How to Get Started Welding on a Pipeline

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Welders have some of the most coveted jobs in the construction industry. Welders possess a difficult skill that few others have. Because of this, they can negotiate high pay rates and good benefits. Welders who work on pipelines make an even higher salary since their job requires a good deal of risk and travel. Pipeline welding jobs are sometimes hard to come by, but once you have your foot in the door, you may be able to land the job of a lifetime.

  • Begin by getting your body in good physical shape. Welding on pipelines is a very physically demanding job, so you will need to have a workout regimen that includes cardiovascular exercise (for stamina) and weight workouts (for strength) at least five times per week.

  • Attain a welding certificate. You can do this by enrolling in a program at a local community college or a trade school that teaches welding. When you finish your course, you will be awarded a certificate that states you have completed a welding program and you have learned the theories and fundamentals of welding and have spent time behind a welding gun.

  • Become a welder's apprentice to receive on-the-job training. Ask around at local business who have welders on staff if they are taking on any welder's apprentices. If you can get an apprentice job, you will be much more likely to be hired to weld on a pipeline since you have some experience outside the school environment. You'll fare best in your pipeline job search if you work as an apprentice for at least a year before you begin applying for pipeline jobs.

  • Create a professional resume that states your job experience and your certification. Apply for a welding position with several different pipeline companies. When you interview for positions, be sure to mention what you learned from your experience as an apprentice.

  • Be prepared to take a lower-paying job. Once you are hired within a pipeline company, you should be able to quickly advance up the pay ladder. When you are starting out, don't expect to get the highest salary on the job. Be content to start with a smaller job and work your way up.

  • Keep your feelers out at other pipeline companies if you're insistent on becoming a pipeline welder as soon as possible. If you learn of an immediate pipeline welder's position coming available at another firm, you might be able to parlay your current position into the pipeline welder position elsewhere. But be aware, loyalty to one firm is a trait valued by management everywhere; switching from one firm to another could be detrimental to your career in the long run.

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  • Photo Credit welding project image by leemarusa from Fotolia.com
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