Shining a light
on the welding workforce.
High demand. Skills gap. Critical need. These are just a few terms that describe the outlook of the welding workforce.
While it’s true that many skilled welders are needed to meet future demand, the situation is nuanced and also speaks to the opportunities awaiting professionals entering the field or those considering a career change.
Below you’ll find the most recent welding workforce data and projections endorsed by the American Welding Society (AWS).
Demand for welding professionals
in the upcoming years.
New welding professionals projected to be needed by 2027.
Average welding jobs to be filled annually between 2023–2027.
Why the need?
+ INDUSTRY GROWTH
Increased number of jobs
+ ANTICIPATED ATTRITION
Professionals retiring, advancing,
changing industries, etc.
= PROJECTED OPENINGS
What counts as a welding professional?
The AWS Foundation combines six occupations (defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) where welding is a primary job function:
Snapshot of the current welding workforce.
Estimated U.S. welding professionals, as of 2023.
AGES OF CURRENT WELDERS
ARE APPROACHING RETIREMENT
Percentage of welders
who are WOMEN
Percentage of welders who are
NON-WHITE OR OF MULTIPLE RACES.
How much do welding professionals make?
Wages for welding professionals can vary by location, occupation, certifications, experience level, and other factors.
Average hourly earnings for welding jobs:
National median salary for welding jobs:
National median salary for various welding careers:
Welding Research Scientist
See the complete list of salaries at careersinwelding.com
Where are the most welding jobs located?
How the current welding workforce is distributed, by region (2023):
Education and training for welding careers.
There are multiple options to receive formal training and start a career in the welding industry.
TYPE OF TRAINING
TYPICAL LENGTH OF PROGRAM
Attending a technical school to become a welder is an investment that pays off quicker than pursuing a four-year degree
What’s being done?
The AWS Foundation is actively working to build a larger, higher-skilled, and more diverse welding workforce by supporting various scholarships, grants, and other education initiatives.
Total scholarships awarded annually by the AWS Foundation.
The number of scholarship recipients, representing more than 400 different academic and training institutions.
Share of scholarships awarded to female welding students.
Total graduate research fellowships awarded to support research projects in welding, additive manufacturing, and other allied technologies.
Total grants awarded to welding schools since 2017.
For more information or comment from the AWS Foundation, please contact us at [email protected].
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