Union Welder Job Description

union welder

Union Welder is a skilled professional like a normal welder and pipefitter. Union Welder belongs to a welding union i.e. a group of skilled workers comes together to employ their collective resources for the betterment of their lives. There are many local working unions in each country. The unions have their own criteria for selecting these welders. Welders are paid smartly along with many other perks and benefits. Welding unions take care of their interests by involving in negotiations over wages and benefits to the respective employers or companies. Welders also pay dues to the respective union that represents them. Learn, how to become a union welder.

Post Highlights:

  • Educational Qualifications
  • Certification/License
  • Work Experience
  • Duties/Responsibilities
  • Abilities/Skills
  • Work Environment
  • Physical Requirements
  • Top Industries
  • Job Types
  • Salary Information
  • Benefits/Perks
  • Welding Unions for Welders

Educational Qualifications

The preferred and required education levels are as follows-

  • High School Diploma or GED (preferred)
  • Vocational School Diploma
  • Bachelor’s Degree (related area)
  • Any equivalent combination of training and experience

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Individuals require welding certification either from Ironworkers or the American Welding Society. The preferred certifications are as follows-

  • AWS Certified Welder (basic)

For better job scope, individuals require certification in welding positions like 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, 6G, etc.

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Work Experience

The welders preferably need hands-on the following things-

  • Steel erection/destruction experience
  • Welding/maintenance work experience
  • Complete an apprenticeship or training program


The welders perform various functions such as-

  • Build cooperative working relationships
  • Estimate required materials
  • Maintain routine records of work orders
  • Maintain/repair required equipment for daily use
  • Operate welding machines
  • Repair metal materials
  • Fabricate metal parts
  • Perform all welding types
  • Report equipment problems
  • Other responsibilities as assigned from time to time


The abilities are as follows-

  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Handle electrical tools and machinery
  • Handle multiple projects side by side
  • Interpret technical documents
  • Possess outstanding attention to detail
  • Possess strong mechanical aptitude
  • Relative safety standards familiarity

Work Environment

  • Work around the running machinery
  • Work in adverse weather conditions
  • Work in manufacturing units or outdoor sites
  • Work in small spaces
  • Work on ladders and heights

Physical Requirements

  • Able to stoop, bend, crouch, or kneel
  • Exchange information while working from a certain distance
  • Hands’ harmony while operating a variety of equipment
  • Lift/move up to 50 to 100 pounds weight
  • Work for long hours

Top Industries

Welders work for various companies through their particular welding unions as they are in collaboration with them. The industries are as follows-

  • Aerospace Industries
  • Automobile Industries
  • Construction Industries
  • Infrastructure Industries
  • Manufacturing Industries
  • Mining Industries
  • Oil and Gas Industries
  • Transportation Industries
  • Waste Management Companies

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Job Types

Union welders work the same as other welders in various positions.  Some of them are as follows-

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Salary Information

Union welders also get hourly, monthly, or yearly same as other non-union welders. But here union welders are more secure from their job point of view. The union takes care of workers’ overall interests. On average, a union welder earns $21.10 hourly and $40,000 yearly in the United States. They also receive some benefits and overtime. Most of the union welders earn $40 to $60 a day on average. The factors like demand, supply, work type, and company volume affect their salary trends. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average monthly salary of a union welder is $3,500.


The common benefits, advantages, and disadvantages of joining a welding union are as follows-

Common Benefits-

  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Pension or an Annuity Fund


  • Great training opportunities
  • Difficult to dismiss members from the union as compared to at-will positions
  • Increased hourly/monthly wages
  • Receive better healthcare/safety conditions at work
  • Retirement benefits
  • Various community benefits


  • The best person for a job may be neglected
  • Members may get a job they have no interest in it
  • Senior members receive credit opportunity
  • Shared rewards in unions may shadow an individual performance
  • A union may limit an individual’s professional growth

The are many welding unions that offer membership to individuals as per their area of specialization. Aspiring welders may reap benefits like better working conditions and job security, but all this is at the cost of a little freedom.

Welding Unions for Welders

There are many unions available for welders. They may join one of them as per the required specialization.

Ironworker’s Unions-

This type of union works on all types of structures such as stadiums, schools, bridges, and vehicle manufacturing. The best example is The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental, and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union.


Most of these unions work with metal structures involving high temperatures and pressures. The union example is The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers (IBB)

Plumbing and Pipefitters Unions-

These unions specialize in pipe welding that ranges from industrial/domestic use to large public supply lines. The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry or simply United Association is such an example.

Related: Other Welding Professions

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