It is not an exaggeration to say that welding is one of the most important trades in the world, as it has a huge impact on almost every industry. It is also one of the few careers you can pursue without having to go to college or university. Whether you are looking for a career change or starting from scratch, this article will give you some insight into what life as a welder might be like and how you can get started today. Let’s dive right in!
1. What Is a Welder?
A welder is a person who joins pieces of metal together by applying heat, pressure, and other methods. The process of welding has been around for thousands of years, as it was used to build weapons and tools. Eventually, the process evolved into what it is today – joining large pieces of metal to make machines that can be used in all different types of industries. The two types of welding are gas welding and arc (stick) welding, which is done with an electrical current.
The job role for a welder will vary depending on the industry, but in most cases, they will be joining pieces of metal together for construction purposes, repairing equipment, etc. On large construction sites, there might be several welders to join pieces of metal together and load huge machinery. Arc welders can also be found performing other welding tasks such as stainless steel fabrication, pipeline and pressure vessel welding, repairing ships and tankers.
2. What Skills Should I have?
Since you will probably be joining pieces of metal together for construction purposes or anything else that requires you to weld, you will need to be comfortable with working with your hands and have a good eye for detail. You don’t need any qualifications or experience, but if you do have some of either, then it could help you in your career. Of course, if you wish to become a welder who works on heavy machinery such as construction cranes, then you will need to have a good head for heights.
As expected, you will also need strong mathematical skills in order to be able to read blueprints and calculate measurements. In addition, it would be helpful if you had some knowledge of computers as well – even though it is not necessary. Most welders use CAD design software to draft up the welding plans before they start working.
The work environment for welders will vary according to their field, but in most cases, it would be classified as an outdoor job where you are exposed to the elements (e.g., rain, snow, etc.). Welding can also be done inside if there is no other choice (e.g., welding in a confined space), but this is not common.
3. What Is the Salary for a Welder?
In case you are thinking about changing careers, let’s talk money next! A welder can expect to make anywhere from $30,000-$60,000 per year based on their location and experience level. This figure will vary depending on the field as well, as those who work in construction can expect to make more than those who do underwater welding, for example.
The average wage is around $40,000 per year, so if you have a family with children, being a welder could earn you enough not to have to worry about money too much. If you are a welder who is ready to start working, you can find a welding job here.
4. Are There Any Welding Courses I Could Take?
In most cases, no. Welding is a trade that does not require going to college or university. However, if you wish to advance your career, then it might be worth getting some vocational training on welding techniques or CAD design software.
You could also get involved with the welding community to gain more experience, for example, by becoming a member of your local metalworking forum.
You will not need any specific education in order to become a welder. However, you might be required to have certain certifications (e.g., OSHA) depending on the specific field you are interested in. Being a welder with certifications can certainly help you advance your career, so it would be worth considering.
5. Is There an Apprenticeship for Welders?
Yes, there are welding apprenticeships available depending on the field you wish to go into (e.g., boiler or pressure vessel). You will be required to complete an apprenticeship in order to become a skilled welder, and advancing your career through this path requires investing some time and money. However, in some cases (e.g., in the United States and Canada), you may be required to complete an apprenticeship in order to get a license in welding, which can help you earn more money.
In the US, you can check if there are any welding apprenticeships available here. In addition, you will need to register with your local apprenticeship office so they can guide you through the process and help you find a suitable school or offer guidance on how to become a welder. You may also be required to take a formal examination before you can become a welder.
6. What Does a Typical Day Look Like for a Welder?
A lot of welders have to work outdoors, so they will need to be comfortable being outside in windy, cold, etc., environments. They will start by planning out the tasks they need to do in order to complete a project, for example, checking blueprints, marking up measurements on metal sheets, etc.
At this stage, welders may have to use computer software or other equipment such as laser cutters depending on the specific job they are working on. Welders will need to confirm that blueprints, measurements, and all other required information is correct before they start working. This stage may also involve going through safety protocols again with your team so you can be 100% certain nothing will go wrong.
Next, welders need to prepare the materials that will be used for a project, including calculating how much welding wire they will need. It is also important that welders are aware of all environmental factors that could impact the quality of their work, including humidity, wind speed, etc.
After this preparation stage, welders can start welding on-site or in a workshop/factory setting, depending on the job. They will have to carefully follow all safety protocols while carrying out their work. Welders can monitor the quality of their work using different equipment, for example, by looking at the color and appearance of the weld to make sure it is consistent with industry standards.
