Can a Felon Become a Welder? -
Finding Employment

Can a Felon Become a Welder?

When it comes to getting a job after their release from prison, felons find it challenging.  Jobs they once had are lost and careers may be gone.

Felons may think no one will hire them, but there are resources available.

They will have to be open and willing to learn a new trade or start a different career.

This is the opportunity for felons to begin a new profession.

This blog post will address the issue of whether a felon can become a welder.

  • What is a Welder?
  • What Training Does a Welder Need?
  • How Much Does a Welder Earn?
  • An Opportunity for Felons?
  • Supporting a Felon in Becoming a Welder

What is a Welder?

A welder is a person that joins and makes repairs on metal using intense heat and gas.

Industrial, manufacturing, and construction projects are part of their job description.

Knowledge of the welding properties of many types of metals is essential.

They use hand welding or robotic techniques among over 100 welding techniques.

A welder works from a blueprint or specification and applies their knowledge of base metals and joining compounds to select proper material for a job.

Exposed to intense heat, they must take care to avoid severe burns by using masks and gloves.

A welder needs some specific skills to be successful:

  • Ability to read blueprints
  • Knowledge of safety standards
  • Concentration
  • Detail-oriented
  • Good eyesight
  • Manual dexterity
  • Communications
  • Knowledge of metals and tools
  • Ability to work independently
  • Good math skills to make calculations

What Training Does a Welder Need?

There are certain requirements to become a welder.  First, they must graduate from high school or have their GED.

There is often an opportunity to learn the basics of welding on the job.  Most employers, however, prefer hiring someone who has had formal training in welding.

Welding courses are offered at a vocational school or community college to learn the basics.

A welding program combines classroom and on-the-job training and may last as long as nine months.  Courses include welding tools and techniques, blueprint reading, math, mechanical drawing, physics, chemistry, and metallurgy classes.

The American Welding Society also offers training and certification.

How Much Does a Welder Earn?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that there are approximately 412,000 welders.  This occupation is expected to show a 5% growth by 2020.

However, there is expected to be a significant shortage of qualified welders.  Part of this shortage is due to the fact that so many in the welding profession will soon be old enough to retire as the current average age of a welder is 55.

The median salary for a welder in 2015 was $37,000 or about $19 per hour.  Experience and additional training could have a significant impact on these earnings.

It also depends on the area of the country where a welder lives.  The highest income for a welder is along the East coast and in the states of Texas, California, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana where many industrial centers are located.

An Opportunity for Felons?

Hard workers are usually rewarded by being hired in the construction field.  Background, including a felony conviction, has less importance.

Welding is an industry that has a strong history of giving work opportunities to felons.

Training programs in community colleges and trade schools usually accept felons.

In order to be successful in their pursuit of being a welder, it is essential for felons to be honest about their background.  Lying about their conviction will prevent them from becoming a welder.

They are already working with the often negative perceptions of being dishonest, untrustworthy, and unwilling or unable to follow directions from authority figures.

There are many success stories, as the Guide to Being Employed, reveals, showing how being honest, having a goal, commitment, dedication, and perseverance can assist felons in achieving their dream.

There are re-entry programs, such as drug treatment, and educational opportunities for felons who need them.

For many felons, having their felony expunged can give them the chance they need to begin with a clean record and succeed in becoming a welder.

For employers, there is a Work Opportunity Tax Credit for hiring a felon.

Supporting a Felon in Becoming a Welder

For families of felons wanting to pursue a dream of becoming a welder, encourage your loved one and support their efforts to live an honest life, change their lifestyle, and keep their dreams alive.

Your family member is worth making the effort for, if they are sincere in their desire to become a welder.

This will provide them the chance to show that they are hard-working, dependable, and responsible.

Help them realize their ambition no matter how difficult the road might be.

What do you think about this blog post?  Are you or someone you know been in the situation of trying to become a welder with a felony?  What was that like for them, and how did they achieve success?  Please tell us in the comments below.

One response to “Can a Felon Become a Welder?”

  1. This is really informative blog and the concept is really clear to me.It’s important that proper safety procedures be observed on any work site.

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