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1700 new positions on the Virginia Peninsula from 2012 to 2016

Start: $ 13.06/hr. $ 30,400/yr.
Ave: $ 21.55/hr. $ 44,800/yr.


Employer website, Peninsula Worklink, Virginia Employment Commission

New Horizons Regional Education Centers, Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School, Thomas Nelson Community College (certificate)

Virginia Wizard


Job Description: Use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations or seams of fabricated metal products.

Education Needed: High school diploma or equivalent plus vocational training, OJT or an AAS. Certifications: AWS/ASME.

Career Pathway: Training for welding, soldering and brazing workers can range from a few weeks of school or on-the-job training for low-skilled positions to several years of combined school and on-the-job training for highly skilled jobs. Formal training is available in high schools and postsecondary institutions, such as vocationaltechnical institutes, community colleges and private welding, soldering and brazing schools. Some employers are willing to hire inexperienced entry-level workers and train them on the job, but many prefer to hire workers who have been through formal training programs. Courses in blueprint reading, shop mathematics, mechanical drawing, physics, chemistry and metallurgy are helpful. An understanding of electricity also is very helpful, and knowledge of computers is gaining importance, especially for welding, soldering and brazing machine operators, who are becoming more responsible for programming robots and other computer-controlled machines. Because understanding the welding process and inspecting welds is important for both welders and welding machine operators, companies hiring machine operators prefer workers with a background in welding. Some welding positions require general certifications in welding or certifications in specific skills such as inspection or robotic welding. The American Welding Society certification courses are offered at many welding schools. Some employers have developed their own internal certification tests. Some employers are willing to pay training and testing costs for employees while others require workers to pay for classes and certification themselves. Welding, soldering and brazing workers need good eyesight, hand-eye coordination, and manual dexterity, along with good math, problem-solving and communication skills. They should be able to concentrate on detailed work for long periods and be able to bend, stoop and work in awkward positions. In addition, welders increasingly must be willing to receive training and perform tasks required in other production jobs. Welders can advance to more skilled welding jobs with additional training and experience. For example, they may become welding technicians, supervisors, inspectors or instructors. Some experienced welders open their own repair shops. Other welders, especially those who obtain a bachelor’s degree or have many years of experience, may become welding engineers.

WorkKeys Scores Needed:: Bronze level: Applied Math (3), Reading for Information (3), Locating Information (4) and Observation (4)

October 31, 2020


1) Review Essential Skills Below.  Take our skills check up to see how you qualify against employer standards.

2) Visit Employer website, Peninsula Worklink, Virginia Employment Commission to learn about education and training programs.

3) Current employers of record for Welders:
Davis Boat Works Inc., Liebherr Mining Equipment Co.(Liebherr-America, Inc.), Newport News Shipbuilding, Advex Corporation

Essential Skills for Welders

Technical Skills
Equipment Selection: determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Installation: installing equipment, machines, wiring or programs to meet specifications.
Operation and Control: controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operation Monitoring: watching gauges, dials or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Quality Assurance: e.g., SPC, ISO, supplier certification.
Quality Control Analysis: conducting tests and inspections of products, services or processes. Troubleshooting: determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

Follows directions correctly.
Communicates effectively with customers and fellow employees.
Listens well and applies what is learned.
Reads and applies safety warnings and simpler equipment instructions.
Writes sentences with minor grammar and punctuation errors.

Workplace Skills
Creativity, innovation, adaptation: contributes new ideas and adapts to changes in the workplace.
Diversity awareness and application: communicates and works well with customers and coworkers of different ages, genders, races, socioeconomics, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds.
Professional ethics: abides by workplace policies and laws and demonstrates personal integrity.
Personal hygiene and safety: follows safety guidelines and manages personal health.

Professional Skills
Time and resource management: punctual, timely with work deadlines, manages time and other resources well.
Lifelong learning: demonstrates desire for continuous learning and interest in new procedures and technology and in improving skills.
Team player: demonstrates commitment to the success of the team, assists others, requests help when needed and resolves conflicts effectively.
Positive work ethic: arrives ready to work, is supportive of accomplishing tasks at hand, completes work
assignments in effective and efficient way and is willing to take on additional tasks.
Reasoning, problem solving: identifies, breaks down, prioritizes and resolves problems that arise in completing assigned tasks.
Systems thinking: understands his or her role in fulfilling the mission of this workplace. Evaluates quality or