Welders work in a wide variety of manufacturing, industrial and construction jobs, and they are always in demand. Even when one industry is reducing its workforce, another is having problems finding enough skilled welders. Requirements begin with basic skills training, which can be acquired on the job or at a technical school. Welders then can work their way up through an apprenticeship if they choose to and become journeyman welders.
Welding joins metal parts by applying heat to permanently fuse the metal together. The most basic welding job is spot welding.
An example of a more skilled position is fitter welding, such as pipe fitters. This welder job description includes assembling, fabricating and repairing piping systems of varying types, such as industrial, heating/cooling and utilities.
Construction welders join beams in bridges, buildings and other structures, and often are required to do their work at a great height on a scaffold.
Arc and Plasma Cutting
A skilled welder job description also may include arc and plasma cutting, which technically does not entail welding, but uses heat to cut and trim metal objects.
Additional Job Duties
Some welders also have job duties that include driving fork-lift trucks and operating equipment such as plate shears and industrial saws.
Welders typically are paid hourly, a benefit because about 20 percent of them regularly work more than 40 hours a week, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Shift differentials also provide extra income in factories that operate 24 hours a day.
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