How to become an apprentice welder: Billy's story

Age

17

In my job

As a welder I join metal together using heat and machinery in a workshop. Day to day I can make anything from tiny metal components to a four metre gate. I use a lot of manual handling skills, and need very good hand-eye coordination skills as well as wearing protective clothes to be safe. My job also includes a lot of mathematical tasks, like working out distances.

At school

I took GCSE Engineering and gained a basic level of understanding of how to use hand tools. It gave me basic knowledge of engineering. I left in year 11 after my GCSEs and worked all summer.

At college

I went to do Engineering full time at college but after two months I decided an apprenticeship, would be a much better path for me to take, and I found one with a company called Artisan Engineering Services. So I switched courses at the same college, and now get paid as well as learning the key skills I need to do my job.

Working for a small friendly company has given me a great work ethic, and I take pride in my work.

Top tips

You don’t necessarily have to go to university and do a job where you have to wear a suit. You can make money in other ways, and sometimes you can make even more money than those who have gone to university!

Billy's career path

What to expect if you want to be a welder

  • Welder salary: Variable ranging from £16,000 to £35,000
  • Welder working hours: On average 35 - 40 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to be a welder?

  • Entry requirements: An apprenticeship can lead to a job as a trainee welder. You will need to pass competency tests for the type of welding you do and develop technical, maths and measuring skills

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

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