Old Law of Supply and Demand
What helps boost any profession's pay? That's easy: a big demand but a shortage of available workers. Welding's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it. Well, maybe not young people today - they are looking for cleaner, less physical work. Why train for a dirty job when you can train for a clean one in the same amount of time? When companies are offering welders relocation help and education reimbursement, you know something is up.
American Welding Society (AWS) Says it's Time to Expand
The AWS (www.aws.org
) has been around for almost a century, and endeavors to advance the science, technology, and application of welding and allied jointing and cutting processes, such as brazing and soldering. With its headquarters in Miami, Florida, the AWS's current concern is the dearth of American welders. To reduce the problem, the AWS recently launched a new online welding school locator.
Half of the North American welder labor force is due to retire soon; this means there are 200,000 welders too few. The new school locator system allows potential welding students to find updated contact information at the AWS website, and is a free way for students to see where they can attend school by inputting city, state, and zip code information.
The managing director of AWS Educational Services, Dennis Marks, states, "Even in a stagnant economy, there is always a need for welders, and with a ballooning shortage straining businesses across the country, there has never been a better time to enter the industry. The AWS welding school locator is the first step to a future career in welding."
Current welders benefit from the shortage not just in pay increases and competitive offers, but also from new opportunities such as instructor openings to fix the training shortage. On top of teaching positions, the stimulus bill has created more infrastructure repair jobs, such as work on aging bridges. And welding infrastructure jobs cannot be outsourced or performed by robots.
It seems welders have more chips on the table than other workers; by playing your cards right, you could come out the big winner.