Welder
Craft & Food Trades

Welders use intense heat to join pieces of metal together. They are responsible for preparing the metal and looking after the tools that they use.

Work Activities

Welders use intense heat to join pieces of metal together. The heat melts the metal to form a liquid pool, which then solidifies as a tight join.

As a Welder, you may have to set up the pieces to be welded on a bench, workshop floor or maybe at a construction site. These may be held in position by jigs, or pre-positioned and tack welded by a plater, pipefitter or sheet metal worker.

You could be using manual or mechanised techniques. Usually you'll use an electric arc (the bright, hot area between the electrode tip and the metal) or a gas flame to melt the metal in the joint. In manufacturing and production, electrical resistance, high energy beams (such as electron beams and lasers) or friction may be used.

You will need to carefully follow technical drawings or instructions.

Safety is vital to welding, so inspectors may check completed welds by using X-ray, ultrasonic or dye-testing techniques. If they discover cracks or other flaws, you will have to do the job again!

Personal Qualities and Skills

Pay And Opportunities

PayTypical employers of welders are firms in manufacturing or construction concerned with metal fabrication, in heavy engineering and related industries such as shipbuilding/repair and engineering construction.

Qualifications

To get onto an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you'll usually need five GCSEs at grade C or above, possibly including English and Maths.

The usual entry requirements for the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) Advanced Level Apprenticeship are GCSEs at grade C or above, in Maths, English and Science or a technical subject.

However, the selection process may include aptitude tests, and more emphasis may be placed on the results of these than on your academic achievement.

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