Summary Report for:
51-4121.06 - Welders, Cutters, and Welder Fitters
Use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.
Sample of reported job titles: Aluminum Welder, Fabrication Welder, Fabricator, Fitter/Welder, Maintenance Welder, Mig Welder, Sub Arc Operator, Welder, Welder-Fitter, Welder/Fabricator
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Weld components in flat, vertical, or overhead positions.
- Operate safety equipment and use safe work habits.
- Lay out, position, align, and secure parts and assemblies prior to assembly, using straightedges, combination squares, calipers, and rulers.
- Examine workpieces for defects and measure workpieces with straightedges or templates to ensure conformance with specifications.
- Recognize, set up, and operate hand and power tools common to the welding trade, such as shielded metal arc and gas metal arc welding equipment.
- Weld separately or in combination, using aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, and other alloys.
- Clamp, hold, tack-weld, heat-bend, grind or bolt component parts to obtain required configurations and positions for welding.
- Select and install torches, torch tips, filler rods, and flux, according to welding chart specifications or types and thicknesses of metals.
- Ignite torches or start power supplies and strike arcs by touching electrodes to metals being welded, completing electrical circuits.
- Connect and turn regulator valves to activate and adjust gas flow and pressure so that desired flames are obtained.
- Determine required equipment and welding methods, applying knowledge of metallurgy, geometry, and welding techniques.
- Monitor the fitting, burning, and welding processes to avoid overheating of parts or warping, shrinking, distortion, or expansion of material.
- Operate manual or semi-automatic welding equipment to fuse metal segments, using processes such as gas tungsten arc, gas metal arc, flux-cored arc, plasma arc, shielded metal arc, resistance welding, and submerged arc welding.
- Analyze engineering drawings, blueprints, specifications, sketches, work orders, and material safety data sheets to plan layout, assembly, and welding operations.
- Mark or tag material with proper job number, piece marks, and other identifying marks as required.
- Chip or grind off excess weld, slag, or spatter, using hand scrapers or power chippers, portable grinders, or arc-cutting equipment.
- Remove rough spots from workpieces, using portable grinders, hand files, or scrapers.
- Prepare all material surfaces to be welded, ensuring that there is no loose or thick scale, slag, rust, moisture, grease, or other foreign matter.
- Preheat workpieces prior to welding or bending, using torches or heating furnaces.
- Develop templates and models for welding projects, using mathematical calculations based on blueprint information.
- Position and secure workpieces, using hoists, cranes, wire, and banding machines or hand tools.
- Guide and direct flames or electrodes on or across workpieces to straighten, bend, melt, or build up metal.
- Detect faulty operation of equipment or defective materials and notify supervisors.
- Clean or degrease parts, using wire brushes, portable grinders, or chemical baths.
- Cut, contour, and bevel metal plates and structural shapes to dimensions as specified by blueprints, layouts, work orders, and templates, using powered saws, hand shears, or chipping knives.
- Repair products by dismantling, straightening, reshaping, and reassembling parts, using cutting torches, straightening presses, and hand tools.
- Fill holes, and increase the size of metal parts.
- Check grooves, angles, or gap allowances, using micrometers, calipers, and precision measuring instruments.
- Operate metal shaping, straightening, and bending machines, such as brakes and shears.
- Set up and use ladders and scaffolding as necessary to complete work.
- Hammer out bulges or bends in metal workpieces.
- Dismantle metal assemblies or cut scrap metal, using thermal-cutting equipment such as flame-cutting torches or plasma-arc equipment.
- Signal crane operators to move large workpieces.
- Use fire suppression methods in industrial emergencies.
- Estimate materials needed for production and manufacturing and maintain required stocks of materials.
- Join parts such as beams and steel reinforcing rods in buildings, bridges, and highways, bolting and riveting as necessary.
- Gouge metals, using the air-arc gouging process.
- Mix and apply protective coatings to products.
