Welding is a demanding job, full of intricate details and procedures. It requires using various types of machinery, both big and small. We searched the internet to find the best answer to a question asked by many: where do welders work?
So where do welders work? Well, what we found will blow your socks off! It turns out that as a welder, your expertise is required in a great number of thriving industries. Welding is used in manufacturing, repair, and maintenance. It’s vital and useful to many industries including:
Welding is a complicated chemical process. It uses applied heat focused on certain areas of a metal surface to fuse 2 pieces of metal. As the metals cool, a permanent bond forms between them.
Welding first appeared in the Middle East and Europe back in the Bronze and Iron Ages (1200-1000 BC). The very first piece of welded metal was recorded to have taken part during the Bronze Age (3000 – 1200 BC).
There are numerous welding tools and techniques. A welder’s choice depends on the type of metal, machinery, and working environment.
What Do Welders Do?
A welder’s main job is to join or cut metal parts. They also polish, smooth out metal surfaces, fill holes, or fix seams in metal parts. It can be strenuous work, but welding is necessary in almost every single industry.
Their job specifications depend on what type of company they’re working for, as well as the materials and equipment they’re using.
Welders may work in various industries, locations, and organizations. As a welder, you may also be asked to drive forklifts or pallet jacks to move materials from one place to another.
Related article: How Long Does it Take to Learn Welding?
Check out this video: A Day In The Life As A Welder
Types of Welders
In general, welders are classified into 2 groups, either skilled or unskilled. This classification depends on the kind of training they have, as well as the kind of welding they do.
Skilled welders mainly work from technical manuals, written specifications, and blueprints. Their training includes getting to know the welding properties of different kinds of metals. Skilled welders also use large machinery and remote-controlled welding machines and robots.
With some extra training, they can program computers and robots themselves.
Unskilled welders are those with minimal training and work experience. They mainly work on assembly lines, where the work is repetitive. It’s also the type of work that doesn’t require high levels of welding experience.
Welders’ Job Specifications
Employers will expect their welders to understand certain protocols of the industry. Welders must also be proficient with the different properties of the various materials.
The main job responsibilities of a welder include:
- A good knowledge of metallurgy and chemistry
- Be able to read and follow technical drawings and blueprints
- Closely inspect materials before welding
- Calculate dimensions of the metal surface they’re welding
- Keep a close eye on the metal during the welding process
- Maintain their welding equipment and work area
- Be able to control the amount of flame used
- Make sure the metal doesn’t overheat
- Be able to perform in various conditions and spaces
Welders work with one company and keep full-time hours. Sometimes, welders can do contract work or maybe find part-time work.
These factors affect welders’ salaries. Other factors to take into consideration are a welder’s education and work experience. On average, most welders earn anywhere from $8 to $45 per hour, or about $44,000 per year.
Learn More About Highest-paying welding Jobs – Here, you can find an article from our website: Do Welders Make Good Money? | Highest Paying Welding Jobs
How Do I Become a Welder?
Successful welders need a combination of things to help them hone their skills and boost their work experience. Education is number one on that list.
Apprenticeships and Internships
Some choose to learn welding techniques by going through an apprenticeship program or an internship with a professional welder. During their time as an apprentice, they may or may not get paid for their work. They gain valuable hands-on work experience, though. This study program can last anywhere from 1 to 3 years.
Welding Certificate Program
To be able to enter a welding certificate program, you need a high school diploma or a GED (General Educational Diploma). A welding certificate program can last up to 18 months.
Here’s a list of some of the most well-known welding certificates. You can find certification programs at community colleges, vocational schools, or private programs.
Certified Welder (CW)
The only requirement is a high school diploma or a GED certificate. It’s available from the American Welding Society.
Certified Welding Inspector (CWI)
This certificate requires a welding education, a valid vision test, and qualifying work experience.
Senior Certified Welding Inspector (SCWI)
Before receiving this certificate, you need to be certified as a welding inspector (CWI) for a minimum of 6 years. You also need to have a minimum of 15 years of work experience and be in a supervisory or managerial role.
Certified Welding Educator (CWE)
This certificate has the same requirements as the certificate for the welding inspector (CWI). If you have a CWI, you can fill out an application and automatically qualify for a CWE. You may also need a written recommendation that speaks to your teaching abilities.
Certified Welding Sales Representative (CWSR)
For this certificate, you need at least 5 years of work experience in the field of welding sales. Another option is having a training certificate and 2 years of work experience.
Certified Associate Welding Inspector (CAWI)
The requirements for this certificate are that you must pass a vision test. You must also have a basic welding education as well as a minimum amount of work experience.
Certified Radiographic Interpreter (CRI)
To qualify for this certificate, you need a GED, a vision test, and 4 hours of radiographic training experience. Or you can work for 1 year as a radiographic interpreter.
Certified Robotic Arc Welding (CRAW)
This certificate requires a GED or a military-approved education and a minimum of 6 months as a manual or semiautomatic arc welder. You also need a valid CWI certificate.
Certified Welding Supervisor (CWS)
This certificate has the same requirements as the CWI, as well as having an active welder’s certificate (CW).
Certified Welding Engineer (CWE)
To be able to qualify as an engineer, you need a valid welder’s certificate (CW). You also have to take a 4-part exam. This exam focuses on welding standards and codes. It also includes metal fabrication and welding techniques.
These programs teach you the basic welding methods and techniques you need to be certified to work as a welder. Some of these methods are:
- Arc welding (using gas metal, shielded metal, or a gas tungsten)
Associate of Science in Welding Engineering Technology Degree
This is also a great option for those who are looking into becoming welders. This degree program lasts for 2 years. It provides higher learning skills, knowledge, and experience than a welding certification program.
Welders use this degree program to learn about different specialties, such as military welding, pipelines, and nuclear power welding.
Welders can work in companies or factories. They can also be sent to off-site locations to do their work, as on bridges, underground, on top of buildings, and even underwater.
This is why welders need certain qualifications and skills to ensure they do their job efficiently without putting themselves and others in danger.
Some of these skills are:
- Know all 30 methods of welding processes, a couple of which are MIG and TIG
- Be able to pay attention to details
- Have excellent motor coordination and manual dexterity
- Can work independently as well as part of a team
- Have good communication skills
- Have excellent eye vision
- Are physically fit
- Have good spatial orientation
- Be comfortable working at heights
- Be able to read blueprints, technical specifications, and manuals
- Are good at solving problems
- Be able to look at tasks in a resourceful, careful, and deliberate manner
A welder’s job can be mentally and physically exhausting. They can work up to 40-hour weeks, with overtime being a frequent part of the job. On average, they can have 2 or 3 8-12 hour shifts per day.
Do Welders Wear Protective Gear?
But the right equipment and uniform requirements can reduce the risk of any potential hazards. Here are a few examples of the kinds of protective gear worn by welders.
- Protective clothing
- Protective eye gear
- Fire-resistant work boots
- Protective helmet or hood
- Protective gloves
Before you continue reading, here is an article we wrote about welders Personal Protective Equipment – PPE
What Tools Do Welders Use?
Welders use tools that give off extreme amounts of heat. They must be able to operate manual and semi-automatic welding equipment and power tools. There are also welding tools that can be remotely controlled by computers.
Welding has been since 3000 BC, and over the years, new tools and techniques have been invented and perfected. Now, welding has infiltrated all industries and professions.
According to studies, welding is expected to increase at a steady rate of 6% over the next 20 years. It’s a line of work that’s in constant demand because every nation needs welders to build and repair its infrastructure.
So what’s the best answer to “Where Do Welders Work?” It’s everywhere!