What’s a welder?

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Welding is the process of joining materials, traditionally metals, and is an ancient craft. Welders work in heavy and light industry, construction, and as freelancers. Training can be obtained through vocational schools or on-the-job apprenticeships. Welders must be strong, skilled, and careful, and may specialize in different types of welding.

A welder is someone who welds for a living; welding is a craft where pieces of material are joined together. Classically, welding was done in metals, but modern welders also work with plastics. The term “welder” is also used to describe the equipment used in the welding process; some people use the term “weldor” to talk about someone who welds so the distinction is clear.

Welding is an ancient craft. People have been working with metals for thousands of years, and metalworking is such an important part of human life that archaeologists even use various metalworking to describe such eras in human history as the Bronze and Iron Ages. Classically, welding was accomplished with the use of heat to melt metals before joining them together; Modern welding includes an assortment of other techniques for joining material, including electricity in arc welding and ultrasonics, which is used to join many plastics.

Many welders work in heavy industry, as welding is a crucial stage in building things like cars, trains, and ships, along with industrial equipment. Welders may also work in lighter industry or as freelance contractors repairing various metal objects. The construction industry also employs a lot of welders, as many buildings use heavy metal structures to support themselves and this structure needs to be assembled and fixed by welders.

There are two basic ways to train to become a welder. Some welders attend vocational schools that offer weeks to years of training for students, depending on how much they want to specialize. Other apprentices, receiving on-the-job training from experienced welders. One benefit of vocational school is that welders can learn cutting-edge techniques that may not yet have been perfected in the field, although the welders they apprentice get paid as they learn, which can be an important consideration for some aspiring welders.

To become a welder, someone must be reasonably strong, especially in heavy industry, because they will be working with heavy materials. It also helps to be extremely careful and skilled, as welders sometimes need to think fast and work with very hot and dangerous materials. Having a passion and interest in metals isn’t a requirement, but it’s certainly helpful, and knowing your field of interest before training can be helpful. For example, a welder might be interested in working in a shipyard or a company that works with plastics, and these two types of welding require very different skills.

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