Requirements for a Career in Welding

A welder is a tradesman specialising in fabricating products by joining or fusing a variety of metal components together. Welders are employed in a myriad of industries which include steel, construction, motor vehicle manufacturing, shipbuilding, aerospace and even creative arts.

The demand for welders in industry is on the rise, so if you’re thinking about pursuing a career as a welder what education and training do you need?

Welder Skills, Education and Training

Education requirements would generally depend on the degree of welding expertise required as part of a job description, which would vary from employer to employer. For some employers, all that may be required is that the welder has a matric certificate and complete a series of employer-based welding tests. However, other employers may require that welders have some form of formal welding certification or even a degree in welding from a recognised technical school, college or institution such as SAIW. 

A welder needs physical strength and a certain amount of skill in order to manage hazardous and heavy welding equipment.

Welders should be quick learners with good hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity as well as be mathematically minded with problem-solving skills coupled with strong communication skills. 

If you want to expand your career options in welding, much would depend on your area of interest. Possible careers include, Welding inspector, welding fabricator, welding supervisor, welding engineer or foreman, welding sales representative and welding educator.

Training as a welder can range from a few weeks of study (skills programs) and on-the-job training for low skilled positions to a few years of combined study and job training in the art of heating, joining and shaping metals for highly skilled jobs.

Gaining welding experience and techniques through a welding apprenticeship with a company or through on-the-job training is a great asset for any welder, as work opportunities are greater for those with more expertise.

Being educated in the latest technologies is essential and methods and techniques often taught in formalised welding learnership programs include soldering, brazing, arc welding, casting and bronzing. Students may also be required to take classes in advanced mathematics, physical sciences, civil and mechanical technologies, metallurgy, blueprint reading, pipe layout, welding symbols and welding practicum. Graduates would also be required to write a Trade Test before practising as a qualified welder. 

A practical internship, under the supervision of an experienced artisan for a specific period of time, would entail students practising such skills as shielded metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, gas metal arc welding and oxyacetylene welding and cutting.

Steelmor is a leading stockist and manufacturer of stainless steel products in South Africa. We offer a full range of welding and fabrication services and would welcome the opportunity to chat with you about your unique requirements. Give us a call today on 011 747 5700

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