Welders

(NOC 7237)

in All Trades and Transportation

Welders join, cut or shape metal using a variety of welding processes and equipment. This group also includes machine operators who use previously set up production welding, brazing, and soldering equipment. They work for companies that manufacture structural steel and platework, boilers, heavy machinery, aircraft and ships and other metal products, and by welding contractors and welding shops, or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

average

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  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 205 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2022

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate 4040 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 8425 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

Outlook for welders: average, mostly balanced conditions in the labour market.

Size of the occupation in Nova Scotia: large, with job opportunities occurring regularly.

Demand: expected to rise between 2021 and 2023. Retirements are expected to contribute to employment opportunities.

Work hours: full-time hours, normally. Jobs are typically permanent positions. Seasonal positions tend to be in summer.

There are a number of job opportunities in this occupation, particularly in the Halifax area and within the ship and boatbuilding industry. Journeymen or Red Seal tradespersons will have an easier time finding work. Fewer opportunities are available for apprentices or those with less experience.

Hourly Pay

$21.00

Minimum

$29.29

Median

$36.03

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,768

Minimum

$47,359

Median

$89,896

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$15.00

Minimum

$24.00

Median

$37.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Welders join, cut or shape metal using a variety of welding processes and equipment. This group also includes machine operators who use previously set up production welding, brazing, and soldering equipment. They work for companies that manufacture structural steel and platework, boilers, heavy machinery, aircraft and ships and other metal products, and by welding contractors and welding shops, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

Welders:

  • Read and interpret blueprints or welding process specifications.
  • Run manual or semi-automatic welding equipment to fuse metal segments using processes like gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), gas metal arc welding (GMAW), flux-cored arc welding (FCAW), plasma arc welding (PAW), shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), oxy-acetylene welding (OAW), resistance welding and submerged arc welding (SAW).
  • Use manual or semi-automatic flame-cutting equipment.
  • Use brazing and soldering equipment.
  • Use metal shaping machines like brakes, shears and other metal straightening and bending machines.
  • Repair worn parts of metal products by welding on extra layers.

Welding, brazing and soldering machine operators:

  • Use previously set up welding machines like spot, butt and seam resistance or gas and arc welding machines to make or repair metal parts.
  • Use previously set up brazing or soldering machines to bond metal parts or to fill holes, indentations, and seams of metal articles with solder.
  • Start up, shut down, adjust, and monitor robotic welding production line.
  • Help with welding, brazing, and soldering equipment maintenance and repair.
  • May adjust welding heads and tooling according to work specifications.

Sample job titles

  • fabrication welder
  • gas and arc welder
  • high pressure welder
  • maintenance welder
  • production welder
  • spot welder
  • submerged arc welder
  • welder
  • welding machine operator

Skills

  • Manual dexterity
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Physical strength and stamina
  • Good vision (glasses are acceptable)
  • Attention to detail
  • Cautious
  • Alert
  • Patience
  • Ability to work with little direction or supervision
  • Ability to concentrate over long periods of time
  • Ability to cooperate and coordinate work with others

Job requirements

  • Array
  • Array

Other considerations

  • Welder setting: indoors in production and repair shops, or outdoors on construction sites.
  • Machine operator setting: indoors on their feet.
  • 40-hour work week with overtime sometimes required. Shiftwork is common.
  • Risks: injury working with torches and hot metal, sparks, toxic gases. Personal protective equipment (PPE) reduces these risks.
  • Apprentices usually earn a percentage of the journeyperson (fully qualified) rate. This percentage increases as each level of the apprenticeship program is completed.
  • Experienced welders and machine operators may move into inspection or supervisory positions or open their own businesses.
  • Welders may specialize in certain types of welding like custom fabrication, ship building and repair, aerospace precision welding, pressure vessel welding, pipeline construction welding, structural construction welding, or machinery and equipment repair welding.
  • Everyone has fair access to participate and succeed in the apprenticeship system. Everyone who develops the necessary skills and abilities should be able to succeed in the trades and trade qualification system. Work environments in the province support women and equity-seeking communities.

By the numbers

Quick look

2,250

employed in 2016

91.6%

employed full-time

6.9%

self employed

3.1%
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96.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
43.2

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

85.9%

employed full-time

11.8%

self employed

5.3%
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94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

34.1%

Halifax

$54,790 median annual income
22.8%

North Shore

$44,693 median annual income
17.3%

Cape Breton

$45,331 median annual income
15.7%

Southern

$40,930 median annual income
10.0%

Annapolis Valley

$55,234 median annual income

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

46.4%

Manufacturing

18.6%

Other services (except public administration)

12.1%

Construction

5.6%

Public administration

3.6%

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

What is the age of Employment?

22.0%

45-54

20.0%

25-34

19.0%

35-44

18.0%

55-64

15.0%

15-24

6.0%

65+

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

24.4%

45-54

22.1%

55-64

17.7%

35-44

17.7%

25-34

10.9%

15-24

Top levels of education

47.1%

Trade Certification

$53,159 median annual income
35.8%

College Diploma

$42,284 median annual income
8.0%

High school

$42,320 median annual income
7.8%

Less than high school

$33,734 median annual income
0.7%

Diploma Below Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.2%

Trade Certification

$46,494 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$31,260 median annual income
22.3%

College Diploma

$42,050 median annual income
18.7%

Less than high school

$28,319 median annual income
2.8%

Bachelor

$30,527 median annual income

Education & training

Apprenticeship - Welder

Apprenticeship Program

Apprenticeship is a structured training program leading to certification in the skilled trades. An apprenticeship combines supervised on-the-job training and experience with theoretical technical training. You find a job in your trade first and then enter into an apprenticeship agreement. You work 5,400 hours mentored by a certified journeyperson and gain the required skills and knowledge. You also take some technical courses. The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency administers the trades training and certification system. A welder apprenticeship prepares apprentices to apply technical knowledge and skills to join or cut metal surfaces.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Metal Fabrication - Pre-apprenticeship College Program

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to construct industrial, storage, and commercial metal structures using prefabricated framing and siding components. They include courses in sheet metal working, ironworking, assembly and fastening techniques, blueprint reading, site preparation, structural design principles, safety, and applicable codes and regulations.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

Trade Qualifier

Trades Program

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency also offers a path to trades certification outside of a formal apprenticeship agreement with a qualified journeyperson. This option includes a set amount of required hours of related experience in the trade, passing a certification exam, and other criteria. Contact the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency for more details.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

Welding Technology/Welder - Pre-apprenticeship College Program

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to apply technical knowledge and skills to join or cut metal surfaces. They include courses in arc welding, resistance welding, brazing and soldering, cutting, high-energy beam welding and cutting, solid state welding, ferrous and non-ferrous materials, oxidation-reduction reactions, welding metallurgy, welding processes and heat treating, structural design, safety, and applicable codes and standards.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

High Pressure Welder

Licence: A person must hold a pressure welder licence in the appropriate class to weld on any regulated product (ex. boiler, pressure piping, pressure vessel and refrigeration plant construction or repair) a pressure welder must be employed by a pressure welding employer who holds a BPE contractor licence.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration, Technical Safety Division
Halifax, NS
Welder

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, but a certificate is not needed to legally work in this trade.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Halifax, NS

Contacts

Canadian Welding Bureau, Atlantic Region
Dartmouth, NS