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Welder Profile

Introduction

This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Welder. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Welder
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Welder Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

This website features a volume of Job vacancies advertised on behalf of a number of different employers and specialist recruiters that post vacancies on a regular basis so you can start your search for work right here:-

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We feature many Welder Jobs live online at this site and these posts are updated daily. Please book mark this page and return here on a regular basis or register with our site for Jobs by email so that you don't miss out on the latest work opportunities.

Working Duties Expected

Welders join sections or plates of metal together by applying intense heat. Welding is an important skill and is used in many industries such as building, shipbuilding, engineering, transport, vehicle manufacture and maintenance, and offshore oil and gas platforms.

Basic welding has become a part of other jobs such as plater or cutter. Welders become proficient in one or more methods of welding. These include:

  • oxyacetylene welding - basic hand welding using a mixture of oxygen and acetylene
  • arc welding - basic hand welding using electric arc equipment and a welding rod
  • inert gas welding - using nitrogen or carbon dioxide. This is very skilled and uses an inert gas to shield the welding process and protect the strength of the metals being joined.

Welders would not be expected to be proficient in every type of weld as different methods suit different industries or companies. Some techniques are mechanised, as on a car assembly line where robots do the welding and the machine operator is not a skilled welder.

Hours and Environment

Welders normally work a 37 to 39-hour basic week, which may include shifts working unsocial hours. Additional hours may be required to meet deadlines.

Welders usually work in factory workshops, but also may have to work in cramped conditions, for example in the bottom of a ships hull. They might also work outdoors welding sections of a pipeline or chemical plant.

Welding is potentially dangerous, therefore welders wear protective clothing including head-shield, overalls, apron, gloves, and sometimes ear protectors and hard hats. In some situations they might need to use specialist safety equipment for example breathing apparatus.

Skills and Interests

To be a welder you should have:

  • good hand-to-eye co-ordination and high standards of accuracy
  • the ability to work without direct supervision
  • the ability to co-operate as part of a team
  • a good level of general fitness
  • mathematical ability, computer skills and knowledge of technical drawings
  • good eyesight, colour vision and hearing.

Entry

Most people enter welding from completing an apprenticeship. There are no set entry requirements however four GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) or equivalent including maths, English and a science are often required. Applicants without the required entry grades, who have an enthusiasm for working in the construction industry, and practical aptitude, may also be considered.

For details of qualification equivalents see:

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority

Training

Most training is work based and will cover interpreting drawings and selecting materials and hand tools, in addition to transferable skills such as working with others and information technology. Involving three years on-the-job training working alongside experienced welders, the resulting qualification is an NVQ/SVQ in Engineering Production at Level 3.

An alternate route may be to do a course at an FE college leading to a City & Guilds, BTEC/SQA, or vocational A level/GSVQ Level III, covering subjects such as sheet metal working and fabrication skills, or mechanical and manufacturing engineering.

Craft training as a welder is usually on the job, combined with part-time study at a college or, in the case of the larger employers, in company training centres.

Part-time courses are run at colleges and lead to a recognised Welder Approval Certificate. They last two to ten weeks depending on the course coverage.

Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (MAPPs) may be available for people aged 16-24.
For details see: MAPPs (England); Skillseekers MAPPs (Scotland); National Traineeships MAPPs (Wales); and MAPPs (Northern Ireland).

Opportunities

Skilled welders are important in heavy engineering. However, the decline in manufacturing, construction and shipbuilding generally means that fewer welders are needed. In light engineering there is reduced demand for welders due to the increase in plastics and the shaping of metal sheet by giant presses.

In companies employing teams of welders, promotion may be possible to foreman/woman and supervisor, or to fabrication shop manager. Some welders move into inspection and non-destructive testing. Further training is possible to acquire European qualifications such as European Welding Practitioner, Specialist and Technologist.

There are opportunities to work in a wide range of industries such as civil engineering, engineering construction, agricultural engineering, shipbuilding, vehicle manufacture and repair, as well as the opportunity to work abroad on overseas construction projects.

Annual Income

The annual income section is intended as a guideline only. Salary rates for welders can vary widely depending on the responsibilities, overtime rates and shift allowances.

Income starts at around £12,000 for trainees or apprentices.
A newly-qualified welder may earn £18,000.
Skilled, specialist welders can earn up to £40,000.

Further information

SEMTA (Science Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance) *
14 Upton Road
Watford
Hertfordshire
WD18 0JT
Tel: 0808 100 3682
www.semta.org.uk

The Welding Institute
Granta Park
Great Abington
Cambridge
CB1 6AL.
Tel: 01223 891162
www.twi.co.uk

Other Useful Welder Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Welder job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Welder Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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