All you need to know about the hardships of welding jobs

August 5, 2021

Emmanuel

I am a professional welder with over 10 years of experience. Welding is my first love and writing is my second. I enjoy writing on welding topics.

Among all the jobs in the welding industry, welders are the most paid ones. Welders have a great demand in the current market. Almost every industry requires the use of welders for the construction of their machines. Due to this ongoing requirement of welders, they can quickly negotiate for higher wages and better jobs. Among all the tradespeople, welders get the highest pay. But is their job worth such high compensation? The answer is yes. Theoretically, you may find welding to be a simple job, but it’s anything but.

Welders have a tough job, so it justifies their demand for higher wages. Whether you are a professional welder or just a mechanical student, welding will equally interest you. And practical work in labs is more interesting than just going through your notes. But do you know how hard welding is? Applying the techniques and processes of welding practically can be a bit hard. Also, the entire process consists of using heat and electric current, which can be quite dangerous.

Getting to know a bit about welding

If you are a mechanical student, you might be already familiar with the concept of welding. The welding process is now applicable in most of the industries which deal with machines and their parts. For the construction of these machines, we require the use of a welding process. So, to apply various welding processes in industrial use, you should be well aware of it first.

If speaking in simple words, the process of welding involves fusing or joining two materials together. It takes place by the use of heat and pressure and under certain conditions. These materials that we join together are either metals or thermoplastics. We use either just heat and pressure or both of them together to achieve final results. We can achieve similar results by several other techniques instead of relying on just welding. But all those others are not as reliable and cheap as welding.

All these characteristics make welding one of the best techniques of fabrication and fusion. Depending upon the requirements, there are several different techniques of welding. Welders apply these other techniques according to the client requirement, materials being used, etc. All the methods of welding result in slightly different products based on their needs.

Several techniques result in products that are incredibly different from our starting materials. They may sometimes have other properties or altered structures. These changes occur because of the fusion of metal parts with the use of electric current. Due to this reaction, the joints that come out, as a result, are far more robust than other joints. That is the reason why industries prefer welding over any different process of fabrication or fusion.

Based on these speculations, we can classify welding into three basic types:

  • Using wires- If you are a student and have just begun to work in welding labs, this one is the perfect technique for you. It is not only comfortable and less harmful but also fits into your small budget. In this type of process, you use long and thin sheets of wire made out of metals. These wires can be the same as the base metal so that the process goes smoothly. Welders use these wires so that the entire process of welding goes on without any disturbance. By using these wires, welders can produce strong welds.
  • Using sticks- Another method of welding bars, which gives it the name stick welding. Welders use this most often, as it requires less time and materials. These sticks are better known as electrodes, which conduct electric current through the metals and melt them. Due to these sticks, an electric arc develops, which is responsible for melting the metals. Welders use this mostly for small repair jobs, where complex processes are of no use.
  • Using Tungsten- If you are in the automotive industry, this welding technique is for you. Welders use tungsten for the construction of automobiles and their parts. The presence of tungsten is in the form of gas since its inert. Welders also call it TIG welding. Among all these three techniques of welding, the one with tungsten is the hardest. But if you are determined enough, then you can learn it gradually. It is because of several reasons, the main being the clean results it produces. The weld metal is not only challenging and resilient but also smooth-looking.

Now that you know what welding is, what are the things you’ll require to carry on with the task?

Understanding the concept of welding is not a difficult task. If you are a student, then you are already familiar with theoretical learning. The problem arises with the practical part of this training. Talking about the techniques, processes, dangers, etc., is easy when, in theory. But applying the same things practically turns out to be a challenge. This is why you need training and experience in laboratory work, rather than just your class notes.

Lessons and guidance:

Most people say that the best way to learn a new skill is to experience it. That’s how you will get the hang of it. They are somewhat right in their perception, but not entirely. Along with the experience, you require professional training. Only a professional can guide you properly regarding any new skill you wish to learn. The same is the case with welding. You not only require practical experience but bu also professional training.

Experience can teach you only surface knowledge. To understand the more profound things, you will need professional help. Also, the job of a welder is hazardous. Not only do they deal with harmful equipment, but their entire environment is dangerous. Welders are more prone to electric hazards than any other tradesmen. This is why every professional welder requires a welding license to work in any company or factory. Although, people who use welding for just personal projects do not need any permit.

Required items:

The process of welding requires several essential materials. Even the absence of any one of them may result in poor welds. So, before you start your welding task, always make sure that your basket is full of required items. First of all, you will need the tools and equipment for welding. Without them, it is nearly impossible to achieve any result. Next, you will need material to work on. They are mostly metals or thermoplastics.

If you want your final result to be tough and resilient, choose your working materials wisely—select metals which can easily withstand high temperatures and pressure. Last but not least, you will need protective gear. Since welding is a dangerous job, you will need all the protection that you can have. Always keep a full stock of safety equipment with you while welding. It’s still better to be on the safe side.

Safety equipment:

You are already familiar with the entire concept of welding. You are also aware of all the dangers that the job of a welder brings with it. From the tools to the machines and o the entire welding environment, everything is prone to accidents. We hear news regarding welding accidents almost daily.

Accidents are sure to happen when we are dealing with electrical instruments on a close range. All we can do is try to protect ourselves as much as possible. It is better to be on the safe side than rushing to the hospital daily. So, whenever working in a welding lab or workshop, make sure you have all the necessary safety equipment. Keep an entire stock of safety gear with yourself.

Welders work in extreme heating conditions, which is harmful to their skin and eyes. Wearing an eye helmet and gloves will significantly reduce the heat effect on their skin and eyes. No matter what your welding environment is, you should always carry your safety gear because accidents happen anywhere.

If you are a professional welder and have a workshop, try to keep your tools and machines dry. Moisture damages, welding machines and metals. Also, due to the presence of electric current, moisture may lead to electric shocks. You will also need to ensure safety against short circuits. It is always dangerous to work with heat and electricity. Try to follow safety guidelines when dealing with such harmful things.
Now, if you are not a professional, you’ll probably be working at home. But this doesn’t mean that you can skip the safety. Rather, it is more important to be careful when working at home. There are several people at home, especially children. Welding environment is hazardous for children. Try and keep children away from your working area. And store your tools in places where children won’t reach.

Also, keep your working area clean and dry. It might seem a bit difficult at home, but keeping the welding area dry is of utmost importance. When it comes to tools and equipment, always try to keep them up to date. Old tools are prone to corrosion, which destroys them. Corrosion reduces the strength of tools and makes them less effective. So, always pay attention to the maintenance of your devices.

Parting words

Like every other skill, welding is both comfortable and rugged. It depends on your learning and experience. It is the learner who determines whether the gift is hard or not. If you gain a thorough knowledge of what you are doing, there’s nothing complicated in it. Both theoretical and practical experience is vital to succeed at something. Similarly, in the case of welding, you will need both bookish and practical knowledge to become an expert.

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