9 skills from your military career that translate to welding

One field that is popular among veterans is welding. Skilled welders are in very high demand and jobs can pay very well. You’ll find that many of the skills you developed in the service are very applicable to the trade – allowing for a smooth transition into your career.

Direct skills

If your duties in the military involved welding, fabrication or other metalworking, then you can easily extend these experiences into a civilian welding career. Depending on your training level, you may still need to complete a welding training program at a technical school or community college, but you’ll have a head start on building the necessary skills.

You should also consider becoming an AWS Certified Welder to increase your chances of landing a high-paying welding job.

Indirect skills

Even if you didn’t do any welding during your service time, you still gained a range of so-called “soft skills” that lend themselves very well to the trade.

1. Attention to detail

Creating a quality weld requires a high level of focus and precision. There is little room for error, and even a small mistake could cause a safety liability. These are all traits that should come easy to you based on your military experience.

2. Discipline

Welding is a very process-oriented job with specific techniques and safety protocols. You can’t cut corners or rush through the job. As a veteran, working with this level of discipline is already second nature.

3. Working with hands

Depending on your role or specialty, you may already feel comfortable operating powerful equipment or enjoy working with your hands. This experience and confidence can be very valuable when building your welding skills.

4. Adaptability and flexibility

While welding is a structured process, plans can always change and you may need to react to situations on the fly. Also, depending on your job, every project can be very different, which means you have to be able to adapt to various environments or demands.

5. Time management

Just like in the military, deadlines matter in the welding field. Being able to manage your schedule wisely and get the job done in time for an inspection or crane loading are critical skills to have.

6. Teamwork and communication

You will likely work with other welders or part of a larger crew. Being able to be a good teammate is essential in getting the job done effectively and safely. You can also take pride in being part of a productive working unit.

7. Leadership

A position like a Welding Supervisor calls for managing a team and making sure all individual efforts are working toward a singular goal. If you have an officer or other leadership experience, this role will come very naturally.

8. Physical strength and stamina

Welding can be a physically demanding job. You’re already used to keeping your body in peak condition so you should have the strength and stamina required to operate heavy equipment for extended periods of time.

9. Performing in high-pressure environments

Many welding jobs take place at the job site or out in the field. That means you must perform your job in challenging, sometimes dangerous environments. Some examples include pipeline welding in rural Alaska and underwater welding to repair ships. The good news is these jobs typically pay exceptionally well – even $100,000 a year or more.

Finding the right welding career

Since welding is used across numerous industries, there are many different jobs for you to consider. Check out the different types of career paths, or begin your search for welding schools in your area

This article originally appeared on WeldingDigest.com

Author: American Welding Society Foundation ­- Publish Date: 9/9/2020.