In our day and age, good welders are needed in a variety of different sectors so if you’re contemplating a career in this profession you will have plenty of work opportunities.
From manufacturing plants to shipbuilders and car manufacturers, many industries need good welders on their teams.
If you are located in Illinois, on this page we have compiled relevant information about this career path and the schools that offer welding schools in your state.
What Does a Welder Do?
The short definition is that welders assemble pieces of metal together and repair damaged objects that are made of metal using machinery that emits high heat.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the biggest employer for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers were metal manufacturers, specialty trade contractors, and repair and maintenance businesses.
Some experienced welders start their own businesses but before being ready to venture on your own you will first be an employee in a factory or a shop.
Read further to find out more about a welder’s job description, employment prospects, and schools that offer training programs in your region.
Employment for this profession is projected to grow by 3 percent from 2019 to 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with most job openings occurring on infrastructure repair and rebuild projects.
Welders who have completed post-secondary training and/or hold a certificate offered by the American Welding Society are expected to have the best employment prospects.
How to Become a Welder
If you want to become a certified welder in Illinois, there are several steps you need to follow:
- Finish high school- many trade schools accept only candidates who have a high school diploma or GED equivalent but it’s best to double-check.
- Find the right training program
- Learn and practice for the welding certification testing offered by the American Welding Society
From trade schools to community colleges, there are many places where you can learn how to weld in Illinois.
Although curriculum varies depending on the institution, a good welding school will usually teach you all the important skills you need in this career, such as:
- Reading and understanding blueprints
- Safe welding techniques- depending on the school you choose you may learn one or more welding techniques.
- How to calculate the dimensions that will be weld
- How to make sure that the welding is correctly done
- How to maintain the equipment
- How to follow safety procedures
Training programs last between 7 months and 2 years depending on the type of program and the curriculum.
Costs vary between less than $5,000 and more than $15,000 depending on the duration of the program and the type of credential it offers.
Before choosing where to enroll, there are several factors you should take into account, including the program duration, its cost, and location.
To make sure that the program is recognized by employers in your area, you should also make sure that the program includes hands-on training and is accredited by government institutes.
In the table below we have included information about schools that offer welding programs in the state of Illinois
28 Welding Schools in Welding Schools In Illinois
Employment Opportunities for Welders
As a welder in Illinois, you can find employment in a variety of different field, such as:
- Fabricated metal manufacturing
- Machinery manufacturing
- Fabricated metal product manufacturing
- Motor vehicle body and trailer manufacturing
- Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors
- Ship and boat building
- Railroad rolling stock manufacturing
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, salaries for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers (which were grouped together by BLS) vary widely depending on the place of employment.
Those who worked for ship and boat builders reportedly earned a median wage of $52,720 per year while those who worked for manufacturers of vehicle bodies and trailers made around $41,180 on average.
According to BLS, the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin metropolitan area is one of the metropolitan areas with the highest level of employment for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers.
Salaries for welders in Illinois vary widely depending on many factors, including the level of experience, education, certifications, and region of employment.
According to salary.com, the median annual wage for entry-level welders was $44,499 as of April 2021 but salaries vary between less than $35,500 and more than $56,500.
This is lower than the state average salary, which, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was 58,070.
The first group included welders who had between 1-3 years of experience and inexperienced welders who have graduated from a trade school.
The median salary for medium-level welders in Illinois is $51,395.
The lowest 10 percent of intermediate welders earned less than $40,194 while the top 10 percent made more than $63,951, according to the same report.
Mid-level welders are those with 3-5 years of experience in the field.
The median annual wage reported by experienced welders was $62,239 with salaries ranging between less than $48,000 and more than $80,000 depending on many other factors.
In conclusion as a welder you can earn more than the average in your state, especially after earning a few years of experience but as a new employee, your wage will typically be below this threshold.
Salaries also vary depending on the city and below we have compiled information about the median salary reported by mid-level welders in the top Illinois city.Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Welders in Welding Schools In Illinois