Welder Job Description
MIG welder, TIG welder, Pipe Welder
Being a welder is a is job role in which the individual is responsible for cutting, shaping and putting together a variety of different things related to metalwork and piping.
They work across industries that spread across the world and beyond, from construction & engineering careers to underwater deep sea welding (Hyperbaric welding).
The role of a welder is to join separate pieces of metal together using a variety of different methods which include Mig and Tig welding.
In all types of welding, intense heat melts two touching or very close edges of metal and bonds them together. A good weld creates a very strong join capable of holding very large weights.
WHAT TYPES OF WELDING ARE THERE?
- Stick Welding or Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
- Metal Inert Gas (MIG)
- Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
- Tungsten Inert Gas Welding (TIG)
Welders generally must be able to work from detailed engineering drawings without supervision and complete projects to a high degree of accuracy. Good manual dexterity is a bonus, as is a good eye for detail.
The industry has traditionally been dominated by men, but there really isn't anything to stop women becoming welders.
The job is often physically demanding, and as mentioned above, hot, dangerous and dirty. It is probably these factors which keep the industry male-dominated, rather than any other reason.
What does a Welder do?
- Preparing materials; predominately metals, to be cut or joined
- Strictly follow engineering drawings and instructions
- Welds small components like copper plumbing for residential use and large ones like pipelines for power plants or beams for buildings and bridges
- Monitors equipment for appropriate usage and temperature
- Maintains a thorough knowledge of universal welding standards and specifications in order to meet for example building codes and other potential legal requirements.
- Performing quality control inspection procedures to test cuts and joins, using precision measuring instruments
- Possibly operating semi-automatic spot-welding equipment used in high volume production lines - dependant upon the role employed in
What hours does a welder work?
As a welder, you'll tend to work a standard 40 hour week, although in some cases the dangerous nature of the work can mean that shift work has to be performed. Another constraint to working hours can be that many of the pieces of specialist equipment welders use can only be used for a certain number of hours at a time.
Shift patterns are therefore common amongst teams and are used to make sure no-one is exposed to the dangers of the job for too long a period.
How much does a welder earn?
The salaries for welders start at around £16,000 - £18,000 per year, rising to £24,000 - £30,000 depending on experience. Very experienced or specialist welders (such as pipeline welders) can earn over £35,000. As with most jobs this varies according to geographical location.
How to become a welder
Employers will generally expect some formal training in welding or engineering. The most obvious route into the profession is through an Engineering Apprenticeship, which usually requires five GSCEs at grades A-C, including Maths and English.
There are several welding qualifications available across the UK which most employers will recognise. These include the City and Guilds Certificate in Welding Skills and the BTEC National Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering (Welding and Fabrication).
Training is obviously compulsory with such a technical and dangerous profession, and would instruct you on important issues such as reading technical drawings, managing the tools correctly and how to carry out the tasks associated with the job.
Once you are working as a welder, you could also extend your training with one of the following NVQs:
- Fabrication and Welding Engineering levels 2 and 3
- Performing Engineering Operations levels 1 and 2
- Fabrication and Welding Level 3 Welding Level 3
In a lot of welding jobs you will be required to pass a Weld test with the prospective employer to show you have the technical aptitude to perform the type of welding required within the role.
With experience, you could pursue a supervisory role or become a workshop manager.
You could also work in weld inspection, testing and quality control or, with commercial diver training, deep sea welding.
Local Educational / Training Centres For Welding Courses
Diverse Employment work in partnership with many of the local Educational and Training Centres in which we have branches. Below are just some examples of where you could find Welding course locally:
- North Lindsey College, Scunthorpe - Level 2 Apprenticeship in Fabrication and Welding
- East Riding College, Bridlington & Beverley - Level One Award in Introductory Welding Skills (MIG)
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