Welders cut, join and shape materials like metal in the aerospace, construction and engineering industries.Job Category:
What you will do:
As a welder you could:
- follow engineering drawings and instructions
- check the size of materials and prepare them to be joined
calibrate tools and operate welding equipment
- inspect and test joins using precision measuring instruments
dismantle and cut up metal
- You could work in a workshop, on a construction site or on a demolition site.
- Your working environment may be hot, cramped and at height.
- You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.
- knowledge of engineering science and technology
the ability to work on your own
- the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
- design skills and knowledge (creativity)
- knowledge of maths
As well as:
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
- the ability to work well with your hands
- the ability to analyse quality or performance
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
The specific GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) subjects required to become a welder can vary depending on the employer or training program. However, there are some key subjects that can be beneficial for aspiring welders to have:
- Mathematics: A solid foundation in math, particularly geometry and algebra, is essential for understanding measurements, calculations, and working with blueprints and technical drawings in welding.
- English: Good communication skills are important in any job, including welding. Being able to read and understand written instructions and communicate effectively with colleagues and supervisors is crucial.
- Science: A basic understanding of science, especially physics, can be helpful in comprehending the principles of heat, electricity, and metallurgy that are fundamental to welding.
- Design and Technology or Engineering: If your school offers subjects related to design and technology or engineering, taking these courses can provide valuable knowledge and skills related to materials, tools, and processes that are relevant to welding.
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
- specialist courses run by private training provider
You could do a welding qualification at college before applying for a job as a trainee welder.
In the UK, for example, courses include:
- Level 2 Award in Welding Skills
- Level 2 Award in Welding Techniques and Skills
- Level 3 Diploma in Fabrication and Welding Engineering Technology
- T Level in Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing and Control
For example in the UK, you could do a:
- General Welder Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
- Pipe Welder Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
- Plate Welder Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
You could apply directly for welding jobs.
You’ll need welding experience, for example from working as a pipe fitter or working in engineering construction or marine engineering.
You could take a course in welding or inspection work- in the UK this would be through The Welding Institute (TWI). You usually need to be working in engineering to do this.
Working Hours and Environment:
A typical week consists of 44-46 hours of work. You could be required to work evening/weekends on shifts.
Career Path & Progression:
With experience you could:
- become a supervisor or metal fabrication workshop manage
- work in welding inspection, non-destructive testing or quality control
- do commercial diver training and specialise in underwater welding, for example in oil, gas and marine engineering
- become a further education teacher and teach welding