October 6, 2017 – Arlington, Va. – The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 6.8 million Americans were unemployed in June, while at the same time 6.2 million jobs remain unfilled in America. This jobs gap exists because millions of prospective employees lack appropriate career education, training and skills.
One emerging career field facing a shortage of skilled professionals is welders. This is even before the anticipated extra demand resulting from both the hurricane damage and the potential for a major infrastructure bill to be enacted by Congress. The increasing need to rebuild infrastructure means that welders, solderers, brazers, and cutters will be integral in the coming decade. BLS projects that there will be 14,400 new jobs in this industry to be filled by 2024, a 4% increase from 2014. Up-to-date training will be key in employment for welders.
BLS predicts that welders trained on the latest technologies will have better job prospects than those who are not trained. Schools in the postsecondary career education sector will be crucial to preparing welders with the necessary training to fill those jobs. Between 2011-2015, career education colleges and universities produced 23,715 career professionals trained in welding. In just 2016, over 6,000 welding credentials came from the career education sector. Our institutions are part of the solution to ensure that our country has the skilled workers to rebuild our infrastructure.
“Welders are needed in many different environments, and perform important roles in construction projects,” said Thomas Eastwick, president of Eastwick College. “Programs like ours give them a leg up so that they are not only able to begin a career as a welder, but have the most up-to-date training to make them fully prepared to do so.”
By training students and awarding them credentials in welding, career education institutions are providing graduates with a ticket to careers across a variety of industries. Welding is a diverse profession, as it is needed in many areas, from the automotive, oil, shipbuilding, to manufacturing industries. Welders perform tasks such as studying blueprints, making calculations, monitoring processes, and maintaining equipment. Their median income as of May 2016 was higher than the median for metal and plastic workers and higher than the median of all occupations, making this a stable occupation with a wide range of opportunities for those entering it.
“Our country is in need of welders with the most current training to take on the task of rebuilding our infrastructure,” said Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of CECU. “Because of technology, welding is becoming one of the highest skill trades. By equipping students with the training they need for this field, our institutions help meet the demand and contribute to the solution.”
About Shortage of Skills
Each month CECU will profile America’s “Shortage of Skills” (SOS) in one key industry. We will examine industries that are critical to America’s economic advancement and explain how a well-educated and well-trained workforce can address these issues. See previous SOS releases here.
About Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU)
Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU) is a membership organization of accredited institutions of higher education that provide postsecondary education with a career focus. CECU’s work supports thousands of campuses that educate millions of students.