Welding involves the joining of metals using manual, semi-automatic and automatic arc welding equipment. Welders generally plan their work from drawings and blueprints and may use hand tools and machines to fabricate, assemble and welding to make products.
Manual welding is controlled entirely by the welder, while semi-manual welding uses machines to perform some of the tasks. There are many different types of welding depending on the material, equipment and techniques used, the nature of the final product and the degree of expertise required. These categories include Arc welders, Mig welders, TIG welders, Pressure welders, Fitter-Welders and flame-cutters. Welding provides a lucrative and rewarding career, with highly transferable skills and can offer very diverse work and challenges.
Welders perform some or all of the following duties:
Read and interpret blueprints or welding process specifications
Operate manual or semi-automatic welding equipment to fuse metal segments using processes such as gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), gas metal arc welding (GMAW), flux-cored arc welding (FCAW), plasma arc welding (PAW), shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), oxy-acetylene welding (OAW), resistance welding and submerged arc welding (SAW)
Operate manual or semi-automatic flame-cutting equipment
Operate brazing and soldering equipment
Operate metal shaping machines such as brakes, shears and other metal straightening and bending machines
Repair worn parts of metal products by welding on extra layers.
Operate previously set up welding machines such as spot, butt and seam resistance or gas and arc welding machines to fabricate or repair metal parts
Operate previously set up brazing or soldering machines to bond metal parts or to fill holes, indentations and seams of metal articles with solder
Start up, shut down, adjust and monitor robotic welding production line
Assist with the maintenance and repair of welding, brazing and soldering equipment
May adjust welding heads and tooling according to work specifications.
Jobs and Careers
Sample Job Titles
Aviation welding technician
Brazing machine operator
Companies and Sectors
Auto body shops
Education and Training
HOW TO JOIN THE FIELD
Completion of secondary school is usually required.
Completion of a three-year apprenticeship program or A combination of over three years of work experience in the trade and some college or industry courses in welding is usually required to be eligible for trade certification.
Trade certification is compulsory in Alberta and available, but voluntary, in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon.
Interprovincial trade certification (Red Seal) is also available to qualified welders.
Welding, brazing and soldering machine operators
Some secondary school education is required.
Several months of on-the-job training are usually provided.
Experience as a machine operator helper may be required.
Experience with robotics may be required.
INDIGENOUS AND REMOTE CONSIDERATIONS
There are many mining operations which have a high demand for welders. Many mines operate on a 2-week in, 2-week out work rotation. (Schedule may vary.)
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