Discover your career path

Structural Welder

Cut and join together steel beams to create safe buildings.

What does a Structural Welder do?

Structural Welders work with Reinforcing Ironworkers to help erect the insides of buildings. Using fire and powerful machines, they cut structural metal pieces to size, get them into position, and make sure that their welds are well executed and meet safety and industry standards. A job as a Structural Welder combines a love of building, careful attention to detail, and a wealth of welding and engineering skill. If you’ve spent your life building things and want to bring that love to the next level, a career as a Structural Welder could be right for you.

While Ironworkers are primarily responsible for the bulk of the construction process, they couldn’t do it without you. For starters, you’re much more involved in the fabrication of building materials in the shop.

Experience with blueprints and technical drawings is critical for a Structural Welder. Using detailed designs of what the finished structure will look like, you measure, cut, drill, and otherwise prep building materials for the field. Following strict safety guidelines is incredibly important, but even with all the safety gear you have, expect a bump, scrape, or burn from time to time.

Working well as part of a team is also critical-in the shop or in the field. No one can build a modern building by himself. Your design orders come down from an Architect or Engineer, and you follow directions from a team leader or shop boss with years of experience. As you put in more time on the job, you’ll be assisted by an apprentice who will look to you for advice.

Forty-hour workweeks are the base in a healthy economy. When work ramps up, expect extra hours (whether you want them or not), but in an unpredictable economic climate, this can quickly dry up. Many Welders belong to a union, which can help guarantee more regular work and good benefits, but seniority is a factor that can sometimes work against you when you’re just starting out.