What is the Job Outlook for a Welder in Virginia?


Welding careers are some of the best paying and most secure available without an advanced degree. This makes welding an ideal path for those who want to achieve their goals without spending years in school. Experienced welders are a necessary part of businesses and construction sites across the world.

However, the state of Virginia is a great choice for those interested in this field. What is the career outlook for welding in the United States? Why should welders consider establishing their trade in the Hampton Roads area?

National Outlook for Welding Trades

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national demand for qualified welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers will rise by 6% over the next 8 years. This is equal to the average expected growth of the overall labor market. However, some areas of the country traditionally need more of these professionals. The Bureau’s geographical breakdown shows that:

  • The states of Texas, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin have the highest number of employed welders.
  • Welders in Alaska, District of Columbia, Wyoming, Hawaii, and North Dakota earn the highest average wage.
  • Louisiana, South Dakota, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Mississippi have the highest concentration of employed welders in their population when compared to other states.

There were 377,250 welders counted in the United States in May 2017. If the Bureau’s projections are correct, there will be 22,635 more positions to fill in the next few years.

Career Outlook for Welders in Virginia

In May 2017, Virginia was home to 7,340 professional welders. That means area businesses employ more welders than three-fourths of the rest of the country. Welders in Virginia enjoy higher wages than some other states.

The need for trained welders is especially high in the Hampton Roads vicinity. The area is home to many businesses that rely on welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers to produce goods and equipment for multiple industries.

  • TE Connectivity LTD designs and manufactures sensor products that help other professionals navigate hazardous environments. Welders are an integral part of creating sturdy equipment that can survive the demands of the aerospace industry.
  • BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair manufactures and services commercial sea vessels. These large-scale projects require a steady supply of well-trained welders.
  • Earl Industries LLC is another shipbuilding and repair firm that makes its home in the state of Virginia. It is one of the largest employers in the Portsmouth area.
  • Maersk Line, Limited provides commercial and military contract shipping services. Its large staff includes several full-time welders to maintain vital equipment and vessels.

These are just a few of the companies that are constantly creating job opportunities for welders in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area. With the right credentials, it’s easy to start a long and lucrative welding career in Virginia.

Other Reasons to Choose Hampton Roads for Your Welding Career

  • Locals in Virginia have a long history of respect for skilled labor trades like welding. Those who are seeking professional respect for their chosen trade will find it here.
  • With so many diverse industries in the area, welding school graduates have more options when applying for entry-level positions. Once they gain more experience, there are plenty of opportunities for advancement.
  • The Hampton Roads area offers the best of all worlds. Enjoy all the comforts of a major metropolis or get lost in the suburbs nearby. Virginia hosts some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the Eastern United States.

The Associate in Occupational Science in Maritime Welding Technology with Service Management degree from ATI is another advantage to establishing your welding career in the Hampton Roads, VA area. This program prepares students to fill entry-level welding, soldering, brazing, cutting, and machine operating positions. Contact our admissions counselors to learn more about this exciting degree program.

Maritime Welding Training