Why Does Alaska Need Welders?

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If you want to work in welding, Alaska is a great place to build your career. The Last Frontier is home to a huge aviation system, a vast array of shipyards, and many power plants—all of which require maintenance and repair. And welders are the workers who can perform that service by fusing pipelines, replacing old parts, and forging metals together to create new components.

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline Needs Maintenance from Welders

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline is one of the largest pipeline systems in the world, connecting the oil fields in Prudhoe Bay to the Valdez Harbor, located 800 miles away. The pipeline is now more than 45 years old, and as with any aging infrastructure, it continues to need maintenance and repair. When pipes don’t receive regular maintenance, cracks or leaks can occur. This can damage the integrity of the structure, disrupt service, and negatively impact the environment. As the Trans-Alaska Pipeline grows older, welders can help ensure that it remains in proper working order.

Alaska Has the Largest Aviation System in North America

Since much of Alaska remains undeveloped, airplanes are a common method of transportation from city to city and into the bush. Alaska has more pilots per capita than any other state in the union and has more than 700 airports registered with the Federal Aviation Administration; almost every city boasts its own airfield. That means there are a lot of planes! Aerospace welders are needed to maintain and repair aircraft including airplanes, jets, and helicopters. Most airports employ airfield maintenance teams, which include welders who can service their machinery and equipment.

Alaska is Home to Several Shipyards

Along Alaska’s coastline, you’ll find several major shipyards in cities such as Ketchikan, Seward, and Kodiak. Shipyards like these provide repair and maintenance services to large vessels such as fishing boats, yachts, and cruise ships. Some shipyards will even manufacture seacraft for different industries. Welders assist with these services by fusing metal parts together, building new components, and using different welding processes to complete repairs.

Alaska’s Power Plants Require Service from Welders

Alaska has more than 130 power plants, and they all require maintenance. Each power plant contains boilers and extensive piping that can wear out over time. Welders can replace pipes that have corroded or alter critical pressure parts in the boilers. They may also need to weld small components for plumbing or heat exchangers or use cladding to protect equipment from further erosion.

Welder Outlook in Alaska Expected to Grow

Alaska’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development projects that employment of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers in the state will grow by almost 14% by 2030. That means that more jobs will be created in the state over the next decade. Alaska is also a high-paying state for this profession. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists it as the second top-paying state for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers.

If you like to work with your hands, welding may be a great career for you. At Charter College, we offer a Certificate in Welding that can prepare you for entry-level work in the field. Our dedicated faculty have experience in the field and want to help you meet your career goals. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.