Posted on: 2 August 2016
Metal welding is a specialized skill that requires education and practice. If you would like to become a metal welder, you can enroll in many public and private schools to learn the concepts, become proficient in the practices, and obtain certification. Here are some things to consider if you would like to become a welder:
Welding Courses - There are several types of welding courses offered in many 2-year and 4-year colleges as well as technical trade schools. Some of the welding courses that are commonly offered include the following:
- Oxyacetylene Welding - This type of welding uses a torch to heat two pieces of metal to a temperature that is just under their melting point. Once the metal is heated, the welder adds a soldering wire that melts at a lower temperature. The soldering wire instantly sinks into the core of the two pieces of metal and joins them together.
- MIG (Metal Inert Gas) Welding - This type of welding employs a soldering gun that spreads argon and carbon dioxide gasses over the metal to protect it from contaminants in the atmosphere and facilitate joining. MIG welding is quick to learn and is often used to bond straight pieces of metal together.
- TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) Welding - This type of welding uses a tungsten electrode to join metals together. TIG welding spreads a layer of argon or helium gas over the metals being joined. TIG welding is used to bond different shaped pieces of metal together.
Welding Equipment - You will need special protective clothing and equipment when you weld metals. Check with the school of your choice to see what equipment is provided and what equipment you must own and bring to class. The following equipment is needed to study welding:
- Helmet - A welding helmet with UV-filtering faceplates is needed when welding metals. The faceplates cover the entire face and only completely darken when in the presence of the bright light generated when welding.
- Apron - A leather apron that covers your torso and thighs is needed to protect your body from the intense heat and flames of welding. This apron ties at the neck and waist and often has a large central pocket to facilitate carrying tools and welding supplies.
- Gloves and Arm Protection - Leather gloves that open and close around the wrists are needed when welding metals. A leather jacket or arm sleeves are also needed. These garments will protect your hands and arms from sparks and pieces of molten metal that are generated when welding.
Welding Certification - Look for a college or trade school with welding courses that will give you the knowledge and skills for becoming a certified welder or welding inspector. Certification is obtained by completing an application and taking examinations from the American Welding Society. Many colleges and trade schools will help you apply for your certificate and provide proof of the courses you have taken.
Once you have completed your welding courses and qualified for certification, look for an apprenticeship job that will allow you to practice your new skills and widen your knowledge and experience. With proper instruction and equipment, you will be able to tackle difficult jobs with complete confidence and be on your way to a career as a welder or welding inspector.
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