is the current trend in all fields and is replacing the need for
large workforces. The Bureau of Labor released a study in 1996 stating
that welders, cutters and machine operators held about 453,000 jobs.
The location of the jobs was in the automobile and fabricated metal
product, and petroleum or chemical product manufacturing industrial
Robots and other automated welding techniques have been widely employed all over
the world. Due to this, the level of jobs remained at the same level, even when
there was increase in the production. Manual welders, especially those with a
wide variety of skills, will increasingly be needed for sophisticated fabrication
tasks that don't lend themselves to automation.
As the welders' occupation covers different portfolios, the standard qualifications
expected by different portfolios are distinct. Each certification is done with
the specialization branch code. The National Certification and Testing Bureau
issues certificates to codes like AWS, structural, bridges, cranes, and other
equipment. The ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) issues certification
for boilers, pressure vessels, power piping, and process piping. The ABS (American
Bureau of Shipping) certifies shipbuilding welders, boiler, bridges, overpasses,
dams, and aerospace equipment. Non-union beginners and trainees earn minimum
wages of about $12 per hour. Union jobs pay higher wages. Apprentices earn a
percentage of journey-level wages. The City of Los Angeles Department of building
safety offers the practical training certifications.
The American Welding Society is a nonprofit professional association. Membership
benefits include industry updates through publications, networking opportunities
at local meetings, and online listings of job opportunities.
Additional benefits include educational programs such as the certified welder
performance-based program. This tests people on procedures used in the structural
steel, petroleum pipelines, sheet metal and chemical refinery welding industries.
The test fee is $30. They also provide CD-ROM welding courses/modules at a cost
of around $60. The individual membership dues are $75 with a one-time initiation
fee of $12.