Imagine the world without any welders. There will be no skyscrapers, bridges, airplanes, motor vehicles, and whatnot. So, the modernization of the world without welds is something unimaginable.
There will always be a demand for welders. If you realize it well and want to pursue a welding job as a profession, you can earn around $40,000 per year as a professional experienced and certified welder.
If you are interested in this profession, but can’t understand where to start from, this article will guide you on how you can become a professional welder.
Being a professional welder requires you to keep a few things in mind to be able to walk in the right direction.
What Welding Requires from A Welder?
There are certain criteria that need to be checked before you step towards being a professional welder.
Welding requires you to be mentally and physically fit from aspects such as having proper hand-to-eye coordination and able to stay focused while doing repetitive tasks for a prolonged period. Welding isn’t for a careless and clumsy person.
In most cases, beginners have to find their own jobs and projects, so it’s kind of a freelancing type of work. Therefore, the work requires you to be a self-starter and self-motivated. Welding is a profession that has to deal with hot metal, noxious fumes, bright lights, etc. risky factors.
Mentally prepare yourself to get exposed to such a working environment that has a high risk of serious injury.
Attain Training Programs Nearby Where You Live
Training programs are the perfect way to get involved in this profession, especially when you don’t have any work experience. You will find nearby community colleges that offer beginner welding programs. Also, trade and vocational schools also have programs or training in welding.
If you attend a few such training programs, the chances of getting a beginner level welding job will increase. A good training program will also offer assistance job.
So, search for welding schools or vocational programs that are nearby your location. Many schools also provide scholarships for talented and needy wanna be welders.
Gain Basic Welding Experience
Once you are done with one or a few training programs, you need to take further steps to gain some real welding experience. Taking an introductory welding course will help you to learn basic safety measurements to take while welding, get to know the mechanics, and how welding is done, etc. aspects.
Master how to strike a tack, arc, and control the puddles. Also, learn to make some small welds, as well as tacks without using clamps, control arc, and filling wire to join metal pieces. The more you practice, the more you will be able to do it perfectly.
Flux core welding is a commonly used welding method that you can start learning with. Get used to this welding type and master the processes.
Learn About Different Types Of Welding
There are different types of welding that use different machines and procedures to execute welds. The most basic and most widely used weldings are –
MIG welding is used to fabricate and join stainless steel, raw steel, and aluminum in some cases. Automotive, shipbuilding, and other manufacturing industries require MIG welding along with flux-core welding.
Stick welding is a low cost and very popular form of welding, which is quite easy to learn and do. It’s mostly used in construction projects.
TIG welding deals with clean metal, and it’s a high-quality weld to learn. This welding method requires high-skill as well as experience to master it. Furthermore, other welding methods aren’t used as much as the above ones.
Find And Participate In Apprenticeship Programs
You will find on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs that come great for achieving more welding experience. Your hourly competence in these programs will increase your credibility. To fully complete apprenticeship programs will take 3 years, depending on the regions and states.
Attain Professional Welding Certifications
To be able to earn as much money as possible, like the professional welders, you will need to get some certifications.
Get Welding Certifications
In this stage, you will need to get familiar with different welding employment to figure out which one suits the best for your skill and interest. Also, you will work as an entry-level welder and gradually reach towards being a senior welder. Different welding work positions require separate certifications.
Welders are an entry-level worker in the industry. They primarily weld metal pieces. A good welder with well-skills and experience should be able to find jobs in manufacturing and construction fields such as heavy-duty machines, ships, and car manufacturing projects.
Welding engineers take responsibility for managing projects, planning, overseeing, and metallurgy for the other welders. If you are interested in this employment, you must have experience drafting in CAD and a 4-year degree in welding or material engineering field. Having an advanced degree will get you the privilege.
Welding inspectors are the ones who evaluate the welding and its quality standards commensurate by comparing with the standards of the American Welding Society (AWS). You will need on-the-job work experience as well as a history of working alongside an experienced and senior inspector to get this certification.
Welding instructors pass the Certified Welding Instructor Certification, which is given by the American Welding Society. You need to get this certification before you instruct other welders to weld more accurately.
If you love teaching, you can also be a qualified welding instructor. But, it will require the experience of several years and mastering different welding types and styles.
Get Certification From The American Welding Society
If you are very ambitious with your welding career, you must attain an AWS certification in welding. You will have to participate in a welding test, which also includes a written test, and you will have to take the exam every 6 months to keep your certificate up to date.
Commercial welding requires the welders to have AWS GMAW or MIG 3G certification. This is a certification for having some basic ability and skills in a variety of physical positions. The certification makes a person certified welder and opens up doors getting welding projects and jobs.
Welding Engineer AWS certification is required for the engineers to complete. You will have to have good command over a few related practical topics, basic to advanced welding techniques, and essential geometry.
And you can work as a welder in many states without having any AWS certification, but you will be under-paid comparing welders with the certification.
Complement Welding Skill And Experience
Depending on what position you want yourself to see in the future, pursue related knowledge and skills to complement your welding skills. For example, if a person wants to be a welding engineer, the person should master reading blueprints, oversee projects, and be the most aspiring candidate for your desired position.
Find Welding Projects Or Jobs
- Prepare a professional, attractive resume, proof of the certification you have attained, and get papers of passing a drug screening test.
- Make sure your AWS certification is up to date. Take initiatives for the recertification procedure soon so that there is no delay. It will increase your credibility. This highly affects the pay rate in welding jobs.
- To pursue higher positions, get more training, and gain skills to increase self-worthiness.
- Shipyards, automotive, machine manufacturers, construction sites, etc. are the common fields for welding jobs. If you are interested in a particular sector, make sure you have everything to fit into the job position.
- As large projects last a few months, it would be better if you work for a variety of jobs or projects throughout the year. Jobs that are furthest away from your location is preferable as it will add more to your experience and get you more money.
Figuring out how to become a professional welder can seem overwhelming as it requires you to go through a lot of stages.
But once you take initiatives and stick to learning and discovering about welding and its techniques to do the work perfectly, within a year or two, you will find yourself earning a good amount of money.
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