Occupation Summary

Welders, Cutters, and Welder Fitters

O*NET 51-4121.06


Use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.

Annual Wages:
Employment Rate:
Employment is expected to increase by 17.91%.
Education Level:
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in Personnel Services, Engineering-related Technologies, Vocational Home Economics, Construction Trades, Mechanics and Repairers, Precision Production Trades). According to O*Net, the majority of people employed in this occupation have this level of education.
Business and Industry

  1. Operate safety equipment and use safe work habits.
  2. Weld components in flat, vertical, or overhead positions.
  3. Ignite torches or start power supplies and strike arcs by touching electrodes to metals being welded, completing electrical circuits.
  4. Clamp, hold, tack-weld, heat-bend, grind or bolt component parts to obtain required configurations and positions for welding.
  5. Detect faulty operation of equipment or defective materials and notify supervisors.
  6. Operate manual or semi-automatic welding equipment to fuse metal segments, using processes such as gas tungsten arc, gas metal arc, flux-cored arc, plasma arc, shielded metal arc, resistance welding, and submerged arc welding.
  7. Monitor the fitting, burning, and welding processes to avoid overheating of parts or warping, shrinking, distortion, or expansion of material.
  8. Examine workpieces for defects and measure workpieces with straightedges or templates to ensure conformance with specifications.
  9. Recognize, set up, and operate hand and power tools common to the welding trade, such as shielded metal arc and gas metal arc welding equipment.
  10. Lay out, position, align, and secure parts and assemblies prior to assembly, using straightedges, combination squares, calipers, and rulers.
  11. Chip or grind off excess weld, slag, or spatter, using hand scrapers or power chippers, portable grinders, or arc-cutting equipment.
  12. Analyze engineering drawings, blueprints, specifications, sketches, work orders, and material safety data sheets to plan layout, assembly, and welding operations.
  13. Connect and turn regulator valves to activate and adjust gas flow and pressure so that desired flames are obtained.
  14. Weld separately or in combination, using aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, and other alloys.
  15. Determine required equipment and welding methods, applying knowledge of metallurgy, geometry, and welding techniques.
  16. Mark or tag material with proper job number, piece marks, and other identifying marks as required.
  17. Prepare all material surfaces to be welded, ensuring that there is no loose or thick scale, slag, rust, moisture, grease, or other foreign matter.
  18. Select and install torches, torch tips, filler rods, and flux, according to welding chart specifications or types and thicknesses of metals.
  19. Remove rough spots from workpieces, using portable grinders, hand files, or scrapers.
  20. Position and secure workpieces, using hoists, cranes, wire, and banding machines or hand tools.
  21. Clean or degrease parts, using wire brushes, portable grinders, or chemical baths.
  22. Repair products by dismantling, straightening, reshaping, and reassembling parts, using cutting torches, straightening presses, and hand tools.
  23. Fill holes, and increase the size of metal parts.
  24. Dismantle metal assemblies or cut scrap metal, using thermal-cutting equipment such as flame-cutting torches or plasma-arc equipment.
  25. Check grooves, angles, or gap allowances, using micrometers, calipers, and precision measuring instruments.
  26. Signal crane operators to move large workpieces.
  27. Gouge metals, using the air-arc gouging process.
  28. Guide and direct flames or electrodes on or across workpieces to straighten, bend, melt, or build up metal.
  29. Estimate materials needed for production and manufacturing and maintain required stocks of materials.
  30. Develop templates and models for welding projects, using mathematical calculations based on blueprint information.
  31. Cut, contour, and bevel metal plates and structural shapes to dimensions as specified by blueprints, layouts, work orders, and templates, using powered saws, hand shears, or chipping knives.
  32. Preheat workpieces prior to welding or bending, using torches or heating furnaces.
  33. Use fire suppression methods in industrial emergencies.
  34. Melt lead bars, wire, or scrap to add lead to joints or to extrude melted scrap into reusable form.
  35. Set up and use ladders and scaffolding as necessary to complete work.
  36. Join parts such as beams and steel reinforcing rods in buildings, bridges, and highways, bolting and riveting as necessary.
  37. Hammer out bulges or bends in metal workpieces.
  38. Mix and apply protective coatings to products.
  39. Operate metal shaping, straightening, and bending machines, such as brakes and shears.
  40. Operate brazing and soldering equipment.

National Industry Employment Patterns

Industry % of Welders, Cutters, and Welder Fitters employed Annual Growth Rate
Architectural and structural metals mfg. 11.8 0.27
Ag., construction, and mining machinery mfg. 5.1 1.32
Motor vehicle body and trailer manufacturing 4.9 0.34
Other general purpose machinery manufacturing 4.2 -0.12
Boiler, tank, and shipping container mfg. 3.7 0.13
Other fabricated metal product manufacturing 3.7 0.20
Commercial machinery repair and maintenance 3.7 1.40
Ship and boat building 3.4 -0.44
Motor vehicle parts manufacturing 2.6 0.47
Nonresidential building construction 2.2 1.37
HVAC and commercial refrigeration equipment 2 -0.51

Labor Market Information

2018 Statewide average hourly wage $22.18
2018 National average hourly wage $21.33
2016 National employment 404,800
2016 Texas employment 54,410
Texas projected employment by 2026 64,155
Texas projected annual employment and Turnover openings through 2026 7,183

* Due to confidentiality rules, not all regions may have the data displayed. The sum of all the regions may not be equal to the state total.

