Job: Welder

By , March 23, 2010

If you think Krazy Glue and duct tape are the only construction materials a person needs, you haven’t been doing a lot of metalwork. Krazy Glue promises to bond all materials, including metal. But a more common, durable and reliable way to join metal pieces and parts is by welding.

Welders make and fix metal equipment and items crucial to business operations. Since the range of industrial items fabricated of metal is far-reaching, welders must be versatile as well as highly skilled. Welders may specialize in certain types of welding such as custom fabrication, ship building and repair, pressure vessel welding, pipeline construction welding, structural construction welding, or machinery and equipment repair welding.

A Fusion of Many Talents

Welding is a fusion of imagination, artistry, knowledge and skill, making it a great career for both women and men in the mechanical, manufacturing, heavy industry or building trades. There’s also a lot of science involved in welding. Welders must become familiar with the characteristics of different metals as well as the effects of factors such as the metal’s thickness and finish on the overall process.

Welders are generally good with their hands and enjoy building and repairing things. As a welder, you need good hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity and the ability to concentrate on detailed work. You must also be able to read and understand blueprints or drawings. Knowledge of computerized tools and machinery, analytical ability and communication skills are all important for success in this field. Good math skills are an asset.

Welding machinery and tools are changing. Semi-automatic welding, which employs robots and machines is becoming more common, as opposed to manual welding, which is performed with hand-held equipment. Between the changing technology and diversity of welding jobs, even the most skilled welder has something to learn. So, it’s important to be open to skill development and retraining. Welding is a tool of many trades which teaches highly transferable skills, and can offer very diverse work and challenges.

Specific Duties

Welders perform some or all of the following tasks:

  • Read and interpret blueprints, job specifications and/or other instructions.
  • Operate manual or semi-automatic welding equipment to fuse metal pieces. Some examples of the variety of welding processes are gas tungsten arc (GTAW), gas metal arc (GMAW), plasma arc (PAW), resistance welding, brazing, soldering and submerged arc welding (SAW).
  • Operate metal shaping machines (such as brakes, shears and other metal straightening and bending machines) to finish jobs.
  • Repair worn parts of metal products by welding on extra layers.

Soldiering the Right Parts (Education & Training)

  • Grade 12 education is preferred
  • The most common path to certification is through apprenticeship. The apprenticeship for a welder is three levels and requires time spent on the job and in-school training. Level C welding forms a part of the A Level Program. After completion of training through the modular program and acquiring the workplace hours, a C stamp is issued in the logbook.
  • After successful completion of three level apprenticeship training, a passing grade on the interprovincial exam will result in the BC Certificate of Apprenticeship, the BC Certificate of Qualification, and the Interprovincial Standard Endorsement, also known as Red Seal.
  • Good communication and analytical skills. Problem solving skills, working in a team environment, planning and efficiency are key aspects of the job. Manual dexterity, good hand-eye coordination and physical fitness

Comments are closed

Panorama Theme by Themocracy