Growing Need for Skilled Welders in the U.S.
The demand for skilled welders is rising quickly and there are not enough people to meet it. In fact, the American Welding Society estimates there will be a shortage of 290,000 welding professionals by 2020.
That was one of the facts revealed in a story published recently by Bloomberg Businessweek. It looked at the growing demand for welders and how the profession is now a great opportunity for young people who would like to learn a skilled trade.
Since the recession ended in 2009, manufacturing has grown faster than the rest of the U.S. economy. For the first time in nearly 50 years, manufacturers have added jobs four years in a row. This growth is further fueled by the oil and gas boom. Thousands of miles of new pipeline are now being built and skilled welders are needed so this can be done.
Another factor driving the demand for new welders is that many of the current welders are growing old. The average age of a welder in the U.S. is now 55, Bloomberg reported. When those welders retire, the demand for skilled replacements will only increase.
But the shortage already exists. One of the schools mentioned in the article says 83 percent of its students already have a job by the time they leave. The average pay for one of its graduates is $36,000, but many make more and there’s a six-month wait to enroll in the welding program.
For many years welding was considered to be a profession with limited potential for growth. As the Bloomberg story shows, this is clearly no longer the case.
To learn more about hands-on welding training and classes, visit the Lincoln College of Technology Web page that explains the skilled training programs offered.