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What does a day look like for a welder?

Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of the role ?

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Bhavna’s Answer

A typical day for a welder may involve setting up welding equipment according to the specifications of a given job, preparing the metals to be welded, selecting the type of welding technique needed and welding the metals together. After completing the welding process, welders carefully check their work to make sure that the connection meets industry standards and provides the necessary strength. Depending on the industry, a welder may also be expected to read and interpret blueprints, cut and shape metal materials, use measuring and layout tools, operate grinders and various other hand and power tools, and clean, prepare and weatherproof welded areas.
Thank you comment icon Thanks, can't wait to put this advice into action! Kris
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Jax’s Answer

Good morning Kris!

While I am qualified to weld in my profession, I'm not a welder by trade but I work alongside them on a daily basis.

Welding can be physically demanding, and a lot of your training involves a mix of science and muscle memory!

Assessing the job comes first, making sure the material is clean of rust, primers, paints, oils, grim, etc. Identifying what kind of metal it is and prepping the surfaces you'll be welding could involve referring to material lists then use of air tools to wire brush or sand the areas clean.

Welding requires electricity, so having proper grounding cables and clean Welding areas ensures a safe flow of energy and maximizes the amount of fusion that takes place in the Welding process. So with the surfaces clean and ready, knowing the size of the weld, how many paces it'll take, and what kind of weld become the next step.

So the job is assessed, materials ready, what kind of welds are required, then comes setting up your equipment. This can vary drastically depending on the material being welded on, the locate of the job, and what's available for an inverter. Stick Welding requires electricity and nothing else so it's versatile but takes a fair bit of practice to learn and maintain. MIG and Pulse Welding requires a gas called Argon to be mixed with Oxygen to form a shielding gas in the Welding process. MIG/Pulse Welding is far more forgivable and easier to learn than Stick, as you'll be using a special feeder (it's like a suitcase filled with a spool of varies kinds of wires for various metals, it 'feeds' the weld with metal).

Equipment is ready, now it's PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Welding has several hazards, with the top concerns being Heat/Fire, Electricity, and Ultraviolet Light. The first two are obvious, but the third is the subtle one that can damage your eyes in seconds and cause flash burns (imagine a sunburn but a few magnitudes painful) to occur when exposed to the UV light that's released by the Welding process. Long sleeves and long pants protects from sparks or spatter, leather gloves rated for heat and electricity, leather boots with steel toes, fire-rated jackets/aprons/leathers, and a welding hood with various levels of shades to protect your eyes.

There are auto-darkening lenses out there that let you see clearly up until you arc, then darkens itself instantly to save your retinas from burning. Protecting your skin and eyes from UV is important, as its something many ignore most and suffer from the side affects more often than being burned or shocked.

At this point, you're wondering if any work gets done after all these steps just to get ready! The welding process itself can come in many forms, may it be something you do with your hands, a track machine, robotic, underwater, and more. I can't speak on every process but I can assure you that practice and repetition builds the skills to maintain proper welding practices for quality assurance. Sometimes you're in an open space with very few difficulties and hazards, and other times you're in tight spaces where ventilation is required to protect you from the Argon and any kind of smoke.

So, when the welding is done then comes inspection and clean up/pick up work. Making sure your equipment is programmed properly with the write amperage, wire, weld size, wire speed to name a few variables is very important in production of the product. Skilled welders are a life long pursuit, it's a use-it-or-lose-it kind of thing. I have a lot of respect for that trade, it's a lot of work with a high demand in 'first time' quality (meaning getting the job done right the first try to save time/money/material).

I hope this helps!
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Michael’s Answer

A day for a welder typically involves preparing and setting up equipment, reading and interpreting blueprints and specifications, selecting and positioning materials to be welded, and using various welding techniques to join metal parts together. They may also inspect and test completed welds to ensure they meet quality standards. The work environment can vary depending on the type of welding being performed, with some welders working in a shop or factory setting and others working in outdoor or industrial environments. The work schedule may also vary, with some welders working regular business hours and others working evenings, weekends, or shifts.
Thank you comment icon I'm excited to put your great advice to good use! Kris
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Mack’s Answer

Hey Kris,

I have no first hand experience in welding but I have seen a short video that might give some idea. I'm sure there are other videos on the Internet.

https://www.scetv.org/stories/2019/psa-welding

Good luck, looks like an enjoyable career and I understand it can be lucrative.

Mack Bailey
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