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Welding Engineer: Training, Certification & Salary

As a welder, you can work at many jobs in many industries, such as construction, automotive, and machinery. As a welding engineer, your job is to make sure that welded assemblies and structures in buildings, pressure vessels, and pipelines perform without flaws. You will develop standards for materials and welding processes that increase productivity, as well as test your designs, troubleshoot any problems, and provide solutions.

Career Overview

Welding engineers have extensive knowledge of physics, engineering, metallurgy, and materials. They study the properties and structures of metals and composites to create new materials and design standards for welds in various industries. These standards must comply with relevant codes, contracts, or specifications. A welding engineer is also responsible for supervising and document welding operations, and plays a critical role in assuring the integrity of buildings, vehicles, and other products that require welds.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree in welding engineering, materials science technology, etc.; master's or Ph.D. in welding engineering, metallurgy, materials science, etc.
Education Mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer programming
Training required Internship and cooperative engineering programs while in school; on-the-job training
Licensure/Certification Passing score on Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (FE), Passing score on Professional Engineering exam (PE)
Job Growth (2018-2028) 0% (for all materials engineers)*
Median Salary (2018) $92,390 (for all materials engineers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are Key Skills?

You'll need top-notch math and analytical skills. Since you'll be interacting other engineers, technicians, and people who may not have an engineering background, you must speak and write clearly, as well as have the ability to simplify complex concepts. You must understand the relationship between a material's structure and how that might affect the products it is used in. If a weld fails, you must figure out why, design a solution, and perform tests for that weld, so you must have excellent problem-solving skills.

How Much Can I Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), between 2018 and 2028, the growth rate for all types of materials engineers is expected to show little or no change compared to other engineering occupations.

As of May 2018, the BLS reports that the median pay for all materials engineers was $92,390, while for those who worked specifically in primary metal manufacturing, the median was $81,170. The BLS reports that primary metal manufacturing accounts for 8% of the jobs as of 2018.

Similar Occupations

Chemical engineers use their knowledge of chemistry, biology, physics, and math to aid production and use of chemicals, fuel, food, drugs, and other products. Training for this career requires at least a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering or a related field. Aerospace engineers work with metal to design air and spacecraft, satellites, and missiles. Like welding engineers, aerospace engineers must design and test prototypes and make sure each product adheres to industry standards. Education for this career requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering or a related engineering or science discipline.