Welding Careers in Utah
Whether in the manufacturing, automotive or construction industry, welders are the professionals responsible for bonding, cutting, fitting and manipulating metal materials. Welders earn experience through educational programs training and on-the-job training. The more techniques and skills you learn as a welder, the higher your chances of securing ongoing work in your specialty. Welders are needed across the country and especially in Utah, where their employment rate is rapidly growing.
The Career Path to Welding
You can begin taking some welding classes while you’re still in high school, but it’s best to complete your high school diploma or GED before looking for welding jobs. You must have basic knowledge of math, the ability to read charts and the ability to follow directions, which are all part of a high school education. Potential employers also prefer that you have further training, whether it’s a short-term certificate or a two-year associate’s degree. All education for welders is beneficial to their employment and income levels.
Welding Schools in Utah
Prospective welders in Utah have a large selection of schools to choose from, from technical schools to community colleges, including these:
- Davis Technical College. This technical school in Kaysville, Utah, prepares its students to receive American Welding Society (AWS) certifications. A 13-month program results in a Welding Technology Certificate. The course of study includes focus in welding technology, blueprint reading and common welding techniques such as pipe welding.
- Salt Lake Community College (SLCC). Students at SLCC can pursue an undergraduate Certificate in Welding/Welding Technology (nine months) or an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree in Welding Fabrication and Inspection (66 credits or two years). To be accepted into the welding program, you must have good eyesight, hand-eye coordination, physical condition and math and reading skills.
Construction Welders Licensing
Most welders in Utah are not required to hold any type of certification, but the Utah Construction Trades Licensing Act Rule requires construction welders to hold a license proving their certification and training in construction welding.
Career Prospects for Welding in Utah
Utah welders are paid high wages compared to the national welder income rates reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2017. While Utah welders earned an average of $21.06 per hour, or $43,810 annually, the average income for this field across the country was $19.35 per hour.
The Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) predicts a huge increase in Utah welder demand by the year 2026, with a 27.3 projected increase from 2016 employment levels. That’s more than four times the increase rate predicted for the rest of the country.
Where to Work as a Welder
The best place to get started as a welder in 2017 was the Ogden-Clearfield, Utah, area. That year, welders were most concentrated in Salt Lake City and the Ogden-Clearfield area. The highest number of welders per 1,000 jobs were also found in Ogden-Clearfield as well as the Eastern Utah nonmetropolitan areas. The highest paid welders in Utah were employed in the Ogden-Clearfield area as well, with a reported mean income of $24.22 per hour.
Underwater welding is a popular career in Utah. For underwater metal structures and materials that need repair or assembly, these welders are trained in diving (usually through a diving school) and are skilled in many useful welding techniques.