How to Become a Welder in Texas
Welders are professionals who are skilled at joining and cutting metal materials in construction, agriculture, automotive and other industries. Using a variety of heat techniques and tools, welders are subject to potentially dangerous work environments and must be able to follow safety protocols. Welders also need to read and interpret blueprints and welding symbols, so they must be able to pay fine attention to detail and have a basic understanding of math and science. Welding pay varies depending on skill set, but each welder can collect the skills they need to pursue their dream job
Welding Career Requirements
To become a welder, a high school degree or equivalent is generally the minimum requirement. You must have a basic understanding of math and science, as these are important for understanding welding concepts. Welders can obtain industry experience by completing training and certification or through on-the-job work as an aide or apprentice.
Welding Schools in Texas
If you’re considering taking welding classes, Texas offers a large range of programs, including:
- Tulsa Welding School. Located in Houston, this school offers Welding Specialist (seven months) and Welding Specialist with Pipefitting (9.5 months) certifications. Conveniently located between surrounding cities such as Baytown, Pasadena and Sugar Land, this school serves a wide population of Texans who wish to learn welding skills.
- Southern Careers Institute. Welding students at this school can learn commercial, industrial and small business plate welding on the Austin, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Pharr and San Antonio campuses. The Certificate in Welding requires 27 weeks of training and prepares students to earn certification from the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCR). Graduates become TIG, combo and MIG welders, pipe fitters, metal fabricators and sheet metal workers.
Certification for Structural Welders
For welders who work in the construction and maintenance of highways, streets, structural steel connections and transportation structures (i.e. bridges), the state of Texas requires welding certification accredited by the American Welding Society (AWS). All other Texas welders can work legally without holding licensure from the state.
Texas Welder Pay Rate and Employment
The welding industry is booming in Texas, with 54,410 welders, cutters, brazers and solderers reported to be employed in 2016 by the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP). Furthermore, by the year 2026, the employment level of these professionals is expected to increase by 17.9 percent, much faster than the national average.
Texas welders are also paid well, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reporting a mean welder income of $22.22 per hour in 2017, compared to the national mean welder income of $19.19 per hour that year.
Texas Welders by Area
With so many welding schools and job opportunities available in Texas, it’s never been a better time to become a welder. Compared to national figures, Texas welders are paid well and employed at high rates.
Because of the industrial nature of welding, there are generally more welders found in populated metropolitant areas. In 2017, the highest numbers of Texas welders were found in the Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth areas, with 17,170 and 10,930 welders employed, respectively. However, welders experienced the highest rates of employment per 1,000 jobs in the Beaumont-Port Arthur, at a rate of 12.362.