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 | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | 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.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
|Drill press or radial drill — Portable magnetic drill presses; Punch presses|
|Electrode holder — Underwater electrode holders; Welding electrode holders|
|Gas welding or brazing or cutting apparatus — Oxyacetylene welding equipment; Rod ovens; Storage ovens and hot boxes|
|Tungsten inert gas welding machine — Heliarc welding equipment; Tungsten inert gas TIG welding equipment|
|Welder torch — Brazing equipment; Welding torches|
|Welding electrode — Underwater electrodes; Welding electrodes|
Technology used in this occupation:
|Analytical or scientific software — Scientific Software Group Filter Drain FD|
|Calendar and scheduling software — OmniFleet Equipment Maintenance Management|
|Computer aided design CAD software — EZ Pipe software|
|Data base user interface and query software — Recordkeeping software|
|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.|
|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.|
|Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?|
|Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — How much does this job require using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?|
|Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?|
|Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?|
|Exposed to Contaminants — How often does this job require working exposed to contaminants (such as pollutants, gases, dust or odors)?|
|Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in non-controlled environmental conditions (e.g., warehouse without heat)?|
|Frequency of Decision Making — How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?|
|Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?|
|Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — How do the decisions an employee makes impact the results of co-workers, clients or the company?|
|Structured versus Unstructured Work — To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?|
|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, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
There are 5 recognized apprenticeable specialties associated with this occupation:
Lead Burner; Welder, Arc; Welder, Combination; Welding; Welder-Fitter
To learn about specific apprenticeship opportunities, please consult the U.S. Department of Labor State Apprenticeship Information website.
For general information about apprenticeships, training, and partnerships with business, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship website.
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|Not available||Some college, no degree|
|Not available||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Not available||Less than high school diploma|
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.|
|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 (2012)||$17.45 hourly, $36,300 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)|
State & National
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 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
for Welders, Cutters, and Welder Fitters
State & National Job Banks
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.