You are a welder and you are proud of your skills. Maybe you are a creative person and you want a welding job where you can make trendy furniture rather than burglar bars or garden gates for houses. Perhaps you dream of using welding to get a high-paying job in a major company that manufactures cars or aircraft.
It doesn’t really matter, because the chances are that if you are looking at adverts for welders you want a new job – perhaps a new lease on life. The job you apply for will obviously depend on your current skills and the training you have had. You can increase these as you get more experience.
There are so many opportunities in the world of welding simply because it is used in an incredibly wide range of industries to make anything from ornaments and furniture to ships, airplanes, and automobiles. But you’re going to need to show on your resume that you have the skills that are required for the job you are planning to apply for.
While there is a multitude of job opportunities out there, your resume will reflect your training and job experience and show prospective employers what specific skills you have to offer. You might even need to enroll in some additional courses to learn how to weld using different welding techniques just so you can get that dream job.
That said, you can craft a really good resume based on your existing knowledge, skills, and abilities that will get you a new job right now. You’ll find a complete sample resume for a welding job at the end of this article. Use it for inspiration!
Resume objective for welding
A resume objective for any job, including welding, must relate directly to the skills required, experience called for, and any educational or certification needed.
Different jobs call for proficiency in different welding processes that might be as basic as stick or manual metal arc (MMA) welding or as complex as tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding that is normally used for automotive or architectural jobs where it is important to achieve a clean, polished finish.
The job might require a welder who can also solder and braze, or someone with experience operating specific machines used as part of the welding process.
You need to write a very concise objective statement to show that your welding skills and experience fit the needs they want.
Highly skilled pipe welder with 14 years of experience. Excels at welding techniques needed to work with carbon steel and alloy metals. Thorough knowledge of AWS, ANSI, and ASME codes. Happy and able to cope with the most physically demanding work environments.
Resume skills for welding
Career opportunities for qualified, skilled, and experienced welders are amazingly varied, ranging from fields of engineering, inspection positions, education, project management, robotics, and sales.
The skills you will need are going to depend on the career path you have chosen.
Welder education and training (see below) usually cover all the different welding techniques including soldering and brazing, braze welding, oxy-acetylene gas welding and cutting, MMA, submerged arc and shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), metal inert gas (MIG) and TIG welding, as well as flux core arc welding (FCAW), gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW).
You will identify with some of these.
Additionally, if a welder is required to stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl around or balance high up to access whatever has to be welded, there will be a range of physical requirements, including strength, that might be specified in the advert. Maybe you’ve never thought how important this is.
Mathematical skills will also be required and possibly experience with apps like AutoCAD, 3D printing programs, Microsoft Office, and Excel.
The skills shown below are based on the requirements for a job advertised for a “combo welder” who was required to certify on multi-process pipe and lay out, align, and weld fabricated, forged, and cast metal elements to produce structural forms for construction. Workmanship had to be of x-ray quality. Really, really good!
The job entailed welding a range of items including machinery frames, tanks, furnace shells, pressure vessels, and buildings, and pipes. No doubt, significant experience was required.
MMA | SMAW | MIG | TIG | GTAW | GMAW | full range of arc welding skills in flat, vertical, horizontal, and overhead positions | strong maths skills | physically strong with good balance
Welding work experience
Generally, the more work experience you have, the more easily you will find new jobs in the welding industry. This is primarily because of the old adage, Practise makes perfect! While technical expertise is essential, it’s doing the job that makes you a true master of any welding technique.
That said, according to AWS predictions, the US is going to need around 400,000 welders to fill industry jobs by 2025. The Society believes that jobs in various sectors will expand by anything from 4% to 23% by 2024.
So even if you are right out of college, or only have four or five years of work experience, you might find a good welding job that sparks your interest.
Your career path could take you just about anywhere, to a small company producing items from metal to a large corporation in the construction, automobile, petroleum, shipping, or aerospace industries. You might even want to work as a welder in the military.
And there’s nothing to stop you from changing your career path at some stage or another. Welding is a highly technical industry that relies on a multitude of different skills and techniques that can be applied to the broadest range of industries.
Sample Work Experience
Robotic Welding Technician, 2017 – 2019
Responsible for setting up and “teaching” robots, troubleshooting and adjusting them. Utilized PLCs and HMI for robots and weld controllers. Adjusted arc brazing, spot, and MIG welding schedules on controllers.
