The industrial revolution forever changed how the world produced goods. Machines and other innovations led to a focus on mass production over handcrafted items, as well as the use of less skilled labor in factories rather than small workshops. While this had a negative impact on many craftsmen who could no longer support themselves with their skills, it also opened up new opportunities for others. A number of trades that fall under the umbrella of welding emerged as a result of the industrial revolution. From blacksmiths to gas welders, people who could work metal manually or with an instrument became highly in demand. Today, we’re once again seeing a decline in new welders entering the workforce and this has some wondering if the trade is dying out. But is that really so?
Is Welding A Dying Trade?
It’s not a dying trade, but it is definitely changing. With the advent of new welding technologies, such as robotic welding and laser welding, many manual welding jobs are being replaced by machines. And while this may be bad news for welders who are unable to keep up with the times, it’s good news for companies that are able to take advantage of the new technologies. Welders who are able to learn new techniques and keep up with the latest trends will be in high demand!
Why Is Welding A Dying Trade?
1. The Welding Industry Is Being Outsourced.
For decades, the United States has been a major exporter of goods. However, as other countries have modernized their factories and have invested in new technologies, they’re able to produce goods more cheaply than American factories can. This has led to an increase in outsourcing and offshoring in the welding industry. As a result, the number of jobs available to welders here in America is not keeping up with our demand for new workers to enter the field.
2. Welding Isn’t Seen As A Lucrative Career Path Anymore.
Welders are one of the most vital parts of any manufacturing operation because they can repair broken products on the fly without having to wait for replacements or repairs from outside sources. The problem is that we’re now seeing fewer and fewer people who want to enter this trade as it no longer seems glamorous or prestigious like it once did in our country’s history.
3. Welding Is More Dangerous Than It Was In The Past.
In past generations, welders would often use their skills to repair damaged goods rather than replace them. This meant that they were working with older machinery and equipment that wasn’t as safe as it is today. In addition, many of the materials used for welding contained toxic chemicals that could be harmful to the welders themselves and others in their environments. Today, we have much safer ways to work with metal that isn’t as dangerous for those who work with it or around it.
4. The Cost Of Training Is Too High For Most People To Consider Becoming A Welder.
Welding schools can cost thousands of dollars per year just to cover tuition and other fees associated with attending classes on a full-time basis. While this may be affordable for some people looking to launch a career right out of school, others may need years of working experience before they feel ready or willing to invest this much money in a training program.
5. The Job Market Is Oversaturated With Welders.
While there are plenty of jobs available for welders in the United States, there are also thousands upon thousands of people who are already working in this field and more individuals who are willing to train for it. This has caused a lot of competition for welding jobs and has made it harder than ever before for potential workers to find work that is both fulfilling and financially rewarding.
Why The Jump In Interest In Welding?
1. A Growing Demand For Welding Skills
As developing nations continue to industrialize, there is an increasing demand for welders. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for skilled welders is expected to increase by 14% between 2014 and 2024. That’s a faster rate than many other jobs. One reason for this is that welding is a trade that requires little training, but can lead to high wages as you gain experience and skills. Those who are unemployed or underemployed may be especially eager to learn how to weld in order to get better-paying jobs.
2. The Rise Of 3d Printing
3D printing has led to a surge in interest in metalworking skills like welding because it allows people with no formal training or education in metalworking the ability to fabricate parts on their own. While this technology has been around since at least the 1980s, it has gained popularity among hobbyists and tinkerers over the past few years. The rise in 3D printing has led to an increase in the need for people with welding skills to help with repairs and modifications.
3. Welding Is A Marketable Skill
Welding is not just a trade that can lead to a high-paying job; it’s also a skill that can be marketed for other jobs. People who are interested in working as welders often have their eyes on other careers within the welding industry, such as running their own welding business or becoming an inspector or engineer. Regardless of what you want to do, having experience and skills as a welder will give you an advantage over others who don’t have them. If you have the skills and education necessary to become a welder, it makes sense to invest some time and money into becoming one before looking for another job or career path.
4. The Rise Of Industrial Robotics
The rise of industrial robotics means that there are new opportunities for welders who want to work on robots. Robots that are designed for welding typically have a high level of automation, which means that they don’t require highly skilled operators. But if you are looking for a job working on robots, it makes sense to gain some experience as a welder before you begin your search.
Reasons To Be Excited About Welding
1. There’s Still A Need For Welders.
Despite all the changes that have taken place since the industrial revolution, we’re still dependent on welding and other metalworking trades to build our homes, cars, planes, and other goods. While some are produced in factories overseas, we still rely heavily on American industries to build the things we use every day. That means there will always be a need for skilled welders to fill those jobs.
2. It Pays Well.
Welding is a trade that pays well above average wages. In fact, when compared to similar skilled trades like machining and electrical work, welding is among the highest paid of them all! The median annual income for welders is about $50k per year with some earning considerably more than that each year depending on their level of skill and experience (Bureau of Labor Statistics). That kind of money can go a long way when it comes to helping you buy a home or pay for education.
3. There Are More Opportunities Than Ever Before.
While there are some declines in the number of new welders entering the workforce, that doesn’t mean opportunities in welding have dried up completely. In fact, there is a growing demand for welders in industries like construction and manufacturing. Welding is also a skill that can get you hired into a wide range of other jobs due to its usefulness in so many fields (Bureau of Labor Statistics). That means while you may need to learn other skills, your welding training will be valuable in getting you started on a career path that suits your interests and goals!
4. It’s A Trade That Never Goes Out Of Style.
Welding is a skill that will never go out of style. That means you can be confident that your training in the trade will always be useful in some form or another, even if it’s not directly related to the job you have. For example, if you want to go into construction, welding will give you an in-demand skill that can help land you work no matter what part of the country you live in (Bureau of Labor Statistics). That’s one reason why it’s so important for young people to get into the trade early on; it will give them a leg up on their competition when they enter the job market!
As with other trades, the rise of automation and machines in manufacturing has resulted in less demand for welders, especially when it comes to more basic welding tasks. However, advanced technology has opened up many new ways to employ welding, including in the medical and aerospace fields. While there has been a decrease in the number of new welders entering the workforce in the last few years, the demand for welders remains strong. The decrease in young welders could be due to the types of work available, or it could be due to the challenge of learning a highly technical trade that requires plenty of practice. Welding is a great trade to enter if you want a hands-on job with a high demand for skilled workers. There are several sub-specialties available within the welding field, many of which have opened up recently thanks to advances in technology.