Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
51-4122.00

Set up, operate, or tend welding, soldering, or brazing machines or robots that weld, braze, solder, or heat treat metal products, components, or assemblies. Includes workers who operate laser cutters or laser-beam machines.

Sample of reported job titles: Braze Operator, Finishing Technician, Machine Operator, Mig Welder, Robot Operator, Spot Welder

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Inspect, measure, or test completed metal workpieces to ensure conformance to specifications, using measuring and testing devices.
  • Read blueprints, work orders, or production schedules to determine product or job instructions or specifications.
  • Assemble, align, and clamp workpieces into holding fixtures to bond, heat-treat, or solder fabricated metal components.
  • Set up, operate, or tend welding machines that join or bond components to fabricate metal products or assemblies.
  • Lay out, fit, or connect parts to be bonded, calculating production measurements, as necessary.
  • Correct problems by adjusting controls or by stopping machines and opening holding devices.
  • Give directions to other workers regarding machine set-up and use.
  • Select, position, align, and bolt jigs, holding fixtures, guides, or stops onto machines, using measuring instruments and hand tools.
  • Mark weld points and positions of components on workpieces, using rules, squares, templates, or scribes.
  • Transfer components, metal products, or assemblies, using moving equipment.
  • Clean, lubricate, maintain, and adjust equipment to maintain efficient operation, using air hoses, cleaning fluids, and hand tools.
  • Prepare metal surfaces or workpieces, using hand-operated equipment, such as grinders, cutters, or drills.
  • Conduct trial runs before welding, soldering, or brazing, and make necessary adjustments to equipment.
  • Remove completed workpieces or parts from machinery, using hand tools.
  • Tend auxiliary equipment used in welding processes.
  • Load or feed workpieces into welding machines to join or bond components.
  • Observe meters, gauges, or machine operations to ensure that soldering or brazing processes meet specifications.
  • Turn and press knobs and buttons or enter operating instructions into computers to adjust and start welding machines.
  • Compute and record settings for new work, applying knowledge of metal properties, principles of welding, and shop mathematics.
  • Set dials and timing controls to regulate electrical current, gas flow pressure, heating or cooling cycles, or shut-off.
  • Record operational information on specified production reports.
  • Select torch tips, alloys, flux, coil, tubing, or wire, according to metal types or thicknesses, data charts, or records.
  • Fill hoppers and position spouts to direct flow of flux or manually brush flux onto seams of workpieces.
  • Start, monitor, and adjust robotic welding production lines.
  • Devise or build fixtures or jigs used to hold parts in place during welding, brazing, or soldering.
  • Add chemicals or materials to workpieces or machines to facilitate bonding or to cool workpieces.
  • Immerse completed workpieces into water or acid baths to cool and clean components.
  • Dress electrodes, using tip dressers, files, emery cloths, or dressing wheels.
  • Anneal finished workpieces to relieve internal stress.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • 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 materials.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
  • 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.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • 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.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • 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.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 96% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 68% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 70% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 74% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 76% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 65% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 40% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Time Pressure — 55% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 44% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 46% responded “Every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 32% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 34% responded “About half the time.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 63% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 32% responded “Limited freedom.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Level of Competition — 43% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 39% responded “Very important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 36% responded “Limited freedom.”
  • Contact With Others — 26% responded “Occasional contact with others.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 31% responded “Not important at all.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 46% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 33% responded “Moderate results.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education
These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.
SVP Range
3 months to 1 year of preparation (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • 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.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Knowledge

  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 50%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 29%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required
  • 20%
     
    responded: Less than high school diploma required

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • 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.
  • 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 that 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.
  • 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.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • 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.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • 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.

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Interests

Interest code: RC
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • 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.

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Work Values

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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Work Styles

  • 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.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • 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.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • 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.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$18.55 hourly, $38,580 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
35,100 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Little or no change
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
3,600
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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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.

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