Welding in the State of New York
Welding is a broad term that describes the jobs of metal workers, whether in the construction, manufacturing, shipbuilding or agriculture industries. Hundreds of welding techniques and specialties can be learned, depending on the industry of interest. Generally, the more welding techniques you master, the more money you can earn in this field. Considering that more than 50 percent of manufactured products require welding, it’s not surprising that the demand for these professionals continues to rise.
Basic Requirements to Become a Welder
To begin a welding career, you generally need a high school degree or equivalent and additional training, which can be completed through vocational/technical school or on-the-job experience. The American Welding Society (AWS) recommends beginning your welding education in high school, where shop and automotive classes often teach valuable beginner skills. You can begin gaining welding work experience while still in high school or as soon as you graduate.
Welding Schools and Programs of Study
New York’s educational options for those who wish to study welding include:
- Apex Technical School. Located in Queens, this welding school offers an undergraduate Certificate in Combination Welding Technology. The course of study lasts 30 weeks, or 900 credit hours, and teaches the crucial gas and electric welding processes necessary for New York welders. Students can expect a combination of classroom and hands-on training, blueprint reading.
- Long Island Welding School. This is an AWS-certified school and testing facility located in the Westbury Industrial District of New York. Classes boast small student-to-teacher ratios with only six to seven students per class, and students are able to complete their education on the weekends. A wide range of welding techniques is taught directly in a real welding facility. Three levels of welding study are available, which last 24 study hours each and cost $2,500 per level.
New York Structural Welding Licensure While most welding jobs do not require certification, New York requires structural welders to become licensed by training in Manual Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW). Students may obtain their Certified Welder (CW) certification through an AWS-accredited welding program or complete the New York State Department of Transportation’s (NYSDOT’s) Field Welder certification in SMAW to gain licensure. Furthermore, structural welders must pass a background check before they are awarded a license by the New York City Department of Buildings.
Welder Income and Employment Levels
The Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) reported that 10,430 welders, solderers, cutters and brazers were employed in the state of New York in 2016. By 2026, employment levels for New York welders are projected to increase by 8.4 percent.
While welding pay ranges vary greatly depending on industry, a general mean income can give you an idea of the income New York welders make. In 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a higher-than-average mean income of $23.05 per hour, or $47,940 annually, for New York welders, compared with the national welder mean income of $19.35 per hour or $40,240 annually that same year.
Becoming a Welder in New York
Where there are higher populations and many structures, there is no doubt a higher number of welders. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that the highest number of New York welders in 2017 were employed in New York City. However, the highest rate of welder employment per 1,000 jobs that year was reported in Elmira, at a rate of 5.373. New York’s highest paid welders were reported to earn a mean income of $27.42 per hour in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
Underwater welding or commercial diving is a popular career path for New York welders, which involves performing repairs to submerged metal materials. This specialized welding path requires more experience but pays higher than general welding jobs.