Welders in the oil and gas industry are a hot commodity. According to Weld-ed.org, at least 30,000 new welders must enter the work force each year to keep up with the demand, and the American Welding Society reports that the average age of a welder is between 56 and 57, approaching retirement age for many.
While many manufacturers have eliminated jobs through automation, welders still remain critical to many processes. Manufacturers who have transitioned to welding machines for many jobs still need skilled welders to operate and adjust welding machines and to inspect completed welds. Because basic welding skills are the same across many industries, welders can usually transition from one industry to another relatively easily. For example, those laid off in the automotive manufacturing industry are now making the switch to the oil and gas industry.