Once you’ve enrolled in ETI’s welding program, you will want to consider the wide world of possible careers that may be in your future. What kind of welding career will you pursue after graduation? You know that welding is a well-paying career in high demand, but let’s say you also desire geographical flexibility—maybe you would like to see new places, travel, or spend your days in the Great Outdoors. And what if you want to take on the challenge of highly skilled welding that pipe welding demands? Choosing a career in pipe welding after you complete your ETI training may offer you such opportunities.
Pipeline construction is one of the most in-demand sectors in pipe welding, and the Natural Gas and Oil industries are the largest employers of welders in general. These jobs offer the most exciting opportunities for high pay and travel. Other industries, such as water, sanitation, and general construction, also rely on pipe welders. Pipeline or offshore pipeline welding generally offer the highest salaries, but other industries provide the possibility of a more permanent geographical location.
Benefits of Pipe Welding:
1. Variety: work in many industries— natural gas, oil, construction, sanitation, etc.
2. Travel: work in different and new places like the Alaskan wilderness or offshore oil rigs.
3. Job Security: as long as we continue to build new things and the national infrastructure grows, we’ll need pipe welders.
4. The pay: pipeline welders typically make more than the average welder, and in high demand locations, they can make double the average welder’s income.
Of course, welding is a demanding job, and welders must be strong, well-conditioned, and full of stamina. If an oil rig in the ocean sounds like a better office to you than a cubicle, this is the job for you!
Steps to becoming a Pipe Welder:
After graduating from ETI’s welding program, you’ll need to take a few additional steps to begin your pipe welding career. But it all starts here!
1. Earn your welding certification from the American Welding Society. ETI’s coursework will prepare you for this by training you in job-site simulations in the only AWS (American Welding Society) Certified Welding Facility in the Chicago area.
2. Get on-the-job training: become a pipeline welder’s helper or talk to your union about finding apprenticeships in your area.
3. Find out what other certifications your employer or state of employment might require for industrial pipe welding or pipeline welding. For example, some states require a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), or a job may necessitate a Confined Spaces certification. Illinois does not have any state-wide certification requirements, though some companies will ask for CBT rigging certification, for example.
4. Find a great company in one of the many industries that need pipe welders, or become a contractor. Contractors provide their own tools, but they often make more money. If contracting is not for you, rest assured that employees of large companies can also do well. They often receive per diem for their travel, for instance—usually around $100 per day.
The most important factor here is education. The demand for welders will continue to grow in the next decade, but those welders must continue to improve their craft; as technology evolves, so must the welder’s skill. It is essential that all welders gain training and continued education—something ETI is proud to provide.