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How to Get Started in Machining and Welding Careers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US currently employs more than 1.5 million welders. Opportunities in welding are expected to increase by about 8% from 2014-2024, which means that there will be more career opportunities in machining and welding jobs.

So how do I get to start a career in machining and welding? The first step in getting started with any career is finding out what you’re interested in and then going after it. If you want to get into welding or machining, here are some tips on starting your journey.

Read this guide to understand more about machining and welding and check out the careers available at Elemet Manufacturing.

How to Get Started in Machining and Welding Careers

Find a Mentor

A mentor can help guide you through the process of learning a trade and give you advice as you progress. You may also need to have a mentor if you’re looking for work while still in school.

Learn Basic Skills

The best way to learn a skill is through hands-on experience. This could mean volunteering at an organization that offers training programs or joining a local apprenticeship program.

Take Classes

Some schools offer courses specifically geared toward helping students prepare for careers in certain fields. For example, many colleges offer welding courses.

Others might have general education requirements such as English and math before allowing students to take specific coursework.

two gears meshing together with the words career path

What Are Some Different Career Paths in Machining and Welding?

When it comes to opportunities in welding and machining, there are several different areas where you can focus your efforts. These include:

  • Toolmakers: Help design tools used by other workers to perform their job
  • Machine operators: Operate machines that make products or parts
  • Maintenance technicians: Keep machinery running smoothly
  • Welders: Use heat and pressure to join metals together

Actually, these career paths aren’t all that different. You’ll spend most of your time working on equipment and using various tools in most cases. However, each area has its own set of responsibilities and duties.

What Industries Could You Work In?

You’ll find yourself working in almost any industry imaginable in machining and welding. You may even end up working for an organization with multiple divisions.

Some common industries that employ people with welding techniques include:


Aircraft manufacturers need skilled welders to produce planes, helicopters, and spacecraft. Aircraft manufacturing companies also need machinists to build engines, propellers, and other components.


Vehicle manufacturers hire machinists and welders to help build cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more. These workers must be careful not to damage parts during assembly. They also must ensure that vehicles meet safety standards before being sold.


Many construction jobs involve building roads, bridges, homes, offices, and other structures. This means construction workers will need to use power tools and welding equipment to get the job done.


Oil refineries, coal mines, and nuclear plants all need skilled machinists and welders. In addition, energy companies need engineers to design pipelines, power stations, and other infrastructure projects.

apprentice and teacher working on machine at school workshop

Types of Certifications

Institutions have been training professionals in machining and welding since the early 1900s. Many organizations offer education for welding and machining to prepare students for careers as machinists and welders.

The following is a list of some of the more common certifications available today:

American Welding Society (AWS)

This organization has four levels of certification: Journeyman, Master Craftsman, Master Welder, and Fellow.

National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS)

This institute provides five levels of certification: Apprentice, Associate, Baccalaureate, Graduate, and Expert.

If you want to become certified, check with your local trade association or go online to see if it offers certification programs. If so, you should be able to find information about how to apply.

Getting Hired

After earning a certificate in machining and welding, the next step is looking for a job. The following section outlines a few ways to go about doing just that.

Apply Online

Searching for a job on the Internet is one of the best ways to find a position. Companies post their openings online, making it easy for anyone to apply.

Network With Other Professionals

It’s important to network when looking for work. Ask friends, family members, coworkers, and others what positions they know of that require machinists or welders.

Attend Trade Shows

Trade shows are great places to learn about new products and services. Attending these events allows you to talk to industry leaders about what they’re doing now and where they think the market is headed.

Join a Trade Association

Trade associations often hold networking events. Here people from different industries meet to share ideas and discuss business opportunities.

Joining a trade association may give you access to valuable contacts. Those contacts may be able to help advance your career.

blackboard with the words what you need to know about machining and welding

Why Machine and Welding Training Is Important

Machining and welding are two of the most common jobs in America. They are also among the fastest-growing occupations.

The demand for qualified workers will continue to rise as manufacturers seek to improve efficiency and reduce costs. As a result, there is a growing need for trained professionals in these areas.

Onboarding and training skilled workers is costly. Certifications show that you already have a basic set of skills to work with and are job-ready.

Specialized welding certificates can also put you in high demand, offer better job stability, and earn higher pay.

Get Started Today

Elemet Manufacturing is a leading manufacturer of metal fabrication equipment and supplies. Our goal is to provide our customers with quality products at competitive prices.

At Elemet, we believe in providing exceptional service and support to our customers. We take pride in our ability to listen to customer needs and respond quickly and efficiently.

Our highly skilled staff is committed to exceeding our customers’ expectations by offering superior technical expertise and outstanding customer service.

Machinists and welders play critical roles in this process. Their skills allow them to create precise parts and assemble complex machinery. By becoming certified, you’ll increase your chances of getting hired and finding a job that will enable you to make products needed in every industry imaginable.

