Four Ways to Get Started on a Career in Metalworking

Metalworkers are in high demand at present, so there has perhaps never been a better time to pursue a career in metalworking. Here are four ways to get started.

1.     Research Different Careers in Metalworking

The first thing you should do is perform research in order to familiarize yourself with the different kinds of metalworking careers that are available. You can then identify the roles you’re most interested in and look at the skills and qualifications you need to attain to work in those specific positions.

Here are just three of the most common metalworking careers that currently have good growth opportunities.

Welding and Cutting

As a welder and cutter, your main tasks would involve cutting, joining, or repairing the metal parts of equipment. Welders and cutters are required in all industries that work with metal parts.

In this career, the average salary is $41,000 on average per year.

Sheet Metal Working

Sheet metal working is currently seeing significant growth, so now is a good time to consider stepping onto this career ladder. As a sheet metal worker, you would create parts and products from sheet metal.

People working as sheet metal workers earn $48,000 per year on average.


As a machinist, you would operate machines and computers in order to manufacture metal parts. You’ll need to acquire more specialized skills and knowledge compared to some other careers in metalworking.

On average, machinists earn $45,000 per year.

2.     Find Out What Qualifications You Will Require

Once you’ve learned about the different types of metalworking careers that are available, researched each one in detail, and decided which role would be most suitable, you should find out what qualifications you need.

You can then pursue getting the required qualifications, or you may find out that you already have the right qualifications to get started in your chosen career. For instance, working as a welder and cutter often only requires a high school diploma, although you will typically need to also complete on-the-job training.

Though, you may like to learn the skills you need to become a welder and cutter by training at a vocational school. Sheet metal workers also only need high school diplomas.

If you want to become a machinist, you’ll be using specialist equipment, in which case, it’s best to take classes at a community or vocational college to learn the right skills.

3.     Do Work Experience or Become Familiar with Different Machines, e.g. Press Machines

You stand a better chance of being offered a job if you already have experience operating certain machines, especially for positions like machinists. That’s why it’s a good idea to train at college before you apply for jobs.

However, it can also be useful to get work experience, whether you go to college or not, before you apply for a position in your chosen career of metalworking. That way, you can learn about industry practices, health and safety, and how to operate specific machinery.

You could even learn how to operate machinery yourself in your own time. By looking at a hand-picked selection of used presses, for instance, you could find an affordable press machine that you can practice on in your own small machine shop.

You’ll then be readier and more experienced to get a job in metalworking that involves using presses.

4.     Learn the Necessary Skills to Set Up Your Own Metalworking Business

Lastly, you don’t have to work for someone else. You could start your own metalworking company. However, if you do, you’ll need to put a lot of additional time and effort into learning about a wide variety of metalworking techniques and machinery as well as production methods.

You’ll need to learn business skills as well as metalworking skills. So, if you’re planning on setting up your own business, it’s more than a good idea to enroll in a business course first.