Have you ever wondered what Is the Easiest Type of Welding to Learn as a Beginner? It’s fair to say that stable work is as hard to find today as it has been in years. While some might like to boast about the stability of the economy, GDP and stock points don’t count for much when you’re struggling through day-to-day living, uncertain if you’ll have work tomorrow. You need stable work, which means finding an industry as essential as it is accessible.
What Is the Easiest Type of Welding to Learn as a Beginner? MIG Welding or Metal Inert Gas is a form of welding that is often seen as a lot easier to learn and therefore much more beginner-friendly. You can learn MIG welding in less than 6 months.
That’s why so many people are considering entering the welding industry today. True, it may not be the first job you think of when you think of stable jobs with great pay. Praise for academic and entrepreneurial jobs today is as voluminous as it is vociferous, and while that’s certainly deserved in some quarters it shouldn’t drown out all the other ways there are to get rich or support a family.
Besides, you can make more money than you might imagine. While the median annual salary for entry-level welders was around $44,300 in 2018, with proper experience and training that number can shoot up to around $75,000, while the top underwater welders can earn six figure salaries.
Still, underwater welding is far from the easiest type of welding to learn as a beginner.
So what is, and how can you translate those initial welding skills into full-time work?
What Makes Welding Difficult?
First, it is worth asking – what makes welding difficult in the first place, and how can you prepare to move past some of those initial issues as a beginner?
One of the biggest challenges for new welders is just being able to hold the welding tools. Not only can they be on the heavy side, but holding tools while sparks are flying toward your face isn’t the easiest thing to learn.
Your natural instinct is to duck, flinch, or run away from the source of all that smoke, heat, sparks, and flames, and you have to learn to manage that impulse and stand your ground.
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Then, there is the fact that welding isn’t the fastest activity in the first place. It can take a long time for the metal to cool, and just as long to maintain the equipment. You don’t want things to go wrong and leave you in a world of hurt, so you need to take care to do things by the book.
However, if you don’t already know “the book,” the welding process can seem confusing, and the long setup, welding, and cooling times only makes the process more tedious to learn.
Then there is the cost. You don’t want to spend a ton of money to learn a new skill if you aren’t sure if it’s for you yet.
Finally, there is the fact that there is simply a lot to know about welding, and it can take a long time to absorb it all. You have to understand and remember everything from the melting points of certain metals to the right mixture for shielding gasses, when to apply the former to the latter and on and on.
From the materials to the machinery itself, welding is very rewarding, but also quite complex.
What Not to Try: TIG Welding
Among welders, TIG welding is often seen as one of the more advanced forms and, thus, not suitable for most beginners.
Why is that?
There are several reasons why TIG welding is so hard, with some of the biggest being:
|Nr.||4 reasons why TIG welding is so hard|
- Slow: If you are looking for a fast way to get into welding, or simply a fast welding job, TIG isn’t your friend. The whole process is far slower than other forms of welding. Part of that is due to the more complicated nature of the process, and part of it is due to needing to allow for extra time for pieces to cool than is necessary for other forms of welding. Either way, TIG welding jobs can take far longer to complete, which isn’t what you’re looking for when you’re just starting out.
- Hand-Foot Coordination: TIG welding doesn’t just take hand-eye coordination, but hand-foot coordination as well, adding a whole other component of which to keep track. Your hands are needed to hold the heavy machinery and stick, while your feet operate the amperage control. This allows for a greater degree of control and gives you the ability to slow down the process toward the end of your welding session. On the one hand, that added control can be hugely beneficial in pulling off more advanced jobs. On the other hand, it can be far too complex for those just learning the basics of how to operate a welding stick to have to deal with foot petals and more complex controls as well.
- Cost: There is no denying that TIG welding is generally more costly than other forms of welding. This is due to the factors listed above – slower welding times and greater complexity. The former means jobs take longer to complete, meaning you can’t take as many at once, while the latter often necessitates more expensive controls.
- Cleaning: TIG welding requires a perfectly clean surface for safety purposes, adding even more preparation time to the project
A Better Option: MIG Welding
So, if TIG welding isn’t for you, what about MIG welding?
This form of welding is often seen as a lot more beginner friendly, so what’s it all about, and why is it easier to learn for beginners than TIG welding?
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The answer is largely a refutation of the points raised by TIG welding.
For starters, while you always want to be very careful when setting things up and cleaning pre- and post-job, this is far easier to do with MIG welding, and you don’t have to be quite as scrupulous.
What’s more, MIG welding is a lot less expensive than TIG, so if you are uncertain as to whether welding is for you, it is a far more affordable gamble to make.
MIG welding does not feature foot pedals in its control scheme, and its controls are overall far more streamlined and less complex than those featured in TIG welding.
All of this, thus, makes MIG welding a lot easier and faster to work with.
Tips for Beginners
Even the prospect of doing MIG welding can seem overwhelming to a beginner. If you have never done welding before, these tips can make the process a lot easier and more accessible.
For starters, from a safety perspective, you should always wear a welding mask when doing any kind of welding. The last thing you want is for sparks to fly up and hit you in the face. Even besides these sparks, your face is vulnerable to heat, fire, and welder’s flash, which can cause eye pain, damage, and even temporary blindness.
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Needless to say, you don’t want any of that to happen, so selecting a quality welding helmet is essential. This is also another reason why you’ll want to start with basic MIG welding, as the more complex the job, the greater the personal risk to your well-being, especially when you are just starting out.
You should likewise make sure that the rest of your body is adequately protected. That means wearing earmuffs or earplugs (the latter must be fire-resistant), a respirator or something similar to filter air, and making sure your skin is entirely covered with fire-resistant clothes. You should likewise wear fire-resistant gloves and boots at all times.
Some valuable MIG welding tips for beginners include:
|Nr.1||MIG Welding Tips for Beginners|
|1||Make sure you have good ground|
|2||Shorten the distance between the end of your welding stick and the object you are welding|
|3||Use both hands whenever you can|
|4||Listen to your welder|
|5||try to maintain good posture|
|6||replace contact tips|
|7||Pay close attention to your welding bead|
- Make sure you have good ground. Attach clamps to bare metal to close your welding arc.
- Shorten the distance between the end of your welding stick and the object you are welding. The closer the distance, the easier it is to maintain control. That said, you also don’t want to burn the metal, so use a light touch.
- Use both hands whenever you can. The reasons for this should be obvious – greater control and improved safety, especially for beginners. In baseball, you’re taught to catch a ball with two hands until you have everything down so perfectly that you can afford to catch it with your glove alone. The same logic applies here. As long as you are a beginner, and for a while afterward, two hands while welding should be the rule.
- Listen to your welder. It should make a nice, even humming or buzzing sound. If it’s not, there may be a problem.
- On a related note, you should try to maintain good posture and a stable position at all times. You don’t want to trip and fall into the hot metal you’re welding.
- Contact tips aren’t too expensive, so you should replace them the second they start to dull.
- Pay close attention to your welding bead. If it is convex or concave in nature, chances are there is a problem.
When you first get into welding as a beginner, everything can seem overwhelming. However, that is true in any profession. By starting with MIG welding, which compared to TIG and underwater options is the easiest type of welding to learn as a beginner, you can grow your skills in a safe, constructive fashion.
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