Looking to advance your career as a welder or welding inspector? You’ve come to the right place. We’ll explain what certifications you need, where to go to get them, what your career prospects look like for the next decade and what steps you should be taking today to find and land your next job in the welding industry.
Plus, we’ll share a simple app that top employers are using to find and hire welding inspectors and show you how to use it in your job search.
The first thing you need to know is the body that oversees the entire welding industry in Canada: the CWB.
What is CWB?
CWB is the Canadian Welding Bureau, a private-sector certification and registration organization for welding professionals. If you want to be a welder or a welding inspector in Canada, this is the group you’ll need to go through to get nationally certified.
CWB operates under the Standards Council of Canada (SCC). The bureau was established 70 years ago to oversee the administration of the country’s welding standards, which are part of Canadian building code.
It’s mandatory for structural companies to be CWB certified, and other welding companies can become certified on a voluntary basis. CWB is the only organization that issues credentials that are recognized at the national level.
Today, CWB is the gold standard for welding certification. The organization qualifies welders, welding inspectors, welding engineers, and welding supervisors. For a full breakdown of which CWB certifications you need for certain jobs, visit the CWB website.
In addition to certifications, the organization’s educational arm, the CWB institute (CWBi), provides comprehensive training courses for welding professionals to expand their knowledge and keep their skills current. CWBi offers coursework on welding related topics as well as radiography, ultrasonic, magnetic particle and liquid penetrant nondestructive testing methods.
The Canadian Welding Association, or CWA, is also housed under the CWB umbrella. It boasts a membership of some 36,000 welding professionals, fabricators and manufacturers from all over the country.
CWA works to educate companies and their employees, improve productivity, increase profitability and ensure safety in the welding industry and related enterprises. CWA acts as the voice of the welding industry in communications with the federal and provincial governments.
Simply put, if you want to take the next step in your welding career or gain the expertise that will help you make more money, CWB can help you do it.
The “State of the Union” for CWB jobs
When it comes to CWB jobs in Canada, the outlook is a bit of a mixed bag.
First and foremost, welders enjoy higher-than-average salaries when compared to other industries. According to Canada’s Job Bank, the median wage for welders is $25/hour, or about $52,000 a year. The median income for all industries, on the other hand, is $36,400.
How much you make as a welder depends largely on where you work. The highest paid welding jobs are in Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta, where the median welder pay is $32/hour. Welders on the upper end of the salary spectrum can earn up to $45/hour, or roughly $93,000 a year.
Though salaries for welders trump other professions, the job outlook over the better part of the next decade isn’t as strong. Canada is expected to face a surplus of welders between now and 2028; in other words, there will be more new welders entering the job market than there will be jobs available.
According to figures from the Canadian Occupational Projection System, there will be about 23,200 new welding job openings by 2028 and 25,100 new job seekers looking to win those positions.
This labor surplus sets up an employer’s market, meaning companies will have their pick of qualified welding talent to choose from when filling open positions. As a welder, you may face stiff competition if you’re looking for a new job.
This means it’s more important than ever to prioritize your career and take an active approach to scoping out new opportunities, even—and perhaps especially—if you already have a full-time job in welding or a related field.
How to manage your career with a CWB certification
A job as a professional welder or welding inspector presents an exciting opportunity for a diverse and rewarding career. There are many upsides to the job, including doing hands-on work, working in interesting environments, solid earning potential and the opportunity to travel.
Welding skills can transition well into a wide variety of fields, like building construction, ironworking, quality control, mechanics and more.
Then there’s the job security that comes from knowing a skilled trade. Welding has so many practical applications, from the construction of bridges to the manufacturing of consumer goods, and yet it’s a skill held by only about 1% of the population.
Even the rise of robotic welding has brought a new crop of offshoot jobs like robotic weld supervisors and robotic weld engineers that call for welding expertise. Thus, your skills as a welder are likely to be in demand for the foreseeable future.
To keep your welding career on an upward trajectory, continued education should be a top priority. First and foremost, make sure you’re current on all the required CWB certifications for your specific job.
Next, pursue additional certifications and coursework that goes above and beyond the minimum that’s required. These not only keep your knowledge sharp, but can help propel you into managerial roles with greater earning potential.
For example, the CWB’s specialized course in Health and Safety positions you for success as a shop supervisor or foreman. Its Workshop for Supervisors and Inspectors can help you if you’re interested in transitioning to a quality engineering role. Browse the extensive catalog of online and in-person courses offered by the CWB here.
Finally, use the latest technology to stay abreast of new opportunities in your field. When you rely on career sites alone, you’re stuck in a sea of hundreds of other applicants all vying for the same job.
You have no way of knowing if the position is even still open, if an internal candidate has the upper hand, or any of the other variables that mean filling out an application isn’t worth your time.
Instead of applying to listing after listing, use Surehand to get the best job opportunities delivered straight to your phone.
The Surehand difference
Unlike job boards, which require you to manually search for positions and fill out nearly identical applications over and over again, Surehand brings job openings to YOU via a convenient app.
Surehand presents you with the opportunities that are the best match based on your unique skills and qualifications so you don’t waste time applying for jobs that aren’t a good fit. And, because employers on Surehand are actively seeking candidates, you don’t have to wonder whether they’re still hiring or whether your application is being considered. You’ll only hear from employers when they’re interested in you.
When an employer is interested, Surehand makes it easy to start talking immediately. You’ll get a notification that a hiring manager wants to begin the conversation. From there, you can instantly connect, discuss the opportunity and even start negotiating. There’s no playing phone tag for days or trying to nail down a time that works for both of you to connect.
One of Surehand’s most compelling features is what it can do for passive candidates–those who aren’t actively looking for a job or are happily employed. The best opportunities can pop up when you least expect them, and you should always be open to hearing about chances to increase your earnings, take on more responsibility or work for your dream employer.
Since it’s easy for employers to discover YOU, even when you’re not manually looking for jobs, you’ll increase your earning potential and stay ahead of advancement opportunities all without getting distracted from your current job.
If you want to be discreet about the fact that you’re looking, you can do that, too; you’re in full control of your Surehand profile and can choose to remain anonymous until you’re ready to share your identity with interested employers.
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