- Increased company profitability by using robots
- Designed a program to improve employee working conditions
- Substantially improved daily preventative maintenance program
- Provided constant support to the production team
Ocean View Shipyard
Welder, 2012 – 2017
Worked in the shipyard welding metal and alloy components for marine equipment and boats. Used SMAW, GMAW, GTAW, and FCAW welding techniques in all positions.
- Consistently met all the productivity goals and quality standards required
- Acted as team leader in several focus groups dealing with product development and improvement
- Increased customer numbers substantially
- Volunteered to be responsible for the safety of all assigned equipment
There are different types of welding operations and a surprisingly broad choice in terms of training. You could become a professional welder within a year, but if you want to become a welding engineer or inspector, the training and on-the-job experience is going to take at least 12 years.
Options include associate degrees in welding technology, for instance, an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Welding Technology, and technical programs that focus on welding processes and result in some sort of diploma or certificate.
Some programs offer internships that provide valuable on-site experience and sometimes result in permanent employment opportunities. If you decide to change career direction, you could apply for an internship to get the experience you don’t currently have.
As mentioned by The Financially Independent Millennial, Welding is a job that doesn’t necessarily require a lot of education, and where an apprenticeship could lead to a surprisingly well-paid job.
Front Range Community College, 2015 – 2016
AAS degree in Welding
Front Range Community College, 2014
Certificate in welding Fundamentals
Tulsa Welding School, 2018
Professional Welder qualification
In addition to university, college, and school educational options, there are adult education programs at technical and community colleges. Some are open to graduates who already have several years of training, and possibly experience as well. Other courses are open to beginners.
Courses are an excellent way to gain additional skills and improve your future job opportunities. They also look good on a resume.
Also, there are some welding schools that offer specialized welding training programs that you can build on rather than committing to a two- to four-year diploma or degree course. This might be a solution for welders who have been working for several years but realize they need more training to get a better paying or more interesting job.
The Tulsa Welding School in Houston is an example of a welding school that offers courses that last less than a year. For example, Welding Specialist with Pipefitting takes just over nine months to complete. But you do need to be a welding graduate to qualify.
The sample courses below are quite common welding adult education programs that take about a year to complete.
- Certificate of Completion in Welding Technology
- Associate of Applied Science in Welding Technology
You don’t have to go to college to become a professional welder. Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t. You can get a good job as long as you have a high level of skill, knowledge, and excellent hand-eye coordination. But it’s a fact that many industries that employ welders require these skills to be critically accurate.
Think about steel bridges or automobiles, and all other craft that rely at least in part on welded elements. If the job isn’t perfect it could be a very real risk to public safety.
There are various types of certifications, but basically they are all hands-on tests that are overseen by a certified welding inspector who will determine whether you meet the requirements for that particular specification.
The most significant welding certification is the performance-based Certified Welder from the American Welding Society (AWS). The testing process is rigorous and it meets employer and industry standards.
If you have a college degree that incorporates welding, chances are you have the AWS Certified Welder as part of your qualification. Some vocational schools have training courses that are designed to prepare students for the AWS program.
The good news for welders who didn’t go the college route is that there aren’t any prerequisite courses required. The AWS Certified Welder Program is open to anyone who has welding talent. The metals and various welds required are specified. You just have to be able to do them correctly and skilfully.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) also offers certifications. These are invaluable for jobs that involve welding boiler and pressure vessels because they prove you can do what is required for boiler-making and working on pressure vessels.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) provides certifications for welders who will specialize in oil and gas piping.
Additionally, employers of welders commonly do their own certification to test that their welders are competent in specific processes on certain types of metals. It’s a similar process to the AWS program, but you might only be certified for specific metals and welds.
So you could be certified as proficient in SMAW welding on steel but not for doing GTAW on aluminum.
Certifications need to be maintained or updated regularly.
- AWS Certified Welder
- AWS also offers several specialized certifications that endorse a welder’s ability to weld steel, aluminum, or to work within specialized sectors:
- Structural Steel Endorsement
- Structural Aluminium Endorsement
- Bridge Welding Endorsement
- Railroad Endorsement
- Aerospace Endorsement
- Pipeline Endorsement
- Welder Performance Qualification Endorsement
- Structural Bolting Inspection Endorsement
- AWS Certified Welding Inspector (he’s the guy who will test you)
- ASME Certification
- Pressure Vessel Section Endorsement (or specified sections)
- Pressure Piping and Pressure Vessel Section Endorsement (one of the sections included in the endorsement above)
- API Certification
Complete welding resume sample
Having searched for a suitable job opening, you can get to work ensuring that your resume dovetails with the needs of your potential employer.
