Welders cut, shape and join sections of metal plate and pipes in a wide range of industries. These include construction and engineering, transport, aerospace, and offshore oil and gas. They also carry out repairs on manufacturing equipment and machinery.
If you want to put your practical skills to good use and can work accurately, this could be an ideal career for you.
In this job you will need to understand technical plans and have good maths skills for working out measurements.
You may be able to get into welding through an Apprenticeship. Another option would be to take a welding course at college before applying for a job as a trainee welder.
As a welder, you would:
• select and lay out materials to be cut or joined
• follow engineering instructions and drawings
• use the most suitable welding method for the job
• inspect and test cuts and joins, using precision measuring instruments, such as a micrometer
• operate semi-automatic spot-welding equipment (often found on high volume production lines like car manufacturing).
As well as working with metals and alloys, you may also cut and join composite materials, such as plastics, using specialist welding methods.
Common types of welding include oxyacetylene, MIG (metal inert gas), MMA (manual metal arc), TIG (tungsten inert gas), laser and ultrasonic.
Welding knowledge and skills can be used in many industries. Examples include civil engineering, engineering construction, agricultural engineering, power, shipbuilding and repair, renewable energy, and oil and gas. You may also have the opportunity to work abroad on overseas construction projects.
Your promotion options include becoming a foreman/forewoman and shift supervisor, or fabrication workshop manager. With experience, you may have the option to work in welding inspection, quality control and non-destructive testing.
A common way into this career is through an Apprenticeship in engineering. To get on to a scheme in subjects like maths, engineering, ICT, English or science. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers. To find out more, visit the Apprenticeships website.
Another option is to take a welding qualification, which would give you some of the skills needed for the job. Relevant courses include:
For more general information about engineering as a career, see the Tomorrow's Engineers website.
• Tomorrow's Engineers
Training and development
Most of your training would be work-based and cover areas such as reading technical drawings, using the right tools and materials for the job, and training in the welding methods relevant to the industry you are working in. You could study for one of several work-based qualifications, such as:
• Diploma in Fabrication and Welding Engineering
• Diploma in Performing Engineering Operations
• Diploma in Engineering Technology
• Diploma in High Integrity Welding.
Depending on your level of training and experience, you would be classed as a semi-skilled or skilled welder.
Starting salaries can be between Rs 16,000 and Rs 22,000 a month. With experience, this can rise to between Rs 30,000 and Rs 43,000. Experienced specialist welders can earn up to Rs 50,000 or more a month.
Shiftwork and overtime may increase these amounts. Offshore welding jobs on rigs and power installations also tend to pay higher wages on average.