Careers in Welding Technology

Career Outlook

Welding

Refer to this Wall Street Journal article, 'Where Have All the Welders Gone, As Manufacturing and Repair Boom?' to read about the positive employment outlook for welders.

The American Welding Society's follow-up to the Wall Street Journal article: Welder Shortage Requires New Thinking

Jobs on the North Slope

The North Slope is the northernmost region in Alaska. BP, ConocoPhillips, and ExxonMobil are currently hiring welders from Prudhoe Bay all of the way up the pipeline to the oil fields. The entire Alaska pipeline is going to be rebuilt from one end to the other, and there will also be an additional pipeline added that will be a couple of hundred miles long. This equates to several thousand jobs over several years! If you're interested, explore job opportunities on the Alyeska Pipeline.

What will I do on the job?

You may use your welding skills in many occupations, or you may choose to be a full-time welder.

  • Boilermaker
  • Maintenance
  • Carpenter
  • Construction
  • Ironworker
  • Manufacturing
  • Sheet metal
  • Mechanic
  • Millwright
  • Diesel mechanic
  • Equipment repair
  • Sign hanger
  • Steam fitter
  • Fabricator
  • Pipe fitter
  • Product sales
  • Welding inspector
  • Supervisor
  • Pile buck
  • Marine construction
  • Electrician
  • Sculpture

What skills will I use on the job?

PCC's welding program will assist you in developing your skills in:

  • Stick welding
  • Wire welding
  • Tig welding
  • Blueprint reading
  • Welding processes and applications
  • Welding inspection
  • Mathematics
  • Communication and job seeking skills

How much can I earn?

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Approximate annual salaries in the Portland area:

  • Starting:  $25,000 - $30,000
  • With experience:  $30,000 - $46,000

Who will hire me?

Welders work for shipyards, manufacturers, contractors, federal, state, county and city governments, firms requiring maintenance mechanics and in repair shops.

Graduates of PCC's program have found positions with such firms as:

  • Wagner Mining Equipment
  • Cascade General
  • Columbia Corp.
  • Peerless Trailer
  • Freightliner
  • Coastal Trailer
  • Sheet Metal Local #16
  • R.A. Gray Company
  • Royal Oaks Ornamental
  • Sculptors
  • Gunderson Inc.
  • Oregon Iron Works
  • Davis Tool
  • Madden Industrial Craftsman
  • R&M Recycling
  • H&W Metals
  • Fought & Company
  • Harris Thermal Transfer