Manual Dexterity
You like to work with your hands
Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers must have a steady hand to hold a torch in one place. Workers must also have good hand-eye coordination.
Physical Strength
Tennessee Strong
They often must lift heavy pieces of metal and move welding or cutting equipment, and sometimes bend, stoop, or reach while working.
Detail Oriented
The little things matter
The ability to see details and characteristics of the joint and detect changes in molten metal flows requires good eyesight and attention to detail.

Job Description

  • Study blueprints, sketches, or specifications
  • Calculate dimensions to be welded
  • Inspect structures or materials to be welded
  • Ignite torches or start power supplies
  • Monitor the welding process to avoid overheating
  • Maintain equipment and machinery

Welding is the most common way of permanently joining metal parts. In this process, heat is applied to metal pieces, melting and fusing them to form a permanent bond. Because of its strength, welding is used in shipbuilding, automobile manufacturing and repair, aerospace applications, and thousands of other manufacturing activities. Welding also is used to join steel beams in the construction of buildings, bridges, and other structures and to join pipes in pipelines, power plants, and refineries.

Welders work in a wide variety of industries, from car racing to manufacturing. The work that welders do and the equipment they use vary with the industry. Arc welding, the most common type of welding today, uses electrical currents to create heat and bond metals together—but there are more than 100 different processes that a welder can use. The type of weld normally is determined by the types of metals being joined and the conditions under which the welding is to take place.

Job Outlook

Median Pay – $34,453
HS Diploma or Equivalent
No Related Work Experience
Moderate-term on-the-job training
Make $35,590
Make $44,266
The industries that hired the most were:



Specialty Trade Contractors


Repair and Maintenance



Cleveland State

Cleveland State Community College


  • Program Length – 1 Year (Certificate)
  • Time Commitment – Full Time
  • Average Pay – $34,453 / yr

This fall, Cleveland State will offer a certificate degree for our new Welding program. Welding is a much sought after skill set that offers a salary that is far above the average starting pay for this area, and the great news is that it only takes 9 months to get a certificate.

If you think you want to be a welder, or you need to brush up or acquire new skills, Cleveland State offers a variety of non-credit welding classes to assist you in achieving those goals.

Cleveland State Community College is now offering a Welding Technician Certificate* in conjunction with completion of these 3 Welding Courses & additional Technology Coursework.  The majority of these classes are embedded in the Electro-Mechanical Associate of Applied Science Degree (A.A.S).

All participants have the opportunity to earn:

  • NCCER Wallet Card
  • NCCER National Registry Recognition
  • NCCER Module Certificates of Completion

Courses will consist of content from NCCER, OSHA, NFPA, and AWS standards. 

AWS Certifications can be offered to groups of 10 participants at an additional cost


  • Program Length – 1 year (diploma)
  • Class Type – Day
  • Average Pay – $34,453 / yr
  • Cost – $5,190

The basic skills of welding are similar across industries, so welders have the flexibility to shift from one industry to another. TCAT has little difficulty finding work for properly skilled welders. Acquire the skills necessary to perform welding processes such as TIG and MIG, which are commonly used in the industry.

Instruction will be given in related math, blueprint theory, physical properties of metal, effects of heat shrinkage, basic joint designs, and fabrication. Practical work experience will prepare the student in the safe use of welding equipment on Mild Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel, and Aluminum. Training emphasizes the four basic positions of welding: flat, horizontal, vertical, and overhead.


TN College of Applied Technology - Athens