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Aerospace Welder: Salary, Duties and Outlook

Welders require little formal education. Learn about the training requirements, job duties and certification to see if this is the right career for you.

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Aerospace welders require only a high school education or completion of a training program. Certification is available for this occupation, and may sometimes be required. In 2015, the average salary for all types of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers was roughly $41,000.

Essential Information

Aerospace welders work on equipment and technology found in airplanes, space shuttles and similar structures. The job requires skilled workers and, as such, pays a little more than average welding tasks. Education requirements vary, but welders often receive training through high school or other institutions, such as vocational-technical schools. Some employers prefer that candidates have a welding certification.

Required Education Training through high school or vocational-technical school
Other Requirements Certification may be required, usually through American Welding Society
Projected Job Growth 4% from 2014-2024 for all welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers*
Mean Salary (2015) $ 40,970 annually for all welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Aerospace Welder Salaries

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), welders, solderers, brazers and cutters brought home a mean annual wage of $40,970 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov). The bottom 10% in the occupation earned $25,940 or less annually, while the top 10% earned more than $60,000 per year.

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Aerospace Welder Duties

Welders operate equipment that uses heat to join metal parts together. In the aerospace industry, this means they work on manufacturing parts and products from airplanes to space shuttles. This may require working with metals like carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminum.

In their jobs, welders operate a number of different tools. Some are manual, others semi-automatic. Employers may have automated welding machines, and welders may have to perform maintenance on machines. The most common tools used are blowtorches and arc welders.

Welding jobs require workers to exhibit a fair amount of physicality, and they might weld in vertical, flat or overhead positions. In addition, the BLS states that the jobs are exceptionally hazardous due to constant exposure to heat and light from the equipment used. Welders can also work high up in the air at remote job sites. Thus, welders must be constantly aware of safety concerns.

Aerospace Welder Outlook

The BLS reports that welding employment is expected to grow by 4% from 2014-2024. Since welders' skills and duties tend to be versatile across industries, these workers are often able to find work with a variety of employers. The need for repairs or rebuilding of the country's infrastructure in coming years is also predicted to spur growth.

The BLS notes that qualified welders familiar with the latest professional technologies will be in highest demand. The typically high-tech aerospace industry is among the industries that need skilled workers, particularly as the defense industry continues to grow. The BLS also suggests that welders willing to relocate to find suitable work may have an easier time finding jobs.

Aerospace welders work on the bodies of airplanes and other air transport vehicles, and the equipment they use can be hazardous. From 2014 to 2024, the job growth outlook for all welders is expected to be slower than average.

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