Welding trades


Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Welding trades workers join metal parts by welding, brazing and soldering, and cut and remove defects from metal using a variety of equipment and techniques.


Entrants typically possess GCSEs/S grades or an appropriate GNVQ/GSVQ. Training is typically by apprenticeship incorporating practical experience and technical training. NVQs/SVQs are available at Levels 1, 2 and 3. Welders must normally pass a competency test in the particular type of welding to be carried out.

Typical tasks

  • selects appropriate welding equipment such as electric arc, gas torch, etc.;
  • connects wires to power supply, or hoses to oxygen, acetylene, argon, carbon dioxide, electric arc, or other source and adjusts controls to regulate gas pressure and rate of flow;
  • cuts metal pieces using gas torch or electric arc;
  • guides electrode or torch along line of weld, burns away damaged areas, and melts brazing alloy or solder into joints;
  • cleans and smoothes weld;
  • checks finished workpiece for defects and conformity with specification.

Common job titles

Welder, electric
Welder, spot
Welder, coded
Machinist, soldering
Burner, oxy-acetylene
Jointer, chain
Attendant, plant, welding
Cutter, oxy-acetylene
Welder and cutter
Technician, welding
Burner, gas (building construction)
Cutter (shipbuilding)
Welder, mig
Cutter, gas
Engineer, welding
Burner, scrap (steelworks)
Deseamer (steelworks)
Cutter, steel
Machinist, brazing
Welder, chain
Burner, profile
Burner (coal mine)
Assistant, welder's
Cutter, flame
Burner (demolition)
Burner, acetylene
Cutter, acetylene
Welder, CO2
Burner, lead
Dresser, flame (rolling mill)
Lancer, thermic
Welder, fabrication
Burner (railways)
Scarfer (steel mfr)
Sweater (metal trades)
Welder, fabricator
Cutter, metal, scrap
Solderer (metal trades)
Builder, chassis
Solderer and jointer, case
Cutter, scrap
Burner (metal trades)
Operator, deseaming
Solderer (jewellery, plate mfr)
Welder, arc
Cutter (boiler mfr)
Welder, maintenance