NJ needs skilled welders — This is how to get started
The skilled trade of welding needs more people, as current welders age out of the field and the need for trained individuals isn't letting up.
The Garden State in particular, according to data and experts, offers plenty of opportunity for those interested in a career path that has more demand than supply in the way of workers.
American Welding Society believes the job shortage will reach a deficit of 400,000 workers by 2024. Tradesmen International notes the average age of a welder is 55; fewer than 20% are under the age of 35.
"New Jersey is one of the areas that continues to have a demand for welders," said Shawn Alexander, president of the Bloomfield campus of Universal Technical Institute. "There's tremendous opportunity in the field."
The technical training company announced this year that its Welding Technology Training Program is coming to the Bloomfield campus. The first round of the 36-week course is set begin on July 19.
"When you leave our program, you're going to be an entry-level welder," Alexander said.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for welders in New Jersey is more than $49,000. Wages can increase based on the job and one's level of expertise.
Certified welders are particularly in demand, UTI notes, for major infrastructure projects related to bridges, highways, schools, power plants and refineries. Welders are highly sought after in virtually every kind of manufacturing.