How to become an apprentice welder: Billy's story

A young man stands in a metal workshop

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.

A young man, Billy, is shown welding

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.

Quote

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!

A young man, Billy, welding

Billy's career path

Billy's career path

What to expect if you want to be a welder

  • Salary: Variable ranging from £16,000 to £35,000
  • Working hours: On average 35 - 40 hours per week
  • 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)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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