Working with metal reliably to create complex metal designs, bonding metals to withstand inconceivable weight on skyscrapers and bridges, making tools/appliances and so on, requires complex welding techniques. Only expert welders can be able to work dependably with metals.
Welding has been and is still a great career. As various industries such as the construction industry, medical industry and automobile industry among others continue to boom, the demand for welders also continues to increase. In case you are considering choosing welding as your career, you should know that there are several skills that you will need to master for you to be able to work with metal reliably.
Skills You Need To Be A Welder
You cannot be a welder until you possess certain welding skills. Besides, you cannot secure a job as a welder if you haven’t mastered important welding skills that are required to complete projects undertaken by welding companies. As a welder working in the construction and manufacturing industry, your job demands that you study blueprints before calculating dimensions. You can then use that piece of information to get the job done by joining two or more metal parts together. Welders are very important to our economy and growth of almost all industries. They help in building planes, cars, parts of buildings, ships and many other structures.
There are some welders who take formal education and even get college level degrees in a specified field of welding. On the other hand, other welders simply get certified. While it is recommended that you earn a certification and add it to your resume, certification is technically not a requirement. To be a great welder, you can also start working as an apprentice and then launch your career later.
Job Skills Employers Look For
If you are looking for a job as a welder, it is important that you show your potential employers that you have the ability to reliably offer what they need. You can do so by highlighting some of the right job skills required. Here are some of the most important types of welding skills you should highlight.
- Mathematical skills
Math skills are very important as they help and enable you to perform welding tasks effectively. You need to have mathematical skills for you to be able to interpret sketches, read blueprints, and accurately calculate dimensions. Mathematical skills are also important as you will apply them when cutting and trimming metal parts to specific, accurate dimensions. Math skills can help you stand out from your peers and increase your chances of getting a job at your dream company.
Basically, math skills help welders in doing the following:
- Calculating dimensions
- Reading blueprints
- Understanding 3-D and 2-D diagrams
- Interpreting sketches
- Spatial reasoning
Without math skills, you cannot call yourself a welder because you won’t be able to do the tasks mentioned above. These tasks are basic in any welding field.
- Physical Abilities
Among the most important job skills for welders are physical abilities. While this might not sound like a skill because it doesn’t involve any formal training or experience to learn, your physical abilities will make you stand out since they make you attractive to your potential employers.
You need to be in good health, strong and energetic for you to be able to undertake welding tasks effectively. As a welder, you should have the strength to stoop, twist, bend, and lift to dismantle or put together large metal objects. For instance, you cannot dismantle or put together aircraft or automobiles if you don’t have great physical abilities. You also need to have steady grip and hands so that you can be able to hold a torch appropriately for longer periods. Physical abilities are important for:
- Close vision
- Lifting sizable weight
- Physical endurance
- Hand-eye coordination
- Depth perception
- Working effectively in adverse conditions
- Manual dexterity
- Steady hands
- Attention To The Details
Being able to pay close attention to details is an important job skill for welders. You will not be a good welder if you cannot pay attention to details. It is one of the most important skills that your potential employer will be looking for. For example, as a welder, you should have the ability to evaluate a piece of equipment before purchasing it. You will also be required to clean corrosion or grease from metal parts. Besides, you will also need to chip out bubbles, cracks, and holes before welding the piece of metal. Welders are needed to perform tasks that require very minimal flaws. To be able to perform all these tasks, you need to be able to pay close attention to details.
Furthermore, welders usually work in rather dangerous environments that can expose them to accidents and injuries. For this reason, they should be able to always keep their entire workspace safe and clean at all times. This also requires attention to detail for you to be able to notice potentially dangerous materials within your working area. Attention to details helps welders to:
- Identify joints
- Follow directions
- Adhere to all safety standards
- Detect changes taking place in Molten Metal flows
- Cut metal objects with precision according to the dimensions
- Trim metal objects accurately
- Maintain their work areas
- Inspect materials and metal parts
Even if you are planning to start your own welding company, you need to be able to pay close attention to the details.
- Administrative skills
Of course, welding is basically a physical job. However, it does have administrative tasks as well. As a welder, you need to have great organization skills and be able to document your work neatly. Welders should also know how to maintain inventory and to order more supplies if need be. You should also know how to manage and plan projects. Planning and managing projects could involve working with a team or alone. Without possessing good administrative skills, you might not be able to work independently. In other words, you will be the kind of welder who must work under close supervision. You can only work effectively with a team, either as a team member or team leader if you possess good administrative skills because you will b able to communicate well and collaborate with others.
With great administrative skills, you will also be able to manage your time properly. This will help you prioritize tasks and meet deadlines.
- Tools and Technology
The best welders have the ability to clamp together the broken metal pieces and melt them appropriately before applying solder along the adjoining edges of the pieces. As a welder, you should also know how to examine the quality of components and welds, use grinders, and repair leaks. You won’t be able to carry out repair tasks if you don’t know how to use various tools such as grinders. Moreover, you should also have the ability to effectively set up machine tools and fixtures and also test coils to find out if there are any air leaks.
Besides, you should also be able to effectively use soldering irons, control and lifting devices, hand tools, and butt and fillet weld gauges.
We live in a world where technology is ever evolving. For this reason, it is important that a welder learns and keep up with the latest technology that is needed in the welding industry. You should also be ready, willing, and able to keep on learning as the technology evolves.