When she was young, Sophy’s family were keen on go kart racing – but she was more interested in keeping the vehicles moving. Today she’s a Welding Technician and works on the vehicles that keep the construction industry moving.

Her enthusiasm for maths and science was obvious to everyone at the school she attended. “I was encouraged to stay behind afterwards and do an extra BTEC in STEM. They actually paid for me to do it”.

On leaving school she became an apprentice at Hydram and studied mechanical engineering. Two years later she was accepted full time and now works mainly on metal active gas (MAG) welding procedures for yellow goods companies such as Caterpillar, Komatsu and JCB.

Sophy loves the work and thinks others would too, though it’s not for everyone. “My friends think I’m weird. They’re all in offices doing business admin, but that doesn’t appeal to me too much”.

Click here to find out more about Hydram apprenticeships.

Sophy - Career Pathway

  • 2012
    Left school with 12 GCSEs and 3 BTEC qualifications including a STEM BTEC. Then started an apprenticeship with Hydram as a Sheet Metal Engineer
  • 2013
    Opted to specialise in the MAG/TAG welding section to hone existing skills
  • 2014
    Completed Advanced Apprenticeship and commenced study towards a HNC in Mechanical Engineering. Started full time in the welding section and began to mentor new Hydram apprentices within the welding department
  • 2016
    Seconded into a Junior Design Engineer role, aiming to complete HNC and start Mechanical Engineering degree with a local university

Stats - Welding technician

Average Salary


Employment Statuses

Full Time Employed: 63,339
Part Time Employed: 1,541
Self Employed: 11,047
Total Employed: 75,927

Gender Split

Male: 75,350
Female: 0

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Welding trades

Welding trades workers join metal parts by welding, brazing and soldering, and cut and remove defects from metal using a variety of equipment and techniques.

Metal plate workers, and riveters

Metal plate workers and riveters mark off, drill, shape, position, rivet and seal metal plates and girders to form structures and frameworks.

Sheet metal workers

Sheet metal workers mark out, cut, shape and join sheet metal using hand or machine tools to make and repair sheet metal products and components (excluding vehicle bodywork).


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