Are you interested in becoming a welder and want to know if pipe welding is a good career? There are many reasons to become a pipe welder, but before we look at the benefits of a pipe welding career, let’s refresh our memory of what pipe welding is and what a pipe welder does.
What Is Pipe Welding?
Pipe welding involves heating and connecting metal pipes together. You may bend, alter or repair these metal pipes and fittings. Pipelines are used to move substances like oil from an oil rig to the refinery. Many pipelines are managed by companies that supply or remove water, sewing, natural gas as well as oil.
A pipe weld is composed of different weld passes, each with its own purpose, application and variables that only a professional pipe welder can understand. These weld passes are the root weld pass, hot weld pass, filler weld pass and cover weld pass. The number of passes depends on the pipe thickness and bevel preparation.
What Does a Pipe Welder Do?
A pipe welder is responsible for constructing, maintaining, repairing and removing piping for pipelines. Pipe welders use a variety of arc welding techniques including TIG, MIG, FCAW and SMAW.
Arc welding uses electrical currents to create heat and bond pipes together. The welding technique used for a project is determined by the types of piping joined and the conditions under which the welding is to take place.
- MIG (metal inert gas) or GMAW (gas metal arc welding): Process where a continuous solid wire electrode is fed through a welding gun into the weld pool, joining the two pipes together.
- TIG (tungsten inert gas) or GTAW (gas tungsten arc welding): Long welding rods are slowly fed into a weld pool.
- FCAW (flux-cored arc welding): Process using a continuous wire fed electrode, a constant-voltage welding power supply and welding equipment (similar to MIG welding).
- SMAW (shielded metal arc welding or “stick welding”): Process where a metal rod held in an electrode holder is used to form the weld. Electricity passes through the electrode rod and touches the base metal.
Is Pipe Welding a Good Career?
Becoming a pipe welder can be a good career for several reasons. They include:
There is demand for pipe welders. The aging infrastructure and increased government funding to fix this infrastructure means additional welders are in demand to fill these welding roles.
Some aspiring welders may be concerned that robots are going to take over the welding industry. Although robots can weld, they can usually only do one type of weld at a time. Only human welders can test a pipe, prepare the pipe, and figure out which welding technique will be best to manage the pipeline. Further, many of the jobs for pipe welding are on site and not easily accessible for robots. For now, it is a human role.
Pipe welders can be employed in many industries, such as oil and gas, manufacturing or construction. There are also specialized areas of welding that may be available for those who have obtained the required training and certifications.
How to Become a Pipe Welder
To start, aspiring pipe welders might consider technical welding training. MIAT College of Technology’s Welding Specialist program teaches the fundamentals needed to get started in the industry.1 We offer hands-on workshops that mirror real-life scenarios found in the field. Our instructors help guide students through the curriculum and support them during the educational process.
Our Welding Specialist program is designed to be completed in in as little as nine months. Our labs simulate on-the-job environments using the same equipment that professional welders use. Instructors guide you through learning the fundamentals, which include:
- Various tools, machinery and equipment
- Arc welding techniques
- Welding drawing, symbols and metal characteristics
- Pipe welding
- Fitting and fabrication
If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a welder, consider enrolling in our Welding Specialist program.1 We prepare our students for the industry using a blended format of classroom theory and hands-on training. If you have the passion for welding and nine months to complete our welding program, MIAT College of Technology can help prepare you for a career as a pipe welder.
Want to Learn More?
Ready to learn more about the welding programs at MIAT? The welding program from MIAT College of Technology provides the hands-on training, practical experience and industry support it takes to pursue a welding career in Michigan.
As a graduate of MIAT College of Technology’s welding certificate training program, you can be prepared for an entry-level career in a variety of settings including manufacturing, construction or infrastructure.
To learn more about the Welding Specialist program and to explore if MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page. Contact us if you are interested in becoming a wind turbine technician today.
1MIAT is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
2For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit www.miat.edu/disclosures.