Qualified welders have the practical, technical, and analytical skills to join the manufacturing, construction, automotive, aerospace industry, and many other business sectors seeking effective fabrication processes. Apart from manual dexterity, physical strength, attention to detail, familiarity with a wide variety of metal properties, and blueprint reading, certain welding skills can be cultivated through efficient vocational training. Such a labor-intensive profession also expects workers to interpret and apply core security policies and comply with high safety standards.
A successful career in welding does not only depend on physical demand and a strong work ethic. Automation has become a prevalent trend in manufacturing facilities, creating even more uncertainty for the future of welding and the unique set of skills workers should bring to the table to provide more value than robust machinery. Fortunately, many specialized welding skills can outperform an automated machine that has become a frightening reality for many already employed workers and welders seeking to advance their careers.
Related: What Do You Need To Have Welded?
If you’re looking to upgrade your craft, then investing time and energy into learning a specialized welding technique will increase your prospects of getting on top of the resume stack and beating your competition. The following welding procedures are in high demand by the most successful welding employers:
Stainless Steel Welding
Stainless steel’s unprecedented popularity in various fabrication applications across many industries is attributed to its unique toughness and corrosion resistance. The inherent power of stainless steel makes it a rather complex material to weld, requiring great attention to detail, hand-eye coordination, and precise assessment of characteristics, cost, and productivity. As a welder seeking to expand your capabilities, taking up stainless steel welding can increase your competitiveness.
Stainless steel is also a great heat insulator. As a stainless steel welder, knowing how to control the distribution of heat can be a highly coveted skill from clients seeking to reduce burn-through and oxidation. Moreover, to avoid costly rework, you should be able to prevent steel discoloration that makes it more prone to corrosion.
There are various stainless steel welding skills one career-minded welder can pursue. Shielded metal arc welding is a great entry point for those interested in maintenance and repair work. This profession does not require shielding gas but only a SMAW-capable power source and a stainless steel electrode. For small businesses looking to keep costs relatively low, this is considered a cost-effective process. Another welding process to consider learning is gas metal arc and flux-colored arc welding, which has become widely accessible due to advancements in technology. Most fabricators perform GMAW using a solid wire and an argon-based shielding gas blend to diminish spatter. FCAW (Flux-cored arc welding) has higher production costs but is a more effective welding method overall. The welding process requiring the highest skill and dexterity is gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), but aesthetics and product appearance surpass the results of all other methods. When choosing the right welding process for your training and practice, consider the productivity and cost for greater chances of success.
Carbon Steel Welding
Even though carbon steel is a metal that rusts easily, it is still widely used in industrial settings. Considered one of the easiest metals to weld, carbon steel welding can be a rewarding career path for those seeking to venture into the welding industry at a faster pace. When starting out in carbon steel welding, it’s critical to understand the distinction between stainless steel and how each metal works. Depending on the exact level of carbon, it is also important to wear protective equipment to avoid potential injuries. Furthermore, knowing the best joining methods, being able to secure fixtures, and acknowledging the proper level of inert shielding gas are all key quality skills you can leverage to confirm your worth as an innovative welder.
Aluminum welding requires great operational knowledge of hand and power tools and an exceptional understanding of aluminum characteristics and layouts. Aluminum alloys have lower melting points, which can cause frequent burn-throughs, so choosing the proper machine can prevent the catastrophic effects of overheating.
To create a quality weld, a welder must select a welding wire or rod that is similar to the workpieces. The individual workpieces must be clean before the process begins because oxide can reduce the overall strength of the weld. In order to get the best employment opportunities, aluminum welders must gain experience primarily in the construction industry. Aluminum welders are expected to have increased job prospects due to their specialization benign in high demand.
TIG welding (Tungsten Inert Gas welding) is critical when joining welding joints that require more precision. For this method to be successful, argon gas is used, mixed with hydrogen, nitrogen, and helium to prevent oxidation. This process is typically used for welding stainless steel, but occasionally, it can be used for carbon steel as well. For both materials, a direct current electrode negative polarity is required (DCEN). TIG welding is one of the most common welding methods. Being highly knowledgeable of such a procedure will take you one step closer to a remarkable welding career and excellent financial stability.
Gas metal arc welding (MIG) can be applied on stainless steel and carbon steel, requiring the same electrical polarity. Shielding gas compositions typically differ for stainless steel and carbon steel. Lower gas levels are allowed for stainless steel. Furthermore, it’s easier to weld the hard-to-reach corners of more intricate carbon steel and stainless steel projects with MIG welding.
The skills mentioned above, coupled with the ability to meet deadlines and the knowledge to maintain and repair heavy-duty machinery, can help you stand out to future employers.