What kind of jobs are welders getting, and where?

Projected to 2006 (so just a bit out of date, but still pretty solid), the American Welding Society is saying that there will be 393,701 welding jobs in the United States, most of them in a few states, and many of them concentrated in just a few industries.

Fabricators are the single largest employer of welders, at 10%+ of the total. That bears out what many people see--the lines of fab shops in any industrial district in any town in the country bear witness. These are pretty good jobs, but are often smaller companies which have both advantages and drawbacks.

7% of welders are self-employed. It's nice working for yourself, but it can be stressful not knowing who's writing you a check in two months, once a gig is up. After that, we are looking at automotive ( both body shops and repairs and manufacturing), about 6% and then construction for 3%.

Better in Texas?

Near-bouts, two out of five welders were employed in six states: Texas, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Illinois. Pretty much tracks to the largest states with manufacturing bases, but in this economy a good hand with a welding rod can find work anyplace.


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