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Beginning a welding career in Canada

Build a Dream encourages and inspires young women to consider career paths where women are underrepresented. Welding is most definitely among them! When parents are discussing the future with their daughters, or teachers are giving advice for careers for young women, welding is often an overlooked option.

There are many reasons that a skilled trades career like welding would not be suggested, but a simple information gap is often cited. So why, in 2020, do families and educators not have the resources they need to make informed career decisions?

We want to close this knowledge gap and ensure that parents and daughters have access to the information they need. Where do you start when it comes to researching these careers? Finding accurate, up-to-date information is not easy, so we’ve compiled some useful resources for you to access. Is your daughter missing out on this stable and fulfilling career path?

Currently, less than 5% of welders are women.

NOC 7237: STatcan.gc.ca

What is Welding? 

Welding is skill of joining metal and other solid materials, by heating the surfaces up and melting them together. The welder does this either with a torch or other specialized tools and machines.  Welders are not at risk of being replaced by automation anytime soon as there is a lot of human judgment and skill that is necessary. As long as we use metals, there will be jobs for welders. 

Welding is a Read Seal occupation, meaning that the occupation is standardized across Canada. Once qualified, a Red Seal welder can work in any province.

Need more information? How about some career perks:

  • Welders are in high demand all around Canada and can work in a multitude of industries.
  • Work ranges from normal to hard, but a welder has many choices
  • The average salary of a welder is $25.00 / Hour in Canada; with some experience, a welder can expect an annual income of $80,000 per year.
  • Whether you choose union or non-union work, welding often comes with perks that can include insurance, pension, and health benefits 
  • You can choose where your career path extends: work for a company or for yourself; and choose indoor, outdoor, or even under water work!

Where does a welder work?

Welders work in every industry in one way or another. The current demand in Canada is high! The most common welding jobs are:

  • Machine shops that need to cut or combine metal pieces
  • Construction sites working alongside carpenters and plumbers
  • Industrial and manufacturing, including maintenance of factory equipment
  • Plumbing and HVAC companies that need pipes fitted
  • Robotics, programmable electronics, and automation

How do you become a Welder?

  • Be 16+ years of age
  • Grade 12 education (high school or equivalent)
  • Get a driver’s license (it isn’t mandatory but many employers will ask)
  • Find a mentor and ask them about the process
  • Contact your provincial trades office for more details or look up your local trades unions to attend an open house or get more information

Apprenticeship programs

An apprenticeship training program consists of both on-the-job and in-school training. The length of the program varies by province, but typically they are between 3 and 5 years. Due to the worker shortage in skilled trades, there are many local and federal incentives that encourage young people to enroll into the trades. Make sure to keep an eye out for incentives:

Need more details?

Contact your guidance counsellor or local apprenticeship authorities for answers on where to get started!

Meet A Mentor

Destinee Renaud

Destinee has completed an apprenticeship through OYAP (Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program) and is currently working as a welder at Tigercat industries.

Mentor Profile

IS WELDING FOR YOU?

Look for a career discovery expo in your area to learn more about this and other exciting careers.

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