For more information on machining and welding services and careers, contact us today!


Types of Welding: TIG vs. MIG vs. Stick Welding

Do you have a welding project but aren’t sure where to begin?

Does welding terminology confuse you? Are you worried you won’t understand the technicians at the welding shop?

If welding isn’t your area of expertise, it might be hard to find the right company to do the work.

A five percent failure rate is considered high in the industry. Meeting this stringent benchmark requires a professional team. 

At Elemet Manufacturing Inc., we offer a wide variety of types of welding processes. We work with many metals, including Aluminum, Brass, Copper, Galvanized steel, Stainless steel, and Titanium.

Our organized shop setup ensures improved control over the materials and workflow. You will receive the level of quality you expect. 

Contact Elemet Manufacturing Inc. to request an estimate today.

We can help you decide what welding process will best suit your welding needs.

Elemet Manufacturing is part of Elemet Group. We offer CNC machining, waterjet, and other cutting services, welding, and metal cutting and fabricating services. EMI is located in Aitkin, Minnesota.

Understanding the different types of welding is key to making the right choice for your project. 

We can help you understand the key features of each type of welding in this guide.

TIG Welding

A welder TIG welding. TIG welding is one of the types of welding.

The T in TIG stands for tungsten, which is the type of electrode used in this type of welding. It’s used because it can withstand high temperatures. The process involves arc welding with Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG). 

A professional welder can control both hands with accuracy. They hold the wire in one hand and the gun in the other, which gives them more precision. That’s important when you are working with thinner metals and smaller projects.

The rod generates the heat, which melts the metal wire that bonds the surfaces together. This process creates a smooth, beautiful weld and is used when the weld is going to be visible.

This type of welding is commonly used for aluminum and stainless steel metals. TIG welding is often used in the automotive industry, especially when the weld will be painted.  

TIG welding uses a constant voltage power supply. It’s used commonly when welding smaller pipes because of its precision.

MIG Welding

A closeup of MIG welding in progres. MIG welding is one of the types of welding

Metal Inert Gas is used in this type of welding. It’s the most common and the easiest to learn how to do. The external gas is used to shield the weld metal from things in the environment.

It allows the welder to operate quickly and reasonably continuously. The process involves a wire that feeds out of the welding gun. A spark comes from the end of the wire.

MIG welding is a more point-and-shoot process. It’s great for thicker metals. MIG also suits larger projects that need long continuous welding runs. It is perfect for projects using sheet metal.

Flux core arc welding is similar to MIG welding. It uses an electrode shielded from the air, making it a good option for outdoor use. The electrode is a hollow wire similar to a straw.  

A good welder can create beautiful smooth welds using a MIG welder. It takes experience and proper conditions. That’s another reason to find a professional shop to do your work. 

Stick Welding

A close up of stick welding.

Stick welding is the process most commonly used for more industrial welds. Stick welding will do the job when working on a bridge, outside storage tank, or pipeline. 

Stick welders are also great for structural steel, repairing farm equipment, and shipbuilding. If you want to weld sheet metal, use a TIG or MIG welder.

It’s great when the metal is not ideal because it can create a good bond in more challenging situations. It’s also the simplest setup of all the welding systems. Stick welding isn’t as neat as other welding methods.  

It uses a constant voltage power supply, similar to TIG welding. 

You can weld steel, stainless steel, nickel-based alloys, and chrome. You can also bond stainless steel to regular steel.

Stick welding is also your best choice for very thick metals of 1/16 inch or more. When the project is outdoors or in a drafty area, this is the welding process that suits your needs.

Stick welding is sometimes referred to as shielded gas metal arc welding. It’s also called manual metal arc welding. It’s good to know the terminology when you talk to professionals.

Decide Which Type of Welding is Right For You

A diagram Stick, Gas, MIG and TIG welding systems.

Understanding which welding process you need to use is the first step. Several factors come into the decision-making process.  

The first thing to consider is the type of metal you are working with. Thickness is one factor to think about, as some welders work better with thinner metals than others.

Is the weld going to be visible? Some welding techniques are better suited to surfaces that will be painted, such as automobiles.

The location of your project can influence which type of welding to consider. If the work can be done indoors in a professional shop, you have more options to choose from.

Finally, your budget might affect your decision.

We can help you consider all factors, so your project will be successful. 

Elemet Provides All Types of Welding

A finished weld

When you need quality welding, you want professionals. 

When you’re investing money in a project, you want to know the work will last. Hire our experienced team, and we will guide you in making the best choices for your welding project.

At Elemet Manufacturing Inc., we are focused on solutions to your manufacturing needs. To ensure your welds are strong and dependable, choose us for your welding project.  

Contact the experts at Elemet Manufacturing Inc.