More than 18,000 industrial craft workers will be needed for maintenance, turnarounds and outages, and new projects in late 2013, a level of demand not seen since 2008, according to a survey by the Greater Baton Rouge Industrial Alliance Inc.

Four years ago, major projects at Marathon Petroleum, ExxonMobil and Shintech were underway, according to the alliance, which represents area plants.

The top crafts now in demand are pipefitters, welders, instrument and electrical technicians, boilermakers and scaffold builders, according to the survey. Process technicians and laborers also are in high demand.

The semi-annual survey also shows that 3,000 more regular maintenance workers have been hired since 2011. The Greater Baton Rouge Industrial Alliance completes an 18-month outlook twice each year to help education providers and industry recruit skilled workers.