Top 10 Relevant Knowledge Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Top 10 Relevant Skill Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Operation Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Time Management
Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Top 10 Relevant Abilities Relevant Importance Levels
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Selective Attention
The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Static Strength
The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • Controlling Machines and Processes
    -- Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Handling and Moving Objects
    -- Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
    -- Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
    -- Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
  • Performing General Physical Activities
    -- Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Other Activities

  • Adjust electrical or mechanical equipment
  • Adjust medical or laboratory equipment
  • Analyze technical designs or specifications
  • Apply cleaning solvents
  • Apply flux to work piece before soldering or brazing
  • Apply protective coating to products
  • Assemble/Disassemble manufactured products by hand
  • Attach identification onto products or containers
  • Bend pipe for gas, air, hydraulic, refrigeration or water lines
  • Braze metal parts or components
  • Burn (cut) metal objects
  • Clean materials to be welded or soldered
  • Climb ladders, scaffolding, and structures to reach work
  • Compute production, construction, or installation specifications
  • Construct patterns or templates for welding projects
  • Count products or materials
  • Detect machinery or equipment malfunctions by listening for abnormalities
  • Determine equipment requirements
  • Direct fire prevention and suppression activities
  • Don/Doff Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Erect scaffold on work site
  • Estimate materials or labor requirements
  • Explain work orders, specifications, or techniques to workers
  • Fabricate components for precision instruments
  • Fabricate construction beams
  • Fabricate manufactured products by hand
  • Fabricate pipe and iron supports
  • Fabricate sheet metal parts or items
  • File metal or plastic objects
  • Grind metal objects
  • Identify base metals for welding
  • Identify characteristics of metals and alloys
  • Identify properties of metals for repair or fabrication activities
  • Identify welding symbols
  • Inspect work products to verify conformance to quality, specifications, damage, or codes
  • Install sheet metal assemblies in supportive framework
  • Interpret information from blueprints, diagrams, schematics, or technical drawings
  • Lay out machining, welding or precision assembly projects
  • Load/Unload material or work piece into machinery
  • Maintain business or financial records, reports, or files
  • Maintain production or work records
  • Maintain safe work environment
  • Maintain welding machines or equipment
  • Mark identification onto products or containers
  • Measure items, parcels, materials, and products
  • Measure products or materials
  • Measure work pieces for reference points or cutting lines
  • Mix food ingredients according to instructions
  • Monitor assembly quality
  • Monitor equipment or machine operation to detect problems
  • Monitor quantity of assembly output
  • Monitor worker performance
  • Move heavy objects
  • Observe production, experimental, or developmental activities
  • Operate hand or power tools
  • Operate high voltage apparatus
  • Operate hoist, winch, or hydraulic boom
  • Operate industrial or nondestructive testing equipment
  • Operate metal or plastic fabricating equipment
  • Perform combination welding or cutting procedures
  • Perform repetitive tasks
  • Perform safety inspection
  • Perform varied measurements including precision measurements
  • Plan work schedules
  • Polish metal or plastic objects
  • Position work piece prior to welding
  • Preheat metal before welding, brazing, or soldering
  • Process metals using power or hand tools
  • Read technical, operating, service, or repair manuals or publications
  • Repair sheet metal products
  • Requisition stock, materials, supplies or equipment
  • Review codes and specifications
  • Review work orders
  • Sand metal or plastic objects
  • Scarf metal objects
  • Schedule production or work to meet deadlines
  • Select welding filler rod type
  • Set-up welding equipment
  • Sharpen metal or woodworking tools
  • Signal directions or warnings to coworkers
  • Solder electrical or electronic connections or components
  • Solder metal parts, piping, or components
  • Spot/tack weld materials
  • Study production records
  • Trim metal objects
  • Weigh products or materials
  • Weld metal parts and components
  • Weld metal structures

  • Support
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Working Conditions
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.


