trip to the tool store and learn about each tool that a welder may ever have to use or know about. 

While women welders are few and far between, there is no reason why the few in the industry can’t be at the top of the industry.  By practicing, being knowledgeable and professional, and always remaining confident in yourself and your work, the only thing a man will be able to say to you is, “Nice weld.”

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