You might be required to help other people on your team get started with their tasks if you are working in a larger business/factory. In some cases, you may have customer service duties that involve helping customers with issues they might be experiencing or questions they might have about a particular product or project.
Finally, welders will need to document all the work they do on a project and make sure everything is ready for the next stage of their work (e.g., sending blueprints to a client). They will also need to follow up on any outstanding issues that may require their attention.
7. What Is a Welder Training Course?
A welder training course is a great way to learn how to weld as it will give you useful hands-on experience. You will learn everything from safety protocols and how to work with different types of welding equipment to the most common types of welding processes and how to perform them.
In addition, many schools offer short courses that provide an introduction to the world of welding as well as full-time training options that can help you become a welder in a few weeks or months. For those who would like to learn more about welding and other skills, they will need online learning options are available.
8. Steps to Become a Welder
1. Find out if there are any welding apprenticeships available in your area. If none are available, look into schools that offer welding programs and check what types of equipment they have.
2. Once you determine the prospective schools/apprenticeships, contact them directly to find out if they require any previous work experience, qualifications and if there is an application process.
3. Conduct research to find out what types of welding processes you will be required to learn as well as the requirements for each type of welding position (e.g., stick vs. mig). You should also check how long it will take to become a welder in your country.
4. Once you are certain you are ready to begin training, sign up for an apprenticeship or go to school! It is important that you manage your time well if you decide to work and study at the same time.
5. Try to get some work experience during your training. It will be a great way to network and gain some more knowledge about welding.
6. Once you have completed your training, get ready for the job search! Contact prospective employers, check online job boards/forums/classified ads, seek out companies that could benefit from hiring a new welder.
7. Start applying! It is a good idea to have a few different applications with you, just in case.
8. Once you’ve been hired, enjoy your new career as a welder! However, be sure to keep learning about the latest welding techniques and technologies that are available out there to stay up-to-date and relevant in the competitive world of welding.
9. The Job Outlook for a Welder
According to the BLS, the employment of welders is expected to increase by 9% over the next ten years (or 8% in general). This projected growth comes from a variety of factors, including:
- – increased demand for manufactured goods;
- – improvements in technology that lead companies to do more welding and hire welders;
- – the need for certain types of welding that are not widely taught in high schools (e.g., TIG);
- – the growing demand for pipeline welders given the current state of the oil and gas industry;
- – the increasing number of pipelines, transmission lines, chemical plants, refineries, wind farms, etc.
10. Top Recruiting Companies for a Welder
Some of the top recruiting companies for a welder include:
- 1. General Dynamics
- 2. PEMEX
- 3. Tesoro Petroleum Corporation
- 4. Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
- 5. Chevron Corporation
- 6. Air Products and Chemicals, Inc
- 7. GE Oil and Gas USA LLC (GE)
- 8. Siemens USA, Inc
- 9. Baker Hughes Incorporated
- 10. Exterran Corporation
11. Best Colleges to Study Welding
There are many great schools that offer welding programs. Some of the best colleges to study welding include:
- – Tulsa Welding School
- – Lincoln Electric Welding School
- – Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Institute
- – Fabtech Welding School
Each school offers different programs and facilities, so it is important to do your research before making a decision.
- – Tulsa Welding School – offers a Career Opportunities Diploma, as well as an Associate of Applied Science Degree.
- – Lincoln Electric Welding School – offers the following training programs:
- Basic Stick Welding Certification
- Advanced Stick Welding Certification
- Filler Metals and Shielding Gas Certification
- Resistance Welding Certification
- Flux Cored Arc Welding Certification
- Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding Certification
- – Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Institute – offers the following programs:
- Aircraft Structures Technician program (AAS degree)
- Technical training courses to obtain an FAA license. This includes both classroom and shop classes. The school also offers a non-degree program.
- – Fabtech Welding School – offers the following programs:
- Welding Technology Diploma
- Welding Technician Diploma
- Full-Time Welding Degree Programs (Associate degree)
- Part-time welding degree programs (Associate degree)
- A combined welding/mechanical program (Associate degree)
Welders have a variety of career paths open to them. They can work in factories, construction sites, or even for themselves as self-employed welders. No matter where they end up working, welders are always in high demand due to the versatility and importance of their trade. Welder training is available through many different programs, so anyone interested in this career should be able to find the right program for them. With hard work and dedication, welders can go on to have successful and rewarding careers in this field.