How to Start a Welding Career in Indiana

If you’re looking for a new career that offers stability and a good salary, welding may be the perfect option for you. Welders are in high demand in Indiana, and the job outlook is excellent. If you’re interested in starting a welding career, here’s what you need to know.

Why Choose a Career in Welding?

Welders are in high demand due to the increasing popularity of metal fabrication and the need for welders in many industries.

As a welder, you can find excellent job opportunities and earn a good wage. Welding is also a challenging and interesting career that can be rewarding both financially and emotionally.

Plus, if you’re someone who likes to work with your hands and have a variety of job opportunities available to you, welding is an excellent career choice.

Is welding a good career for Hoosiers?

Absolutely! Welders are in high demand all over the United States, and Indiana is no exception. There are many welding job opportunities available in both rural and urban areas of the state. In addition, welders can find work in a variety of industries, including construction, automotive manufacturing, and metal fabrication.

As an added bonus, welders have high earning potential. The average welder in the United States earns a salary of more than $42,000. Keep in mind, however, that welding is a diverse field. There are specialized welders who earn far more.

What do welders do?

Welders are responsible for joining metal parts together. They use a variety of welding techniques to fuse two pieces of metal together. The end result is a strong, permanent bond that can withstand a great deal of stress.

Welders typically work in manufacturing or construction settings. They may be responsible for fabricating metal parts or assembling structural components. Some welders also work in the automotive industry, repairing and restoring car and truck bodies.

Welders must be able to read blueprints and follow welding codes to ensure that their work meets safety standards. They must also be able to operate welding equipment safely and effectively.

Welding Career Path in Indiana

The best way to become a welder is to complete an accredited welding program. These programs are offered at vocational schools and community colleges throughout the state. Programs typically last one to two years, and once you have completed the program, you will be eligible to take the American Welding Society (AWS) certification exam.

On-the-job training is also available for welders. Some employers offer apprenticeship programs that allow welders to learn their trade while working for the company. These programs typically last four to five years.

Welders who have a high school diploma or equivalent and pass the AWS certification exam can find employment in a variety of industries. However, welders who want to advance in their careers may need to pursue additional training or education in order to specialize in specific welding fields.

Free Welding Certification Programs in Indiana

For many Hoosiers looking to change careers or get started, the cost of school and additional training can be prohibitive. The Workforce Ready Grant helps qualified applicants further their education and pursue new careers by providing funding to cover tuition costs and related fees.

Visit the Workforce Ready Grant page to find a list of qualifying programs.

Structural Welding Certification

Structural welding is a specific type of welding that involves joining metal components that will be used in the construction of bridges, buildings, and other large structures.

Structural welders must have a good understanding of welding codes and safety procedures. They use their own type of weld joints and blueprints.

Qualified Hoosiers interested in starting their career in structural welding can enroll in the Industrial Technology at Ivy Tech Community College and earn their Structural Welding Certification for free via the Workforce Ready Grant. To get a head start on your future in welding, visit our training page to start the application process.

Welding Technology Technical Certification

In addition to Structural Welding Certification, Hoosiers interested in earning their Welding Technology Technical Certificate from Ivy Tech can also apply for a Workforce Ready Grant to get their tuition and fees covered.

Students who complete this program will be ready for entry-level employment as a welder, will be prepared for American Welding Society (AWS) certification, and/or have the foundational skills necessary to further their education.

Additional Welding Training

In addition to our partnership with Ivy Tech Community College, Next Level Jobs provides grant money to qualified applicants for a variety of welding training programs and certifications across the state of Indiana.

These programs are designed for a wide range of skills from beginner to advanced. Examples of different specializations offered include

  • SMAW/stick (shield metal arc welding),
  • GMAW/MIG (gas metal arc welding),
  • GTAW/TIG (gas tungsten arc welding), and

Welding Salaries in Indiana

According to Zip Recruiter, the average Union Welder salary in Indiana (as of February 2022) is $43,215. Although that figure is slightly below the national average, the low cost of living in Indiana more than compensates for any gaps.

It’s also important to note that there are a variety of welding jobs at various skill levels, which means there is great earning potential for career welders with advanced certification.

How much does a welder make per hour?

The average welding salary breaks down to approximately $20.78 per hour. However, like most skilled trades, welders can earn more based on experience levels and the type of work they do. 

Welders in Indiana are well compensated for their skills and enjoy a good quality of life. With the right education and certification, you could be on your way to joining this thriving workforce.

High-Paying Welding Careers

If you’re looking for a welding career with high earning potential, consider one of the following specializations:

  • Welders who work in the oil and gas industry can make upwards of $100,000 per year.
  • Ship and boat welders can earn an average salary of $75,000.
  • In Indiana, pipe welders and structural welders working in the construction industry can make an average of $65,000 per year or more.

Types of Welding Jobs

If you’re interested in a welding career, it’s important to understand the different types of welding jobs and areas of specialization.

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), also known as TIG welding, is a type of welding that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce an electric arc.

This type of welding is often used for thin materials and is considered the most versatile type of welding.

Welders who specialize in GTAW are able to weld a variety of metals, including aluminum, magnesium, and copper.

Shielded Metal Arc Welding (a.k.a. Stick Welding)

Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), also called stick welding, is a process that uses a consumable electrode to create the weld. This is usually the first welding process students learn when starting their welding career.

Stick welding is often used for welding steel and other metals in the construction industry.

Manual metal arc welding allows for any sort of weld seam and position, whether that’s limited or overhead positions, vertical up seams, or vertical end welding. Furthermore, the welder is not restricted by shielding gases and can work comfortably outside in any weather condition, even if it’s windy or raining.

Pipe Welding

Pipe welding is a type of welding that is used to join pipes or tubes together. Pipe welders must be able to work in tight spaces and have a good understanding of welding codes and safety procedures.

Structural Welding

Structural welding is a process used to weld metal parts together to form a structure.

This type of welding is often used in the construction industry and requires a high level of skill.

Welders who specialize in structural welding are able to weld metal plates, beams, and girders together to create sturdy structures. Metal frameworks for buildings, bridges, automobiles and other complex structures are created through structural welding. Structural welding is also used to cut and mend beams, columns, and girders.

Welding is used in a variety of sectors, including construction, manufacturing, shipbuilding, mining, oil and gas distribution, vehicle production, aerospace, military, and heavy industries.

Are you ready to start your welding career in Indiana?

If you’re looking for a career that offers the opportunity to work with your hands and learn a valuable trade, welding may be the perfect choice for you. With high earning potential and in-demand job prospects, welders are well-positioned to succeed in today’s economy. And if you need help getting started, don’t worry – Next Level Jobs is here to help. Apply for a Workforce Ready Grant today and we’ll connect you with one of our many partner programs that can help you get the training you need to start your new career as a welder.