The Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) profession is among the most stable, lucrative, and steadily growing trade careers in the country.
By all indications, welding (including CWIs) is one of the fastest growing fields in the United States. According to CareerTrend, the job demand for welding professionals is set to increase by 6 percent between 2016 and 2026. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a whopping 26 percent increase in the need for welders and CWIs by 2020.
According to the American Welding Society, there are effectively two different tiers of CWI jobs, each with their own benefits. Most CWIs can expect to make an average of $35 per hour when staffed at a single company in a single location. However, if you are a freelance contractor, you could get paid up to $75 per hour with the right contract.
While that might sound appealing, contracting work can also be seasonal, irregular, and involve a great deal of travel. Not only that, non-contractor work is consistent, requires less travel, and usually includes benefits from the company you work for—401(k), health insurance, dental insurance, and more.
Whichever side of the contract/salaried position divide you fall, working as a CWI offers you the ability to find a balance between a stable income stream and the excitement of travel. Provided you have the means to go where the work is, finding employment is a pretty safe bet.
Between repairing aging infrastructure and new construction, welding professionals—especially CWIs—are highly skilled and in-demand workers for a variety of industries. There couldn’t be a better time to be a Certified Welding Inspector than right now.
To capitalize the most on your work as a CWI—regardless of current market conditions—career management is key. It can be tempting to slack on your career management when you’re gainfully employed; you end up spending so much time working your existing job you don’t have the bandwidth to work towards the next step.
For CWIs in particular, there are a few key steps you need to take to properly maintain your career path:
Keep your professional data complete, accurate and up-to-date. The last thing you want to do is wait until you’re actively searching for work to update your resume. To that end, stay current on your professional data, even if you’re not currently seeking employment. You never know when it might come in handy.
Understand your future career goals. What do you want to get out of a CWI career? Where do you want to work? What are your ideal salary and benefits? Be sure to figure out your aspirations in the welding industry, and create a reasonable timeline to achieve them.
A good starting point is to decide whether you’d like to focus on contract work or maintain a steady, salaried position at a company or organization. This will help you figure out what kind of work/life balance you want, and the rest of your planning can follow from there.
Invest in continuing education. Workforce development tools like customized training, online courses, and continuing education are important resources to keep you informed and competitive.
Put career management on autopilot. Looking for a new job when working the grueling hours of a CWI can be exhausting. But there’s an easy, less time-consuming, and no-cost way to make yourself available to new employers and advance your career.
Surehand is the career management platform for industrial professionals that matches verified worker profiles with prospective new employers.
When employers visit Surehand looking for CWIs, they’re given a shortlist of prospects that fit their needs perfectly, sourced from profiles of qualified inspectors. Surehand finds the position(s) best suited for you and connects you with interested employers.
The platform works on the principle of passive candidacy: the idea that adult professionals should always be open to new opportunities, even when already employed. You may not be actively seeking work, but circumstances can change. Platforms like Surehand can help you minimize employment gaps and make you aware of ways to advance your career.
Better working conditions, higher pay, and greater benefits all sound nice. But it’s one thing to be open to them; it’s quite another to take the time to find a job that offers them to you.
As a passive candidate, you want to make sure your profile, your qualifications, and your work history are always up to date—this way, you’re prepared when the perfect opportunity comes around. Surehand aims to do just that, arming industrial workers with the ability to find work whether their industry is in a feast or famine cycle.
Surehand’s goal is to make passive candidacy not only possible but effective. By matching employers in need with qualified CWIs, employers get the benefit of rapidly sourcing skilled, independently-verified industrial talent, while workers are spared the painstaking tedium of looking for a job.
No matter what stage of your CWI career you’re in, or where you want to advance, it pays off to keep up that sense of passive candidacy. Surehand can help you do that.
With a Surehand profile, CWIs can do the following to better manage their careers:
Steer your career toward your interests. One of the most important parts of career management is learning how, where, and for how much you like to work. The Surehand platform keeps those interests in mind and plays a huge part in their ability to match you with the right employer.
Keep your references current. It can be difficult to keep a consistent list of references across years and years of workplaces, and your list of reliable references can change on a dime. With Surehand, you can keep that list updated, giving employers a comprehensive group of people who can back up your skills and employability.
Maintain your certifications. Your CWI and other certifications are the most important qualification you have; it pays off to make sure employers can see it and trust that they’re real. Since Surehand independently verifies your industry certifications, you can earn the trust of potential employers in your expertise that much faster.
Organize your professional documentation in one place. On top of your certifications, there are other professional documents that help show your qualifications: diplomas, degrees, vocational course certificates, recertification applications, wallet cards, and so on.
Surehand lets you securely store digital versions of your documents so they are safe and accessible, making sure you never have to worry about finding one when you need it most.
By providing an online toolbox for all of your job-related resources and more, Surehand enables CWIs to keep track of their existing career information and accomplishments. When employers look for potential CWIs for their next project, they can see (and verify) every certification, every accomplishment you’ve made in your career thus far. This way, new opportunities will come to you without the hassle of scouring job boards or submitting applications that are never read, let alone responded to.
If you’re a CWI who wants the next great job to come to you, Surehand can help. It’s easy; just go to Surehand.com and set up a free account. In just minutes, you’ll be building an in-depth professional profile that’s searchable by potential industrial employers, complete with industry certifications, work history, training, and more.
Once you’ve saved your profile, Surehand’s Candidate Success team will review and help you optimize your profile for maximum results. We verify key professional data, so employers will be confident in your qualifications. The platform directly connects you with employers who want to start a hiring conversation, putting you in control and making the negotiation process even easier.
There’s never been a better time to be a CWI; don’t get stuck in a job that isn’t paying you what you’re worth. Sign up with Surehand today and advance your career potential.
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