- Operate brazing and soldering equipment.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Adjustable wrenches
- Alternating current AC arc welder — Underwater welding equipment
- Blow torch — Motorized cutting torches; Pattern cutting torches
- Calipers — Vernier calipers
- Cutting die — Metal cutting dies
- Desktop computers
- Direct current DC arc welder — Mobile welding units
- Drill press or radial drill — Drill presses; Portable magnetic drill presses; Punch presses
- Electrode holder — Underwater electrode holders; Welding electrode holders
- Flame cutting machine — Semiautomatic flame-cutting equipment
- Flow sensors — Gas flow measurement instruments
- Frequency converters — Current converters
- Gas welding or brazing or cutting apparatus — Oxyacetylene welding equipment; Rod ovens; Storage ovens and hot boxes
- Hammers — Hand chipping hammers
- Hand clamps
- Hoists — Electric overhead hoists
- Hydraulic press brake — Metal benders
- Hydraulic press frames — Hydraulic presses
- Impact wrenches
- Jacks — Hydraulic jacks
- Laser printers
- Laser welding machine — Laser welders
- Light trucks or sport utility vehicles — Light trucks
- Manlift or personnel lift — Hydraulic truck lifts; Swing stages
- Manual press brake — Brakes
- Metal band sawing machine — Bandsaws
- Metal inert gas welding machine — Metal inert gas MIG welders; Wirefeed welders
- Metal slitting saw — Slitters
- Metal stamps — Metal markers
- Microcontrollers — Computerized numerical control CNC programmable welding robot controllers
- Mill saw file — Single-cut mill saw files
- Milling machines
- Personal computers
- Pipe or tube cutter — Pipe cutters
- Plasma arc welding machine — Plasma welders
- Pneumatic drill — Air drills
- Pneumatic hammer — Air chisels
- Pneumatic sanding machines — Air scalers
- Power buffers — Buffers
- Power chippers
- Power drills
- Power grinders — Grinding machines
- Power saws — Cutoff saws
- Pressure or steam cleaners — Steam cleaning equipment
- Protective gloves — Waterproof gloves
- Protractors — Angle finders
- Pry bars — Pinchbars
- Pullers — Comealongs
- Punches or nail sets or drifts — Punches
- Respiration air supplying self contained breathing apparatus or accessories — Self-contained breathing apparatus
- Respirators — Respirator hose masks
- Safety glasses — Welding lenses
- Shears — Unishears
- Shielded metal arc welding or stick welding machine — Portable gas operated arc welders; Shielded arc welding tools
- Socket sets — Socket wrench sets
- Soldering iron — Soldering irons
- Speed sensors — Wire feed rate measurement instruments
- Spot welding machine — Resistance welding equipment; Welding guns
- Straight edges — Straightedges
- Taps — Metal cutting taps
- Temperature gauge — Temperature gauges
- Thickness measuring devices — Fillet weld gauges
- Threading machine — Electric pipe threaders
- Threading taps — Hand pipe threaders
- Tracer or duplicating or contouring lathe — Lathes
- Track cranes — Overhead cranes
- Tungsten inert gas welding machine — Heliarc welding equipment; Tungsten inert gas TIG welding equipment
- Two way radios
- Ultrasonic welding machine — Ultrasonic welding equipment
- Voltage or current meters — Arc voltage measurement instruments; Welding current measurement instruments
- Welder torch — Brazing equipment; Welding torches
- Welding electrode — Underwater electrodes; Welding electrodes
- Welding generator — Direct current DC sources
- Welding masks — Hand shields; Welding shields
- Welding or cutting tip — Welding tips
- Welding robots
- Welding wire — Electrode wires
- Wetsuits — Dive suits
- Wire brushes — Power wire brushes
- Wire cutters
Technology used in this occupation:
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Detailed Work Activities
- Select production equipment according to product specifications.
- Mix ingredients to create specific finishes.
- Align parts or workpieces to ensure proper assembly.
- Monitor equipment operation to ensure that products are not flawed.
- Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment.
- Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications.
- Trim excess material from workpieces.
- Heat material or workpieces to prepare for or complete production.
- Smooth metal surfaces or edges.
- Watch operating equipment to detect malfunctions.
- Cut industrial materials in preparation for fabrication or processing.
- Review blueprints or other instructions to determine operational methods or sequences.
- Adjust equipment controls to regulate gas flow.
- Apply protective or decorative finishes to workpieces or products.
- Assemble metal structures.
- Signal others to coordinate work activities.
- Assemble metal or plastic parts or products.
- Design templates or patterns.
- Determine metal or plastic production methods.
- Reshape metal workpieces to established specifications.
- Mark products, workpieces, or equipment with identifying information.
- Operate welding equipment.
- Clean workpieces or finished products.
- Melt metal, plastic, or other materials to prepare for production.
- Operate grinding equipment.
- Operate metal or plastic forming equipment.
- Clean production equipment.
- Disassemble equipment for maintenance or repair.
- Notify others of equipment repair or maintenance needs.
- Repair parts or assemblies.
- Solder parts or workpieces.
- Lay out parts to prepare for assembly.
- Fill cracks, imperfections, or holes in products or workpieces.
- Drill holes in parts, equipment, or materials.
- Ignite fuel to activate heating equipment.
- Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
- Assemble temporary equipment or structures.
- Shape metal workpieces with hammers or other small hand tools.
- Estimate material requirements for production.
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 62% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 56% responded “Extremely important.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 73% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 60% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 71% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 59% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 43% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 43% responded “Very important results.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 45% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Time Pressure — 44% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 41% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 35% responded “Some freedom.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 43% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Spend Time Standing — 36% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 35% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 40% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 63% responded “40 hours.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 32% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 31% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 32% responded “Important.”
- Level of Competition — 37% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 32% responded “Every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 57% responded “Serious.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 26% responded “Every day.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|40||High school diploma or equivalent|
|13||Some college, no degree|
Interest code: RC
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wages data collected from Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers.
Employment data collected from Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers.
Industry data collected from Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers.
|Median wages (2014)||$17.99 hourly, $37,420 annual|
|Employment (2012)||357,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Slower than average (3% to 7%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||108,500|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.