As oil and gas companies have laid off 75,000 workers (and counting) in early 2015, it is not surprising that many welders who have worked in the energy sector have either found themselves out of a job or are worried that they are next in line to be laid off. However, there are many welding jobs not in the oil industry.
Manufacturing Is Booming
Industrial employment has surged over the last five years. The United States may no longer be the industrial giant it once was, but manufacturers have created 855,000 jobs in the field since 2010. Detroit has recovered 40% of all the jobs it lost in the 2008-2009 economic downturn, Toledo has seen an increase of over 17% in manufacturing jobs, and manufacturing employment in Nashville has jumped by nearly 24%. Other cities that are seeing a manufacturing boom include Savannah, Houston, Oklahoma City, and Charleston.
In the face of a severe shortage in skilled workers, manufacturing companies in these and other cities are looking for both regular welders and welders who can work with welding robots. In addition, companies are even willing to hire welders who have taken welding classes but do not have previous work experience as long as the welders in question have good work habits and can work well with others.
Construction Is Booming
Construction companies that have been struggling to find qualified welders for the past six years employ welders from the oil and gas sector. What is more, construction firms are willing to relocate welders to urban or suburban areas. Residential construction is surging as population growth drives demand for new homes. The housing market appears to be finally getting back to normal in most cities and welders will be needed to build homes in a safe, efficient manner.
Atlanta, Houston, and Phoenix have seen significant growth in construction, with further growth predicted for the future. Atlanta’s construction boom is due to expansion of its downtown area, while Houston’s growth is based on rising demand for residential housing. Phoenix, which is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, needs construction workers to handle a wide range of building projects.
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A Future in Welding
If you are interested in a line of work that offers great job security, plenty of employment options, and the joy of being able to create things with your own two hands, then welding may be just right for you. The uncertain future of the energy sector need not put a damper on any aspiring welder’s dreams, as there are plenty of other jobs available in manufacturing, construction, and other sectors to compensate for lost oil- and gas-related welding jobs. Moreover, it is very possible that the energy sector rebounds in the near future, offering even more welding opportunities to trade school graduates from all walks of life.