A welder needs formal training programs available through high school technical courses, community colleges, vocational technical institutes, or private welding schools. These programs should include courses in shop mathematics, blueprint reading, chemistry, metallurgy, drawing, and physics. A knowledge of electricity is recommended and understanding computers is helpful as they are becoming more valuable in this occupation. Another place to gain training and education as a Welder is the military.
Job Description of a Welder
A welder permanently joins metal parts through the use of intense heat of hand held metal joining equipment and smooth polish the surfaces of parts. They must know how to study blueprints or specifications and calculate the dimensions of the part to be welded. They inspect materials or structures that need welding and monitor the process of welding as a caution for overheating.
Welders also maintain the machinery and equipment they work with. A welder may weld or join metal parts on bridges, construction or power-plants, refineries or pipelines. They may work in aerospace applications, shipbuilding, automobile manufacturing, and other areas where welding is necessary.
Because of the wide variety of work welders do and depending on the industry there are more than 100 different processes the welder can use, the most common is arc welding.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 6 percent growth in 2012-2022 in this occupation, slower than the National average. Those welders with the highest skill levels and a willingness to relocate have the greatest advantage for solid employment.