what is a MIG welder?

Welding may seem very simple as it often involves joining two metals together. However, the process is integral in most industries and the products we use at home. Almost any metallic product we use has been worked on by a MIG welder.

Industry analysts project the MIG welding field to grow rapidly, exceeding the demand, with the U.S. facing a shortage of 400,000 by 2024. There are many industries that need MIG welders as they generally leave less spatter and slag and work faster and more efficiently.

Also, there is more room for growth and advancement of skills. As more metal products are produced each year, MIG welding will be essential in creating these products. The skills used in one industry can be applied to another, making it easy to find employment.

Would working as a MIG welder suit your interest in building and welding metal together? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a MIG welder role.

MIG welder jobs near you

average MIG welder salary

The median salary of a MIG welder in the United States is $42,490 annually. However, the salary can vary depending on the MIG welder's location, experience, industry, and employer. In Tampa, Florida, a MIG welder can earn just $23 an hour compared to $29 in Boston, Massachusetts.

MIG welders can increase their earning potential by gaining more skills, certifications, and experience in the field. States with high minimum wages can also help welders who want to earn extra for the same work.

Wondering what you can earn as a MIG welder? Find out immediately with the Randstad salary checker! You can quickly and easily see what the average salary of a MIG welder is.

smiling male looking at phone
smiling male looking at phone

types of MIG welding jobs

MIG welder might take their role primarily as MIG welders; however, with more specialization, they can work as a:

  • metal jeweler
  • metal sheet inspector
  • welding inspector
  • tool and die maker
  • oil rig welder
  • industrial boiler maker
  • auto body technician
  • pipefitter
  • fabricator

However, you may need more experience and certification to progress in different fields. The role may also have a different name depending on the industry since MIG welders work across diverse industries to produce different products.


If you work as a MIG worker in a large company, your role may be cut out hence the need to specialize further. You may need to complete a course to fit the given role as a MIG welder.


working as a MIG welder

A MIG welder is a tough job that may need more than just knowing how to join metals together. You may need many skills, such as estimations, modeling, and working with a large group of experts to complete projects.


MIG welder skills and education

MIG welding has low entry requirements. You typically need a high school diploma or equivalent, along with some formal training or apprenticeship in welding. Some employers may also require certification from the American Welding Society (AWS) or other organizations. You may also need membership in a professional welding association. You can check out welding certifications at the New England Institute of Technology.

The common certifications you can get for this role are:

  • Certified Welder (CW)
  • Certified Robotic Arc Welding (CRAW)
  • Certified Welding Engineer (CWE)
  • Certified Welding Fabricator (CWF)
  • Certified Welding Supervisor (CWS)
  • Certified Welding Inspector (CWI)
  • Certified Resistance Welding Technician (CRWT)
  • Certified Welding Educator (CWE)
  • Certified Radiographic Interpreter (CRI)
  • Structural Welding Special Inspector (SWSI)

Apart from the educational qualifications, you need to have some stamina and physical dexterity to handle the metals and the welding equipment. You must remain focused under pressure, as the job is often carried out in tough conditions.

skills and competencies

MIG welding is an interesting job and requires one to keep upping their game. You need to specialize over time and hone your current skills. You can get far ahead by having:

  • technical proficiency: MIG welding requires a thorough understanding of welding techniques and equipment. A welder must know welding positions, electrode angles, wire feeding, and shielding gas usage.
  • attention to detail: MIG welding requires precision and accuracy, and welders must have excellent hand-eye coordination to create clean, even welds. Even small mistakes can compromise the integrity of the weld, so attention to detail is critical.
  • physical stamina: Welding can be physically demanding, requiring standing for long periods, carrying heavy equipment, and working in awkward positions. MIG welders must have the physical endurance to handle these demands.
  • problem-solving: MIG welding requires a lot of problem-solving skills. Welders must be able to identify issues with the weld, such as gaps, cracks, or burn-throughs, and troubleshoot solutions to fix the problem.
  • communication skills: MIG welders often work in teams, so communication skills are essential. Welders must communicate effectively with coworkers and supervisors to ensure the project is completed correctly.
  • safety awareness: MIG welding poses significant safety hazards, including exposure to UV light, heat, and metal fumes. Welders must understand safety protocols and equipment, including protective gear and fire safety measures.
  • continuous learning: Technology and welding techniques constantly evolve, so MIG welders must be committed to continuous learning and professional development to stay up-to-date with industry standards and best practices.

At the end of the day, MIG welding is a bit more difficult than you think, as it may require your total concentration, attention to detail, and safety precautions. Having the skills above guarantees faster career progression.

blue -collar worker in a production setting
blue -collar worker in a production setting

FAQs about working as a MIG welder

Here, you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about MIG welders

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