How to Become a Welder
Welder Job Duties
Skills and Qualities of a Welder
Welder Salaries
Influential Professional Welders
Leading Welder Organizations
Top Cities for Welding Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Welder

A welder is a tradesman who welds (joins) materials together using heat. They can be all sorts of materials, from metals such as steel, aluminum and brass to plastics or polymers.

A welder will layout, fit and fabricate metal or plastic / polymer components to assemble the forms that are required, such as frames and parts. The welder uses his knowledge of materials, chemistry, metallurgy, engineering and welding techniques.

Welders have been around since the dawn of metallurgy and metal working, but now with the advent of advanced technology, we may soon witness their total replacement by machine welders. Still, there will always be a need for highly skilled welders for specialist work.

To become a welder, you will need a basic knowledge of chemistry, engineering and metallurgy. These can all be gathered in high school. Afterwards, you'll have to complete some welding courses, get your certificate and you're all set - ready to start your welding career.

All welding jobs require general certifications in welding. The American Welding Society certification courses are offered at most welding schools. Some employers will have their own internal training programs and certifications.

Usually, you will get certifications in other professions as well, and can combine other specializations with your main welding one, to enjoy the extra financial rewards that come with the specialized work. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to develop yourself and your skills as you progress, along with the development of new techniques and technology. After you become a certified welder, you don't have to stop there. You can advance in your career even more, until your experience and in demand skills turn you into a master welder. Perhaps you will seek the opportunity to train others in the trade.

What does a Welder do?

Welders cut, shape and join materials to make parts in all sorts of industries, such as construction and engineering, offshore oil and gas, transport, aerospace, automotive and many more. Welders also carry out maintenance and repairs on all sorts of equipment and machinery. As a welder, you would select, lay-out and position materials to be cut or joined, follow engineering drawings and templates, use the most suitable welding techniques and equipment, inspect the finished work using precision measuring instruments and operate semi-automatic equipment on high volume production lines. Your work would be with metals, alloys and composite materials that require special welding techniques. The common techniques involve oxyacetylene, metal inert gas or MIG, manual metal arc or MMA, tungsten inert gas or TIG, laser welding and ultrasonic welding.

A typical day of welding would consist of laying out, positioning and securing parts according to specifications, then welding them using the aforementioned techniques. Also, a welder would cut pieces, melt lead bars, repair or install equipment, observe and test welded surfaces and finish the pieces.

You will be working with dangerous tools, in a dangerous environment, so you will absolutely have to adhere to work protection norms. Safety first are the watch words of professional welders. You will always need to wear protective gear, you will have to make other people aware that you're dealing with dangerous tools and you will have to always be careful, no matter what. Your life, and the lives of others, is the most important asset you have, so take good care of yourself and your colleagues.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Welder?

Welders typically have to have excellent dexterity and detail oriented attention, not to mention technical knowledge on the science of materials. Also, a welder should have great knowledge of the best practices in the field.

Ideally, a welder should thoroughly know the tools of the trade, including their design, uses, repair and maintenance. More than that, they should have good knowledge of design techniques and tools, engineering and technology knowledge and also building and construction basics.

Mathematics knowledge is a big plus in this field, as is information management and imagination. Other than that, you'll have to have knowledge of work protection norms and regulations, and you must always check up on other people working along with you, if you want to keep them and yourself safe.

How much does a Welder make?

Your pay will vary based on location and skills. The most common salary for a Welder in the United States is between $29,914 and $38,286. The extremes start at $26,347 end at about $42,342. This type of estimate is for a starting welder, not a master one. For a master welder, the numbers will ring better
Welder Salary | More details for Welder Jobs | Salary

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Some of the most influential professionals in American welding are the president and vice presidents of the American Welding Society. In 2008, the honor of being the president has been given to Gene E. Lawson, senior territory sales manager for ESAB Welding and Cutting Products. Mister Lawson has dedicated his entire life to further the living conditions and work conditions of welders everywhere, and to furthering the field of welding through to the future. The vice presidents are, as follows: Victor Y. Matthews, John C. Burskotter and John L. Mendoza, all leading specialists in their fields.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

The American Welding Society is one of the greatest welding organizations in the United States, offering widely sought after certificates. The Society was founded in 1919 as a nonprofit organization that had the goal to advance the science, technology and application of welding. From all fields of activity, the American Welding Society continues to lead the way in supporting American welding, both from an education and a technology point of view. If you're a welder, you definitely must become a member of the Society, as it will open lots of doors for you.

What are the top cities for Welding jobs?

The best city for welding jobs is Houston, Texas. It is closely followed by Charlotte, North Carolina and Baltimore, Maryland.

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