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Welding, while very physically demanding, can be very rewarding for those who enjoy working with their hands. Welders need good eyesight, manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination. They should also be able to concentrate for long periods of time on very detailed work, as well as be in good enough physical shape to bend and stoop, often holding awkward positions for long periods of time. Welders work in a variety of environments, both indoors and out, using heat to melt and fuse separate pieces of metal together. Training and skill levels can vary, with a few weeks of school or on-the-job training for the lowest level job and several years of school and experience for the more skilled welding positions.

Skilled welders often select and set up the welding equipment, execute the weld, and then examine the welds in order to make sure they meet the appropriate specifications. They may also be trained to work in a variety of materials, such as plastic, titanium or aluminum. Those with less training perform more routine tasks, such as the welds on jobs that have already been laid out, and are not able to work with as many different materials.

While the need for welders as a whole should continue to grow about as fast as average, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for low-skilled welders should decrease dramatically, as many companies move towards automation. However, this will be partially balanced out by the fact that the demand for machine setters, operators and tenders should increase. And more skilled welders on construction projects and equipment repair should not be affected, as most of these jobs cannot be easily automated. Because of the increased need for highly skilled workers, those with formal training will have a much better chance of getting the position they desire.

courtesy of Career Explorer

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