Australian companies are in dire need of skilled welders. The demand for welders continue to grow — raising wages across the board — but almost half of all companies that employ skilled welders are having trouble filling their ranks. Welding is one of the most stable jobs in the country, and almost every skilled welder is assured of employment.
Is it Safe?
Every job comes with risks, and the same is true for welding. Welding involves working with temperatures of 5,000°C, volatile gases, harmful fumes, and working in different settings and locations. Workplace injuries are not uncommon as working with steel, and other metals can be quite dangerous. The most common welding injuries are injuries to the eye, as sparks and errant debris can easily penetrate and injure the eye. However, protective equipment like welding hoods and helmets can quickly minimize or eliminate the risk of eye injuries. Noise is also one of the problems you will be facing as welding involves loud high-pitch noises — sometimes surpassing 120 decibels. Chronic exposure to loud noises can lead to all sorts of issues, but that can be easily solved by using ear muffs or plugs. Fumes can also be a problem, but most companies will usually have welding masks or respirators at hand.
Education and Employment
Eighty percent of welding engineering students get employment offers even before they graduate. Welding schools and training centers are receiving a good amount of funding from both the government and private institutions, and they have put that money to good use. Virtual reality is now being used to train a new generation of welders, allowing them to improve their skills without the risks. Simulators mimic actual conditions as well as live welding equipment. They give students a feel for the motions required to perform the job as well as the practical use of welding equipment. The skills, muscle memory, and learned habits from the simulators easily translate to actual live training. Welding skills are highly sought after in many industries, including manufacturing, construction, oil, and many others. Welders usually have a starting salary of $25 an hour, but that can go up to $70 per hour for highly skilled welders involved in special projects.
Big Projects in Land, Sea, and Air
Australia has launched several projects, including the LAND 400 project and the Naval Shipbuilding Program, that require a significant number of high-skilled welders. The $5 billion military vehicle acquisitions program and the $90 billion shipbuilding program will require thousands of skilled welders, and local welders are much preferred. There are also openings in projects related to aerospace, construction, transportation, railways, and many others. The strong demand for welders has forced companies to hire foreign welders from as far as France and Spain.
If you have the necessary knowledge and skills, welding can bring in good money. There may be risks, but these can be minimized — or even eliminated — by wearing protective equipment and by adhering to safety protocols. You won’t have trouble finding a job as your potential employers will be desperate to have you on board.