Welders help build the world. In car racing, construction, and manufacturing, welders employ their skills to fuse metals to proper strength and specifications.
If you are interested in learning techniques for becoming a welder, there are a few ways of building the skills needed for this job.
Learning to Weld
Understand job demands
- Physical and mental fitness: Commercial welders must be in good physical and mental health, with good hand-eye coordination and the ability to focus on repetitive tasks for long periods. They should also be careful and avoid being clumsy.
- Self-starter: Welders often need to find their jobs and projects, so they need to be self-starters and motivated.
- High demand: There is a high demand for skilled welders, but it is up to the welder to find the jobs that need them.
- Safety: Welders work around hot metals, toxic fumes, and bright lights, and they may also work around heavy equipment. It is important to understand the potential dangers of welding before starting a job.
Research on the training programs nearby
In case you need to gain experience on the job, seeking training is the best move to get started.
Many community colleges have these programs, trade schools, and adult vocational programs. These are reliable ways of getting into this industry, and good programs will include assistance in getting your foot in the door. You can also find a database of welding schools online.
Several private institutions are offering this training. There are also scholarship programs for learners who want to choose this path.
Many unions and companies provide scholarships because many regions lack welders, and many institutions are interested in training these individuals.
Get basic welding experience.
You cannot learn the welding from the book. It is a hands-on trade determined by taking introductory classes, signing up for apprenticeship programs to give you job training, or enrolling in the welding school and building necessary welding skills.
If you do not have experience in welding or have some info from tinkering in the home and you want to learn more, begin by taking introductory welding courses at the tech school or community college in the area to learn about safety skills and mechanics required for the job.
You must learn to strike the arc, make tacks, and control the welding puddles to weld effectively. Tacks are small welds that hold the metals together without a clamp. You also need to control the arc and wire to connect the pieces accurately. It requires some guidance and practice; therefore, seek experienced welders to guide you while getting started.
Most industrial welding jobs are done with flux-core welding machines that automatically unspool the wire, making jobs more efficient and manageable. In case you want some welding experience that will pay you, practice this welding since it is among the most common welding jobs you will find.
Learn the type of welding for particular jobs.
It's important to understand the different types of welding needed for specific jobs. Certain industries and positions require particular welding techniques more than others.
3 welding techniques and their ideal applications:
1. Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding:
Metal inert gas or MIG welding is commonly used to fabricate stainless steel, steel, and aluminum.
Widely used in:
- Shipyards: Building and repairing ships, requiring fast and efficient welding of thick metal plates.
- Automotive Industry: Manufacturing car bodies and frames, where speed and versatility are required.
- Other Industries: General metal fabrication, pressure vessel construction, pipeline welding.
2. Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), aka Stick Welding:
Shielded metal arc welding, or stick welding, is a popular and straightforward type of welding because of its ease of use and low cost.
- Construction: Joining structural steel beams, welding rebar, and repairing metal components.
- Maintenance: Fixing machinery, farm equipment, pipelines, and general steel repairs.
- Home Projects: Fabricating gates, railings, metal furniture, and DIY projects
3. Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding:
Tungsten inert gas welding, or TIG welding, is a slow procedure that requires clean water. Nevertheless, it can formulate a weld of high quality for any metal. Shops of architectural fabrication employ TIG for welding stainless steel. TIG is considered high-skill; therefore, if you train in TIG and find a place using it, you will increase your chances of getting a job.
- Architectural Fabrication: Welding stainless steel and other metals for ornamental and structural elements, like railings, sculptures, and building facades.
- Aerospace and Medical Industries: Welding specialized components requiring exceptional precision and strength.
- Fine Art and Jewelry: Creating intricate metal sculptures and delicate jewelry pieces.
Many welding varieties are less common than the earlier mentioned. Some, like TIG, are specialized and are employed in a few fields like airplane and bicycle manufacturing.
Certifications are there in the welding industry
Take part in the apprenticeship program.
Many companies provide on-the-job training through these programs, where you will do entry-level welding but have the chance to learn more. Your accreditation level will rise as you continue taking more time in this program.
Completing the apprenticeship fully and rising in the rank takes nearly three years. Nevertheless, this varies according to each region, even in the same country worldwide.
Some places may not have an apprenticeship program, but on-the-job programs will assist you in getting a welding job without experience and gaining the required skills to qualify for advanced positions.
Look for programs that will help you with job placement. The right welding program has to help students find jobs after completing the program. If possible, the program has to include opportunities for meeting potential employers.
Getting the right certifications
Learn of different employment types available to the welders. Like other jobs, it is crucial to understand the differences between what is expected of a welder at the entry level and what is expected of you when a job opening is available to welders. The experience and certification you need vary depending on the position type you would like to pursue.
Welders do one thing called welding metal. Great welders can find work consistently in all manufacturing jobs, like making heavy machinery, cars, ships, and other items. If the metal pieces require fusing, the welder will do the job for you. The welder does not resemble the metal being welded, operate other machinery types, or do anything else but weld. Erectors, filters, operators, and other trends get involved in welding processes.
Welding engineers have more responsibilities like metallurgy, project planning, and management, and oversee other welders. These engineers need experience in drafting CAD and are required to possess a degree in welding engineering or materials welding and an advanced degree.
Instructors must pass the welding instructor exam from AWS and be certified to instruct others in welding skills. If you have ambitions to teach, many jobs are there for welders. You require years of experience with different welding styles to qualify for certification.
These instructors are certified to complete and evaluate quality standards with the AWS. Job experience and working together are needed before achieving certification.
Pursue other complementing skills.
If you want to be a welding engineer, learn their blueprints, manage staff, and oversee projects to make yourself marketable and rounded as a candidate. If you have never attended a welding program or have not learned the skills from the program, try studying them on your own or even ask friends for training.
Even though your current job does not need to learn TIG welding or other skills you do not have, consider learning more and avail yourself of additional employment. Knowing more styles of welding will give you more variety in the job.
Finding welding jobs
Apply at various locations.
Different industries will employ welders, and the applied jobs vary depending on the levels of certification and experience. You will require a resume and certification for many jobs and pass the drug screening before employment.
Keep the certification up to date.
Remain on top of the certification to avoid expiration. This will have effects on the payment for other jobs. You will undergo certification and on-the-job training programs if employed full-time. This may raise your new skills and pay grade.
To be a marketable candidate, stay certified and continue seeking new certifications to increase the pay grade and marketability for new responsibilities and projects.
Research specialized welding tasks and their requirements. If you are interested in a particular welding type or industry that needs appropriate welding, you might need additional training to attain the necessary skills to do more jobs.
Common welding jobs occur in factories, along pipelines, factories, and shipyards. Be sure of the industry requirements you are interested in by talking to a professional in that field.
Explore further, experiment, and find the perfect match for your welding journey!