Welders fabricate and repair machinery, structures, and equipment by joining raw metal pieces together. Welding demands a high level of skill and a lot of hands-on experience. As a welder, you can work in the automotive, shipbuilding, construction, and manufacturing/fabrication industries. You can also get certified to hold positions as a cutter, solderer, or brazer.
As far as education goes, you must successfully complete a training program to work within your trade, or you can also participate in on-the-job training, such as an apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships can be program-led by a school or through an employer. When it is employer-led, it is typically a paid position. Many employers prefer to hire welding candidates who have completed a professional welder certification program, certified by the American Welding Society, as well as an apprenticeship.
Welding Apprenticeship Program: What Will I Learn?
Enrolling in a welding apprenticeship will jump start your career as a professional welder. The technical skills attained from participating in apprenticeship training should prepare you to work independently in the field and qualify you for a successful career.
Apprentice welders will learn the following:
- Industrial mathematics as it relates to welding
- How to take welding measurements
- Workplace safety
- Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (BAT) standards
- Metal cutting and drilling
- Welding techniques, positions, and joints
- Fundamentals of AC and DC
- Welding troubleshooting methods
Why Welding Apprenticeships are a Good Idea
A welding apprenticeship will offer practical on-the-job training that will teach you the different cuts, drills, techniques, and positions you will use in welding. It should also encourage the continued development of your education and the success of your career in the long run.
Welding apprenticeships are not required by all employers, but practical, hands-on training most certainly is. It is impossible to learn how to weld just by studying a book or watching videos. It's also important to note that hazards for welders can be present each time they work, but going through training will help you to avoid these.
General risks of welding include:
- Possible penetration and impact of materials
- Dust and smoke, as well as fumes and gases
- Intense heat and light radiation
Welding involves intense heat and sparks and can subject you to burns. If you don't wear proper protection, eye injuries can also occur from hot slag and metal chips, or even from being exposed to the intense light for long periods of time.
So, safety is another benefit of welding programs. Taking an apprenticeship means you’ll learn proper welding techniques, and just as importantly, be aware of the hazards that come with the job.
Here Comes Success!
Learning how to weld, whether through a school program or a welding apprenticeship, plus getting certified, should set you up for success!
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