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How to become a welder

About the job:

Welding involves the joining together of metal pieces or parts by heating the surfaces to the point of melting and uniting them by pressing, hammering or the like. Welders use blowtorches or other equipment for the work.

There are several types of welding, with perhaps the easiest type known as MIG welding. There are lots of applications for the work as well. Examples include automotive welding, production welding, repair work and fabrication.

Underwater welding – such as that involved with offshore oil rigs – is a highly skilled trade and robotic welding is an emerging field.

Qualities needed:

A steady hand and good eyesight are essential. Welders also should have technical and mechanical aptitude, as well as some understanding of metallurgy (the science concerned with the properties of metals and their production and purification).

Welders will need to be comfortable working with flammable gases and sometimes working in tight spaces or close quarters. Sparks will fly in the work, therefore, safety standards and safety equipment are paramount.

Education/training needed:

The interested welder must be willing to work hard and learn – it’s a very teachable trade. Some college courses include: Level 2 Award in Welding Skills, Level 2 Certificate in Fabrication and Welding Practice and Level 3 Diploma in Fabrication and Welding Engineering Technology.

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