Welding is a highly skilled trade that enables its practitioners to create strong, functional pieces of machinery that people rely on everyday. It is a centuries-old craft that continues to thrive in a variety of industries, including construction, manufacturing, energy production and aerospace engineering. However, it is important to note that a high school diploma or GED certificate, followed by completing a welding program offered at trade schools such as the University of Technology in Illinois, are necessary for earning a living wage as a welder.
According to Ryan Blythe, founder of the Georgia Trade School in Acworth, a welder can expect to make $30 to $35 an hour upon graduation from a trade school program like his. He explains that his graduates often secure jobs at fabrication shops in the Chicago area that pay more than this, and they can expect to be promoted to lead welders and other employees in the future.
Welders can also increase their earning potential by pursuing industry certifications that may open up more lucrative opportunities in the future. For example, becoming a certified welding inspector with the American Welding Society will allow you to oversee welders and other personnel and ensure that all welds meet specific quality standards. You can find more information on how to become a certified welder by searching online for “welding inspection certification.” However, it is important to remember that the cost of living in a particular city will play a role in how much a welder is paid in illinois.