Welders and metal cutters are in high demand with the increased growth of infrastructure, construction and aerospace. A certification preparing you for an entry-level career in welding technology can be obtained from a trade school in less than a year.
With our 9-month welding technology program, you will learn a variety of different arc welding techniques including SMAW welding, MIG-GMAW welding, and TIG-GTAW welding.
What Do Welders & Metal Cutters Do?
Welders and metal cutters use hand-held or remotely controlled equipment to join or cut metal parts. Among their many responsibilities, they fill holes, indentations, or seams in metal products, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Welders and metal cutters typically perform the following.
- Study blueprints, sketches, or specifications
- Calculate the dimensions of parts to be welded or cut
- Inspect structures or materials to be welded or cut
- Ignite torches or start power supplies
- Monitor the welding process to avoid overheating
- Maintain welding equipment and machinery
How Does Welding Work?
Welding is the most common way of permanently joining metal parts. In this process, heat is applied to metal pieces, melting and fusing them to form a permanent bond. The most common type of welding is arc welding. Depending on the materials being welded, arc welding can be broken down into SMAW welding, MIG-GMAW welding or TIG-GTAW welding.
Arc Welding – Arc welding uses electrical currents to create heat and bond metals together. The type of weld is usually determined by the types of metals being joined and the conditions under which the welding is to take place.
- SMAW (Shield Metal Arc Welding) – an arc welding process that uses an electrode and electric current to join metals. Commonly used to weld iron and steel.
- MIG-GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding) – an arc welding process where a continuous solid wire electrode is fed through a welding gun into the weld pool, joining the two base materials together.
- TIG-GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding) – an arc welding process that uses long welding rods and slowly feeds them into the weld pool. Commonly used for thin gauge materials.
How Does Metal Cutting Work?
Metal cutters use heat to cut and trim metal objects to specific dimensions. They use the heat from an electric arc and a stream of ionized gas called plasma to cut and trim metal objects to specific dimensions.
What Do Pipe Welders Do?
Pipe welders join and repair tubular metallic pipe components to construct buildings, vessels, structures and stand-alone pipelines. Most pipe welders work on oil rigs, pipelines and refineries but they are needed across various industries including shipbuilding, automotive, construction and aerospace.
What is Combo Welding?
Combination welders prepare materials to be welded. They also weld metal components and maintain welding torches and equipment. Combo welders are trained in arc welding including SMAW (Shield Metal Arc Welding) and TIG-GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding).
What is the Job Outlook for Welders & Metal Cutters
The aging infrastructure in the US requires the expertise of welders and metal cutters to help rebuild bridges, highways, and buildings. The demand for welder and metal cutters grows due to the aging of the population and the retiring of the baby boomer generation. With the basic skills of welding very similar across industries, welders and sheet metal fabricators can easily shift from one industry to another without ever changing careers.
What are Important Welding & Metal Cutting Skills?
Are you asking yourself, “What are the most important skills for a welding and metal cutter to learn?” The welding and metal cutting skills that will do the most to help include attention to detail, problem solving capabilities, critical thinking, mathematic skills, the ability to think outside of the box and exceptional communication skills.
Skill #1: Attention to Detail
An important skill for welders and metal cutters is attention to detail. Even the smallest imperfection can lead to structurally compromised materials. While it can take years to master welding and metal cutting, it is still important to be attentive to welding and metal cutting work.
Skill #2: Problem Solving
Welders and metal cutters are often thought of as problem solvers. When there is no other option, welders and metal cutters must come up with solutions to the most difficult problems. The best welders and metal cutters are those who can take in information, come up with a solution, and then execute on that solution.
Skill #3: Critical Thinking
Welding and metal cutting are also about analysis and planning. Without proper diagnosis of the challenges and planning to get the job done in a timely manner, the project can become too time consuming. To prevent this, critical thinking skills must be implemented from the moment a new welding or metal cutting project starts.
Skill #4: Mathematical Skills
Welding and metal cutting involves mathematics. Welders and metal cutters must ensure that metal is connected at precisely the correct angle. It is imperative to be strong at math to ensure that no minor mistakes are made when fabricating these precise materials. Students can set themselves up for success by gaining a foundation in math with the physical requirements of being a welder or metal cutter.
Skill #5: Think Outside of the Box
The best welders and metal cutters have the ability to create something that has never existed before. What may seem like an incredible obstacle to overcome, can be solved with the ability to think outside of the box. Welders and metal cutters are well known for creating one of a kind items that would not otherwise be possible if it weren’t for their unique skills.
Skill #6: Communication
The most important skill for welders and metal cutters is proper communication. They are part of a much larger team that are working on construction projects. Communication involves not only oral communication but written communication. Welding and metal cutting must be documented to ensure the completion of the larger project at hand. Written communication is also important when corresponding with clients. By effectively communicating with the client, welders and metal cutters can ensure that clients are satisfied and that clients use their services again in the future.
Becoming a welder and/or metal cutter is a rewarding and challenge career. Learning a trade skill will help you start a career that will be in demand for years to come.
Did learning about what a welder and metal cutter does interest you? Ready to learn more about becoming a welder and/or metal cutter? The Welding Programs at MIAT College of Technology provide the hands-on training, practical experience and industry support it takes to pursue a rewarding technical career. Classes are interactive and led by dedicated instructors with years of experience working with welding equipment in a professional setting. You’ll get the one-on-one attention and personal support to pick up new skills quickly and the first-hand technical knowledge to feel confident entering the workforce.
To learn more about the Welding programs and explore if MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page. Contact us if you are interested in becoming a welding technician today.
MIAT College of Technology is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of the students who attended this program visit the following disclosure link.