How to Become a Professional Welder?

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There are probably not many professions in this world that require more skill than that of a welder.

Welding requires a certain professional level of skill and experience in order for you to make a career out of it.

Today we take a look at what all is involved in becoming a welder. So let us dive right in and learn about how to become a welder.

Who can become a welder?

Basically, anyone can become a welder. Of course, to be a good welder you need to have good training but also talent for welding. a welder with the right training.

Through rigorous training and a certification program, you can become a professional welder. All you need is to be able to work effectively with your hands, a willingness to work and learn, and the funds to purchase the equipment you will need to carry out your welding operations.

Check out the following video to get hands on experience from a professional welder who works with the US Navy.

In some places, many local welder’s unions also take in people who want to become a welder and they run special apprenticeship programs for the same. However, you will still need to pay for your equipment after getting into this type of apprenticeship program.

There are basically six major steps to becoming a welder.

Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Professional Welder

Step 1) Determine the Right Welding Discipline

There are many different types of welding disciplines you can choose from if you want to become a welder. These include MIG welding, TIG welding, and Stick welding.

What kind of welder would you like to be?
Choose your welding discipline – What kind of Welder would you like to be?

While there are more disciplines (e.g. underwater welding), these three are the most commonly taught welding disciplines in certification courses. You need to pick the discipline that appeals to your interest the most.

If you are targeting a career as a welder, then you may need to specialize in a particular discipline in order to get a specific job.

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Step 2) Know about your Profession

Step 2 involves making sure you know everything you need to know about your future profession. An apprenticeship is a good way to start and to get a feeling about how welding will be.

Apprentice at machine
Consider an apprenticeship to learn more about your future profession.

Welding is a very demanding profession and it works on the foundation of specific safety equipment like welding helmets that you have to be wearing at all times when you are working in order to protect yourself.

You need to familiarize yourself with what a typical day of work for a welder looks like and make sure that that is something you would be okay with and you would enjoy doing.

Some people often also prefer to discuss with their doctors to find out if they might be having any underlying medical condition that may stop them from performing any welding work.

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Step 3) Gain Experience

Welding is all about being skill-based. In fact, it is a skill-based profession.

While anybody can easily pick up a welder and start working, but the difference lies in being a professional welder and not just an average welder. You need the experience to become a professional welder and for this, you need to either enroll at a local community college or join a certification center.

Gain experience through hands-on training
Gain experience through hands-on training.

This will also allow you to understand whether welding is something you would like to do to earn a living for the rest of your life. The classes are a wonderful way of understanding whether you would continue to be interested in welding to devote the time it needs to get certified.

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Step 4) Get required Certifications

In any country, you need to have some form of certification before you can operate welding equipment. While not every welding job requires you to be certified, there are of course many benefits to becoming a certified welder and it opens up more job opportunities for you as well.

Learn the Welding Basics
Learn the Welding Basics in school and through certificates.

Some cities or towns may also require you to pass a certain skills test in order to become a licensed welder in that geographic area. Getting additional certifications in a particular welding discipline will help you begin your career.

If you are in the United States, then the very least you should do is to obtain a certification from the American Welding Society, which would help you kick start your career.

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Step 5) Keep in touch with the Local Welder’s Union

Welding is a skill that is typically included in the local Ironworker’s union in almost every community. There are many types of local unions that represent welders and some towns require you to be a union member in order to start working as a welder there.

Prospective Welding Assignments
Consider to join the Welders Union for prospective job assignments.

There are certain unions that are always on the lookout for specific welding tasks and this will help you if you have specialized in a discipline already.

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Step 6) Grow your Skills and Experience

As you start becoming familiar with the chosen welding discipline and find work, it is always a good idea to keep pursuing more skills and to grow and improve your welding technique.

Over a while, you should try to aim for increasing your welding disciplines and adding certifications in other welding disciplines as well. Proving that you have a complete set of techniques as a welder will open up even more opportunities for you, allowing you to truly grow as a welder.

Welding career opportunity
Grow your skills and experience to find lucrative jobs.

Remember that welders who have earned higher and more certifications along with their years of experience are also more likely to earn more and get higher paying jobs.

Welders hold the ability to create, design, and build anything and everything. Becoming a welder will open up a wide career path for you and you can use your knowledge and skill to bond various metals together. Welders are some of the most skilled tradesmen and have access to many employment opportunities.

How long does it take to become a professional welder?

Most welders, in fact, enter as an apprentice and then gradually with years of practice start honing their talent, becoming an ace welder. However, this does not happen overnight and there are many steps and a lot of hard work involved in becoming a welder.

However, I’d recommend you go to a welding school and learn the basics first. You need to learn the theory, know how to read a blueprint and get some practical training. Therefore, you should take around 6-8 months into account.

Of course, you will need at least two or three years of practical training to be chosen for some better earning jobs. Additional certifications and renewal of certifications are something you need also to consider.

How to become a certified welder?

In order to become a certified welder you need to practice a lot and take your exam tests. For example, certifications are offered by the American Welding Society AWS.

How much do Welders Earn?

Similar to any other job, salaries can range from low to high. But for welders I can say, once you become an experienced welder, you will easily be able to earn over $50,000 in a year. You can read more about welders’ salaries here.

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