To answer this question we have to make it clear the term welder here refers to the person operating the machine.
The welding machine, which is often called a welder too, is actually the welding power supply. A welder performs many tasks, but basically, their job is to join metal components by using the welding power supply.
A welder has to know how to read blueprints
After going through the blueprints, and figure out the dimensions of the product, you use your skills to weld the metals according to the given specifications.
Using the welder power supply, you spot weld, shape, position and cut the metal.
Welders work with different types of metals
- stainless steel
- aluminum alloy,
- cast iron
- and more
There will be times when you’ll be working with hard metals like steel and titanium, and they’re ideal in a lot of cases because they don’t bend.
In other cases you have to weld soft, malleable metals such as aluminum. These can warp if not handled properly, hence the need for highly skilled welders. When working with delicate parts, you have to be careful about how it’s welded. You also have to inspect structures and materials that require welding.
Part of your job also requires maintaining the equipment and machinery you’re working with.
What are Common Welding Projects?
This is one of the most common jobs for welders, and you’ll be repairing or installing pipelines wherever it is needed. You could do most of your work in one location or be assigned to different locations in the US.
Ship Repair and Building
Welders work in the ship building industry, and it’s not unusual for these companies to employ hundreds of welders as independent contractors. The type of ships you’ll work for ranges from shipping vessels, aircraft carriers to specialty boats.
As a welder, you can be employed full time by one company or work as an independent contractor for weeks or months at a time. One of the perks of working in the ship industry is you’ll be able to travel around the country.
On-Board Ship Repair and Maintenance
This is different from the one above because you’ll literally be living on the passenger ship. Cruise ships spend months on the seas, and it’s your job as a welder to make sure all the pipes are in good condition. If necessary you have to do repair work on the fly.
The advantage of course, is you get to live on a cruise ship and savor the amenities for free.
There are specialized welders who have to weld structures that are used underwater. You could be doing work for the military, the government, private companies or scientific research.
Read more about underwater welding pieces of information.
Robotics is a growing industry in the US and around the world, and it’s the job of the welder to help build these robots. Robots, for all the technological changes that have taken place, are still constructed mainly from metal.
Even when they’re built, welders are still needed to perform maintenance work and repair.
Welders also do a lot of work on oil rigs. An offshore oil rig can be compared to a small city in that it’s a self-contained unit. Even if it’s well provided for, welders are required to fix pipes and the various structures on it.
The military employs welders regularly to fix equipment and build various types of structures. Their services are also used by the military to repair jeeps, aircraft, tanks, pipelines and other structures. You may work in one location or you could be stationed overseas.
As you may have noticed, a lot of welders work with vehicles, and that includes motorsports. NASCAR, Formula 1 and other racing teams have specialists that construct their car from the ground up, and welding is very important to ensure the car runs at optimum speed. Racing cars require fabricating a lot of metals as well as welding, so it’s one of the more demanding jobs that welders can take.
Other Welding Work and Responsibilities
The most basic work that a welder do is at the assembly line where you do basically the same thing over and over. In many cases you’ll be working with robots to build components for a truck or car, or you may be asked to weld components for various equipment
Welders who possess high skills perform different types of work. A construction welder is one of those responsible for constructing high rise buildings and other structures that use metal. Aside from building, your job also involves repair.
Earlier we spoke of how welders fix vehicles, but you can also find work in NASA and the aerospace industry.
The type of work that welders do depends a lot on your educational background and the type of welding techniques you know. The more weld techniques you know, the more tasks you’ll be able to perform.
Arc welding is the most common and is used in a lot of industries. Other welding methods include oxy-fuel welding, submerged arc welding, shielded metal arc welding, resistance welding and laser beam welding. Welders may also specialize in specific applications as well.
Most welders work 40 hours a week, but there are cases wherein they have to do overtime. The working conditions also vary because as we have shown, welders are employed in various ways and have to do various jobs.
No matter which company you’re working for, it’s important you learn how to practice safe welding. Even though welding tools are safer to use now than before, you still have to wear safety gear and equipment.
Safety is important!
Now you know what a welder do, but go here to find some safety tips and tricks on what not to do.
From pipelines to refineries to bridges and construction sites, welders can be found in all major industries. This only underscores their importance. So whether you’re interested in ship building, automotive, aerospace, metal working etc. you’re likely to find a job as a welder.
With the demand for welders on the rise, it’s a good time to enter the field.
What would you like to do as a welder? Do you know some jobs, another than described here, where welders can work?
Write it down in the comments area!
I’ve heard that being a welder is, in fact, a very dangerous job. But I guess that someone needs to get the job done. I once a program on National Geographic Channel on how their work day is.
Being an underwater welder I’ve heard pretty dangerous, and you can die in your progress. I think they work for like hours under there with a deadline they need to follow. Thanks again for sharing was a quite interesting.
If I ever meet someone who’s interested in this kind of job I will definitely recommend your site has guideline. Thanks again for sharing, and I wish you good luck on your journey
Some people may say that welding is a dangerous job, but is quite safe if you respect all the safety guidelines.
In my opinion, there is no such thing as a safe job. But as long as you love what you do, and get paid real money for that, you don’t care about risk.
Hello and thanks for sharing, this is a very interesting post on welding, I don’t much about welding but I have a brother who have been in this business for I belive 30 years or longer. This field I believe is so awesome because of the things that can be done as far as making things are concern, it is like and artis at work. Your post is well detailed and filled with good information. This field is so wide. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for this information. I had no idea all the types of welding jobs, especially underwater! That’s amazing! I would love to learn more about exactly how underwater is done.
I’ve heard that welding is a very in demand career. Where is the best place to start if someone wants to learn how to weld?
I will write an article about underwater welding, and I will send you the link.
To find out how someone can learn how to weld, please read my article about how to become a welder.
Brilliant post, for me personally i learnt about welding growing up from my grandfather, but for people that are new to working with metal this is really an invaluable post. I mean welders are a crucial part of all industries in society as you point out, and its one of the most satisfying things to me – working up a sweat joining metal together and looking at it when its done and thinking to yourself “yeah it was my work that made those pieces of metal join together and give the whole thing stability.
Whats the biggest welding project you’ve worked on before? I’ve only ever worked on cars before.
Very often I think the same after I finish a project and the feeling that com with that, make me love welding.
I didn’t have the chance to work on an important project. But I can say that my biggest project was working at freight wagons.
Very nice article providing a full view of all the many jobs a welder can have. It is a wonderful profession. As welders we take great pride in what we do and build.
This profession is more than wonderful. I just hope that more and more young people will choose to weld because is a big demand for welders these days.
Thank you for your appreciation.