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When most people think about welding, they probably picture someone wearing protective gear and using different types of equipment to join pieces of metal together. They probably also picture sparks flying everywhere. While this scene can be true of basic welding, there is a lot more to welding than that. Some consider welding an art form, while others consider it a form of technology.
It's true that welding can be simply thought of as fusing metal together and that with basic equipment and know-how, people can do it themselves. However, it can get much more complicated when one thinks about the different kinds of welding techniques, the training involved, and the hazards that accompany the welding industry.
There are various types of welding, including arc welding, laser welding, underwater welding, and others, and many people choose to make a career out of them. Due to apprenticeships becoming a thing of the past, pursuing a welding career usually requires appropriate training, schooling, and certifications.
Many technical schools offer associate degrees in welding, but before one begins a job as a welder, they must go through welder qualification tests. The tests and certifications are based on what type of welding the welders will be doing along with what types of materials, joint types, and positions they will be welding. There is not one welding certificate that covers all types of welding. Welding codes, procedures, and specifications in the United States are put in place by organizations such as the American Welding Society, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the American Petroleum Institute.
Welders are in high demand and can work in a variety of industries, including agriculture, construction, manufacturing, metal fabrication, and ship-building. Welders who have experience and training in modern welding techniques such as laser technology will most likely have a better chance at finding a job. This type of welding involves using a laser beam to join metals together.
Besides laser welding, other advanced kinds of welding include hybrid welding, which uses both laser and plasma, and tandem or twin arc welding. Welding has made significant advances through the years, but the basic premise of fusing different pieces of metal together has remained the same. Whether you want to weld for the fun of it to create your own art, you desire the ability to do repairs on your own, or you want to make a career out of it, there are plenty of resources available to help you learn all about welding.