It's more difficult than MIG or basic stick - can you learn this
artful form of metal joining?
Source: US Department of Labor
What does it take to excel at tig welding?
Welding, soldering, and brazing workers need good eyesight, hand-eye
coordination, and manual dexterity. They should be able to concentrate on
detailed work for long periods and be able to bend, stoop, and work in awkward
positions. In addition, welders increasingly need to be willing to receive
training and perform tasks in other production jobs.
Welders can advance to more skilled welding jobs with additional training
and experience. For example, they may become welding technicians, supervisors,
inspectors, or instructors. Some experienced welders open their own repair
What do TIG welders earn?
According to the Department of Labor, median hourly earnings of welders was
$14.02 in 2002. The middle 50% earned between $11.41 and $17.34. The lowest 10
percent had earnings of less than $9.41, while the top 10 percent earned over
$21.79. The range of earnings of welders reflects the wide range of skill
Many welders belong to unions and their wages are even better.
Among these are the International Association
of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; the International Brotherhood of
Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers; the
International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America; the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the
Plumbing, Pipefitting, Sprinkler Fitting Industry of the United States and
Canada; and the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America.
Training for welding, soldering, and brazing workers can range from a few
weeks of school or on-the-job training for low-skilled positions to several
years of combined school and on-the-job training for highly skilled jobs. Formal
training is available in high schools, vocational schools, and postsecondary
institutions, such as vocational-technical institutes, community colleges, and
private welding schools. The Armed Forces operate welding schools as well. Some
employers provide training.
Check options for TIG welding instruction in your area to see what's
available. Look at technical schools, Vo-Tech systems, and high schools to find
low cost TIG welding courses.
Courses in blueprint reading, shop mathematics, mechanical drawing, physics,
chemistry, and metallurgy are helpful. Knowledge of computers is gaining
importance, especially for welding, soldering, and brazing machine operators,
who are becoming responsible for the programming of computer-controlled
machines, including robots.
Some welders become certified, a process whereby the employer sends a worker
to an institution, such as an independent testing lab or technical school, to
weld a test specimen according to specific codes and standards required by the
employer. Testing procedures are based on the standards and codes set by one of
several industry associations with which the employer may be affiliated. If the
welding inspector at the examining institution determines that the worker has
performed according to the employer’s guidelines, the inspector will then
certify the welder being tested as able to work with a particular welding