Adjustable wrenches: Adjustable wrenches;

Alternating current AC arc welder: Underwater welding equipment;

Anvils: Anvils;

Blow torch: Motorized cutting torches; Pattern cutting torches;

Calipers: Calipers; Vernier calipers;

Cutting die: Metal cutting dies;

Desktop computers: Desktop computers;

Direct current DC arc welder: Mobile welding units;

Drill press or radial drill: Portable magnetic drill presses; Punch presses; Drill presses;

Electrode holder: Underwater electrode holders; Welding electrode holders;

Flame cutting machine: Semiautomatic flame-cutting equipment;

Flow sensors: Gas flow measurement instruments;

Forklifts: Forklifts;

Frequency converters: Current converters;

Gas welding or brazing or cutting apparatus: Oxyacetylene welding equipment; Storage ovens and hot boxes; Rod ovens;

Goggles: Goggles;

Hammers: Hand chipping hammers;

Hand clamps: Hand clamps;

Hoists: Electric overhead hoists;

Hydraulic press brake: Metal benders;

Hydraulic press frames: Hydraulic presses;

Impact wrenches: Impact wrenches;

Jacks: Hydraulic jacks;

Ladders: Ladders;

Laser printers: Laser printers;

Laser welding machine: Laser welders;

Levels: Levels;

Light trucks or sport utility vehicles: Light trucks;

Manlift or personnel lift: Hydraulic truck lifts; Swing stages;

Manual press brake: Brakes;

Metal band sawing machine: Bandsaws;

Metal inert gas welding machine: Metal inert gas MIG welders; Wirefeed welders;

Metal slitting saw: Slitters;

Metal stamps: Metal markers;

Microcontrollers: Computerized numerical control CNC programmable welding robot controllers;

Micrometers: Micrometers;

Mill saw file: Single-cut mill saw files;

Milling machines: Milling machines;

Nibblers: Nibblers;

Personal computers: Personal computers;

Pipe or tube cutter: Pipe cutters;

Plasma arc welding machine: Plasma welders;

Pneumatic drill: Air drills;

Pneumatic hammer: Air chisels;

Pneumatic sanding machines: Air scalers;

Power buffers: Buffers;

Power chippers: Power chippers;

Power drills: Power drills;

Power grinders: Power grinders; Grinding machines;

Power saws: Power saws; Cutoff saws;

Pressure or steam cleaners: Steam cleaning equipment;

Protective gloves: Waterproof gloves;

Protractors: Angle finders; Protractors;

Pry bars: Pinchbars; Pry bars;

Pullers: Comealongs;

Punches or nail sets or drifts: Punches;

Ratchets: Ratchets;

Respiration air supplying self contained breathing apparatus or accessories: Self-contained breathing apparatus;

Respirators: Respirator hose masks;

Safety glasses: Welding lenses;

Scaffolding: Scaffolding;

Scribers: Scribers;

Shears: Unishears; Shears;

Shielded metal arc welding or stick welding machine: Shielded arc welding tools; Portable gas operated arc welders;

Socket sets: Socket wrench sets;

Soldering iron: Soldering irons;

Speed sensors: Wire feed rate measurement instruments;

Spot welding machine: Resistance welding equipment; Welding guns;

Squares: Squares;

Straight edges: Straightedges;

Taps: Metal cutting taps;

Temperature gauge: Temperature gauges;

Thickness measuring devices: Fillet weld gauges;

Threading machine: Electric pipe threaders;

Threading taps: Hand pipe threaders;

Tracer or duplicating or contouring lathe: Lathes;

Track cranes: Overhead cranes;

Tungsten inert gas welding machine: Tungsten inert gas TIG welding equipment; Heliarc welding equipment;

Two way radios: Two way radios;

Ultrasonic welding machine: Ultrasonic welding equipment;

Voltage or current meters: Welding current measurement instruments; Arc voltage measurement instruments;

Welder torch: Brazing equipment; Welding torches;

Welding electrode: Welding electrodes; Underwater electrodes;

Welding generator: Direct current DC sources;

Welding masks: Welding masks; Welding shields; Hand shields;

Welding or cutting tip: Welding tips;

Welding robots: Welding robots;

Welding wire: Electrode wires;

Wetsuits: Dive suits;

Winches: Winches;

Wire brushes: Wire brushes; Power wire brushes;

Wire cutters: Wire cutters;


Analytical or scientific software: Scientific Software Group Filter Drain FD;

Calendar and scheduling software: OmniFleet Equipment Maintenance Management;

Computer aided design CAD software: EZ Pipe software;

Data base user interface and query software: Recordkeeping software;

Spreadsheet software: Microsoft Excel;

Related O*NET occupational titles for Welders, Cutters, and Welder Fitters include:
  • 51-4031.00 Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • 51-2031.00 Engine and Other Machine Assemblers
  • 51-4022.00 Forging Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • 51-4034.00 Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • 51-9195.07 Molding and Casting Workers
  • 51-4072.00 Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • 51-4193.00 Plating and Coating Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • 51-7041.00 Sawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Wood
  • 51-4122.00 Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
  • 51-7042.00 Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Except Sawing

Contact Texas Workforce Commission
Labor Market and Career Information  |  101 E. 15th Street, Annex Room 0252  |  Austin, Texas 78778
Official Website  |  1-800-822-PLAN (7526)  |  512.936.3200

** The information in this report may be derived from many sources like O*NET, BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), OOH (Occupational Outlook Handbook), and Career One Stop.