Trades Profile: Welding

With this trade’s skill, you could work on some of the biggest projects in the world: you could build the next skyscraper, baseball stadium or something a smaller like an automobile.

The welding industry is currently booming in some parts of Canada. As a welder, you could work in just about any field that uses metal products. Joel McLeod, an OTSC medalist who currently works as a welder says, “We see the product of welding every day – a table, a chair -- welding is used everywhere. A welder picks up a torch and produces something that they can be proud of. We’re creators, we’re making products.”

Welders operate manual and semi-automatic welding equipment. They follow blueprints and welding process specifications.

They may specialize in certain types of welding such as ship building, aerospace precision and pipeline construction.

Where do welders work?

  • Welding contractors
  • Nuclear power
  • Petrochemical
  • Aerospace
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Other industrial sectors
  • Welding shops
  • Transportation
  • Oil and gas
  • Fabrication
  • Pipelines
  • Construction

Also known as:

  • Electric Arc Welder
  • Laser welding operator
  • Production welder
  • Spot welder
  • Journeyperson welder
  • Pressure vessel welder
  • Soldering machine operator
  • Welder-fitter

What kind of education, training, and experience do you need to be a welder?

  • High school diploma
  • To gain certification, welders usually must complete a three-year apprenticeship program or have a combination of more than three years of experience and some college or industry courses in welding

As Joel explains, “I came on out of high school, not sure of what I wanted to do, picked welding up as a co-op. From there, I kind of learned, wow, I love working with my hands. After that, I said, wow, there’s more to this. I want to learn, I want to understand.

To learn more about welding and develop his skills, Joel competed at the OTSC, where he won a gold medal and went on to win a gold medal at the Skills Canada National Competition. “The networking experience at the Ontario Technological Skills Competition is just exceptional, the people that you meet, the skills you obtain, the knowledge just grows upon you, and it’s just such a career-propelling competition. You see these high tech machines; we’re looking for high tech individuals that can understand these machines and learn how to collaborate with them to produce what the industry is looking for today.”

“Anyone looking for a great career, a very in-depth career, a very fulfilling career, the trades are for you.”

Average hourly earnings: $35.83/hour *represents the average hourly wage of someone working in this field in Canada – your actual wage will depend on your experience, qualifications, company and location.

For more information, check out:

Canadian Welding Association

8260 Parkhill Dr.

Milton, ON L9T 5V7