Tips & Advice
How long does it take to become a certified welder?
The length of time it takes to become a certified welder will depend on whether you're being certified by an employer or a third-party organization.
Employer certification is usually specific to single welding process. If you have experience tackling that process, certification can be completed with no need for additional training. This type of certification can be completed in as little as a couple of weeks.
Third-party certification by an organization, such as the American Welding Society, tends to be more comprehensive than employer certification, and it requires you to pass both written and practical tests. Vocational schools offer training that assist with this kind of certification, and it can take anywhere from seven months to two years to complete a program that prepares you to take the tests. You can also choose to study on your own, and study guides and practice tests are available online. The American Welding Society will send your welder certification card within four to five weeks after you've passed the tests.
Are welders required to be certified?
Not all companies require certification when hiring welders. However, many companies prefer to hire welders who have been certified. Certification ensures that a welder is able to perform in compliance with certain codes, and it verifies that a welder has the skills to deliver work that meets contract specifications.
Welding codes and standards allow companies to certify their welders in-house by having them pass a test designed by the company. This in-house certification qualifies welders to perform certain specific types of welding jobs. However, welders who want to move from one company to the next usually find that in-house certification isn't recognized outside of the company that has provided the initial certification.
Certification may also be provided by organizations such as the American Welding Society, and this type of third-party certification relies on testing that is more standardized than the tests used for in-house certification. Third-party certification is widely recognized throughout the industry, and many companies prefer to hire welders with this certification.
How much does a welder cost?
Welders usually charge by the hour. The price can vary based on the welder's experience and the type of work that is being performed, and rates also vary based on geographic location. Homeowners typically pay an average cost of roughly $300 for a welding job, and costs can range from a low of $50 to a high of $800 or more. Custom jobs that require longer hours will incur a steeper cost.
What are the types of welding
- Metal inert gas welding or gas metal arc welding: With this type of welding, metal is combined using a wire that is joined to an electrode current. The metals that are to be joined are heated using a shielded gas that is transmitted via the wire electrode. This is the most commonly used type of welding, and it's suitable for joining metals such as steel and aluminum.
- Arc welding or shielded metal arc welding: With this approach, a welding stick that transmits an electric current is used to create an arc of electricity between the stick and the metals that are being fused. Arc welding is often used in manufacturing and construction.
- Gas tungsten arc welding or tungsten inert gas welding: This type of welding uses a tungsten electrode to heat the metal being welded, creating a puddle that fuses the welded metals. This approach creates a superior finish, but it requires a skilled welder.
- Flux-cored arc welding: This approach uses a wire filled with flux to fuse the materials being joined. It is inexpensive to implement and simple to learn, but the final result isn't as aesthetically pleasing as the results achieved with some other types of welding.
Welding is a process that uses heat to permanently join various parts or pieces. Welding is typically done to join parts that are made of metal, but it can also be used to join parts that are made with thermoplastics. Welding is used in industries such as agriculture, construction, and mining. The art world also utilizes welding, and it's used in this arena to craft sculptures.
In what industries is metal fabrication most commonly used?
Metal fabrication is commonly used in a wide range of industries, including transportation, air handling, food processing, material handling, general fabrication, construction, shipbuilding, aerospace, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and power generation. It's used in the air handling industry to craft many products, such as air conditioning units, heat exchangers, and filtration boxes; and it's used in the food processing industry to create aluminum and stainless steel components with food-grade finishes. In the transportation industry, metal fabrication is used to create items such as aftermarket vehicle modification kits.
What are the most common products produced through metal fabrication?
Metal fabrication is used to make a wide variety of commonly used products, including cutlery, hand tools, metal combs, metal decks, platforms, and handrails; large tanks, boilers, and shipping containers;, such as handles, locks, keys, latches, and chains;, as well as screws, nut, bolts, racks, shelves, hooks, and wire baskets.
Types of metal fabrication
- Cutting uses tools such as saws, lasers, water jets, and plasma torches to cut metal.
- Folding employs a brake press to create creases in metal.
- Machining is where a tool, such as a lathe, is used to strip metal from a piece of material.
- Punching uses a punch and a die to create holes in metal.
- Shearing is the process in which sheet metal is cut into smaller pieces.
- Stamping is when material is punched to create a raised portion.
- Welding is used to fuse two pieces of metal.
What is metal fabrication?
Metal fabrication is where metal is crafted to create structures or machines. The metal is cut using tools, such as band saws, laser cutters, CNC machines, and burn tables. Next, the metal is shaped using tools, such as punches and dies, and the various metal parts that have been created are assembled and welded into a final product. The metal is worth more after processing than it was prior to fabrication.
What is the difference in between welding and metal fabrication?
Metal fabrication is more comprehensive than welding. Welding is when two pieces of a material, such as metal or glass, are permanently fused. Metal fabrication often includes welding, die cutting, finishing, hydroforming, shrinking, stamping, and stretching.