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Welders cut, join and shape metals, alloys and other materials in the manufacturing, construction and engineering industries.

Annual Salary

£24,000 to £45,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

42 to 46 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; on shifts

Future employment

There will be 4.1% fewer Welder jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As a welder you could:

  • follow drawings and instructions
  • prepare materials to be joined and select the right welding procedure
  • calibrate tools and operate welding equipment
  • inspect and test the quality of joins using precision measuring instruments
  • dismantle and cut up metalwork, for example during demolitions

Possible green job

This job could help the environment.

For a welder to be a green job, you could:

  • weld components used to build wind turbines
  • use newer energy efficient welding methods to reduce waste
  • work with fume extraction systems when welding to filter out harmful pollutants

Find out more about green careers

Working environment

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

You could work in a workshop, on a construction site or on a demolition site.

Your working environment may be hot, cramped and at height.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
  • specialist courses run by a private training provider

You could do a welding qualification at college before applying for a job as a trainee welder. Courses include:

  • welding skills
  • welding techniques and skills
  • fabrication and welding engineering
  • T Level in Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing and Control

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T Level
For more information

You could apply to do a welding apprenticeship, such as:

  • General Welder Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Pipe Welder Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Plate Welder Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship

These take between 2 and 4 years to complete.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information
Direct application

You can apply directly for welding jobs.

You'll need welding experience and certifications, for example from working in:

  • pipe fitting
  • engineering construction
  • marine engineering
  • steel fabrication

Other routes

You could take a course in welding or inspection through The Welding Institute (TWI). You usually need to be working in engineering to do this.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join The Welding Institute (TWI) for professional development and training opportunities.

Further information

You can find out more about welding careers from The Welding Institute (TWI).

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With experience you could:become a supervisor or metal fabrication workshop manager; work in welding inspection, non-destructive testing or quality control; train as a commercial diver and specialise in underwater welding, for example in oil, gas and marine engineering; become a further education teacher or training assessor; study materials science to become a welding engineer and work in welding design and standards development

You can find out more about welding careers through the Engineering and Construction Industry Training Board and The Welding Institute.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • the ability to work on your own
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • design skills and knowledge
  • knowledge of maths
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to analyse quality or performance
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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