What Is Welding?
Most of us know that a lot of welding needs to be done when making things like buildings and bridges, but we don’t really know what welding is. Welding is the process that puts together two materials—metal or non-metal—by using a combination of heat and pressure, sometimes using a third filler material, so that the pieces sort of become one piece. That’s a whole lot tighter connection than you get with glue! So, you have the three variables of heat, pressure, and maybe filler that have to be used in exactly the right proportions to get a “good weld,” one that will hold up no matter what. Maybe you only need pressure, not heat, and sometimes it’s the other way around. And welders use torches to get the right heat for the process; that’s why you see them wearing those strange-looking masks to protect their eyes.
So how can you learn this trade? Well, you might be able to get the training in high school, if your school has technical programs. A few employers offer on-the-job training, but, most future welders get training at a technical school or community college to earn a certificate in welding. You can also get an Associate’s degree by adding training in related things like blueprint reading, drafting, work safety, and metallurgy. With your certificate you’re ready for a job. With a Bachelor’s degree and coursework in management, you could manage someone else’s shop. With some experience and the right certification, you could eventually be a Certified Welder Inspector. Being a Welder offers a good, solid opportunity to work with your hands, create things that are important to your community, and end your working days with a sense of accomplishment. Plus, your working hours will be pretty predictable. Some jobs are Welder, Certified Welding Inspector, HVAC Welder/Pipefitter, Pipe Welder, Rod Buster Rebar, Stick Welder, Marine Structural Welder, Spot Welder, and Aerospace Structural Welder.