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James Jones

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Since welding has become the principal and most effective means of fabricating, bonding and repairing most metal products, the demand for professional welders have also increased in major industries like shipbuilding, aerospace, automobile manufacturing, machinery manufacturing, bridges, Pipefitting, power plants etc.

In 1994, there were 416,000 jobs in the United States held by people engaged in the welding occupation. This number had increased to 452,000 jobs in 2002. Majority of these welders were employed in manufacturing, services, construction, or wholesale trade.

Main Activities Involved in Welding Jobs:

Many welding jobs are manual, but some jobs may necessitate the use of machinery to perform some tasks. Welders may also use arc, gas, and flame torches, and other types of welding equipment to perform welding tasks, depending on the type, size and amount of work.

After gathering information, drawing plans and reading blueprints, welders use hoists or cranes to move and secure workpieces, which may also be done manually if the size of the workpieces is smaller. After that, welds are created in a variety of positions, such as flat, vertical, or overhead, depending on the position the workpiece. Once the workpieces are positioned and cleaned, they use the welding equipment to carry out their work of repairing, fabricating and bonding metal parts.

What does it take to become a welder?

Since there is no room for errors in this occupation, before taking up a welding job, a person must first have:

1. Good eyesight;

2. Good hand-eye coordination;

3. Manual dexterity;

4. Ability to concentrate on detailed work for long periods;

5. Ability to bend, stoop, and work in awkward positions; and

6. Willingness to undergo training and perform tasks in other production jobs

Most welding jobs require a candidate to have a high school diploma or GED (General Educational Development), and complete a formal training program or an on-the-job training. There are a number of training schools and institutions for welders. Course durations may range from a few weeks to several years depending on if it’s a low-skilled or a high-skilled position. Subjects in a welder’s training course may include blueprint reading, shop mathematics, mechanical drawing, physics, chemistry, metallurgy and computers. Certain employers also provide on-the-job trainings. There is also a certification process in which a worker has to go through a number of tests and examinations to become a certified welder.

The welding occupation also demands certain basic knowledge in areas like:

1. Mechanics

2. Building and Construction

3. Production and Processing

4. Engineering and Technology

Employment Opportunities for Welders:

Since almost every industry, big or small, uses welding at some stage of production and manufacturing, including the repair and maintenance of equipments, the demand for professional welders is expected to grow. However, with the increase in the number of automated welding systems, job openings for welders may not be as broad as it used to be. But some maintenance, repair and other works in manufacturing cannot be performed solely by automated machines. Most of them have to be operated by man too. In this respect, skilled and certified welders seem to have better employment opportunities, stressing more on the importance of undergoing certification process and skilled technical training.

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James Jones has been reporting on various high profile subjects online since 1998. You can read more about Welding and Welding Occupations at his site http://www.IndustrialWelder.info .
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