A welder is a trained professional that melds various types of metal together for construction or other purposes. Often welders work in factories, manufacturing plants, production lines or even automobile or steel working plants. Welders can work on large projects or very small detailed projects and may have formal education through vocational training programs or may have completed their training through apprenticeship programs or on the job training.
Welders may work with a variety of types of equipment including torches, hand held plasma cutting machines and even computer systems that are programmed to complete specific designs through plasma cutting systems. Materials that can be welding include steel, brass, aluminum and virtually all other types of metals. Each different type of materials requires specific welding styles and processes, and it is up to the professional welder to choose the methods, machine or tools, as well as the correct welding supplies to complete the job. Incorrect choices lead to welds that do not hold and potential safety hazards as well as missed deadlines with regards to job completion.
Welders often work outside even in very cold and wet conditions. Some welders are specially trained to weld under water on sea or ocean based drilling rigs. Welders are also used in gas pipe construction, shipbuilding, military and aerospace construction and vehicle manufacturing. Welders usually work as part of a production crew but largely work independently reporting back to a foremen or crew supervisor when required.
Common work activities include:
- Selecting tools, equipment and supplies needed for the welding job they have been assigned to.
- Completing welding as required following proper practices and appropriate welding procedures.
- Using safety equipment for welding in various places as required.
- Working as part of the welding crew or team to complete the project within the timeline indicated by the foreman or project team leader.
- Attending trainings and classes to keep up to date on the latest welding technology including the use of computers in plasma welding.