Maybe you are going to apply for a job as a structural welder who will assemble structural forms, or perhaps a combination welder who will be required to use a range of different welding techniques in the job.
But let’s say for this exercise that you previously worked in a combo job, but have subsequently specialized in pipefitting and that’s the welding sector you want to work in now.
See this (real) job posting:
The job posting is for a pipefitter who will be required to lay the pipe out, align it, and then fit the fabricated parts together using the appropriate welding techniques. We are going to craft a suitable welding resume in response to the advert.
Pipefitter with five years of extensive experience in the welding industry. AWS-certified. Physically strong and active. Eager to work in the energy, chemicals, and resources sectors.
MMA | SMAW | MIG | TIG | GTAW | GMAW | oxy-acetylene gas welding and cutting | strong maths skills | AutoCAD | physically strong with good balance
Brute & Root Company
Pipefitter, 2019 – 2020
Laid out, fabricated, and installed piping systems, pipe supports, fixtures, and the necessary hydraulic and pneumatic equipment for a wide variety of production and processing systems.
- Excelled in a wide range of responsibilities that led to promotion and a wage increase.
- Inspected work sites in addition to welding tasks.
- Promotion led to inclusion of testing piping systems for leaks by increasing pressure in pipes and noting gauge levels.
- Helped to establish upgraded occupational and safety rules.
Pipe Welder and Fitter, 2016 – 2018
Responsible for cutting and welding piping fit-ups in various configurations and systems. Work performed to repair and/or modernize ships of different sizes. Welding processes included SMAW, GTAW, and FCAW.
- Torched and welded metal surfaces
- Achieved quality welding on pipe joints of different sizes, including butt welds
- Maintained general housekeeping on site
- Supervised and mentored new employees during 2018
Century Contract Company
Combination Pipe Welder, 2015 – 2017
Welded and fabricated pipe for industrial piping systems. Assisted pipefitters with installation processes. Documented all weld information and created legible weld maps.
- Learnt how to read blueprints
- Set up equipment and welded the parts using various welding techniques including arc, gas-shielded, arc, submerged arc, and arc gas welding equipment, some for the first time
- Reorganized the workshop to make tools and materials easy to find
- Achieved API certification
Tulsa Welding School, 2018
Welding Specialist With Pipefitting diploma
Tulsa Welding School, 2013 – 2014
Associate of Occupational Studies in Welding Technology degree
- Merit-based welding scholarship for welding and pipefitting training programs
- AWS Certified Welder
- API Certification
You need technical knowledge and the right experience to get your preferred job in the welding industry. Additionally, you need to be fit and healthy because the job can be physically demanding.
- Welding offers an enormous range of career possibilities in different industries and the demand for highly skilled welders with experience is growing constantly. Choose the sector that appeals to you and make sure your resume fits your choice.
- Highlighting your experience in welding techniques on your resume will help you reach the short-list for most potential employers.
- Certifications are very important in the welding industry and you need to highlight them in your resume.
Tips from Experts
“Welders have to understand shop mechanics, blueprint reading, mechanical drawing, physics, chemistry, and metallurgy. The more technological advances our industry undergoes, the more skills and knowledge we need to do our jobs successfully.” – Stephanie Hoffman-Wedding, Program Manager Workforce Development, for the AWS Foundation
“Don’t be afraid to pivot during your career and leverage your welding skills and knowledge into a career in sales, education, or management.” – Jody Collier, former pipe welder who transitioned to welding instructor for Delta Air Lines Technical Operations and now creates informational welding videos
Welding is a challenging job with a wealth of opportunities, most of which are well paid too.
The industries that use welders are incredibly varied, which adds to the choice. You could get a welding job with a company that makes high-end designer furniture or a company that manufactures trucks or automobiles. And the demand for welders is growing.
You can get into the industry by going to college and getting a diploma, by including welding in an engineering degree, or simply by learning on the job.
But you do need a good resume to show potential employers what skills and experience you have. Never forget that!