Saturday 9 November 2013

Fire Meets Metal

In today’s modern age we heavily rely on stable architecture and well-built structures to handle our everyday lives and tasks. From skyscrapers that soar above the clouds, to bridges that provide safe roadways to vehicles. The importance of safety and stability in our man-made creations is vital in their success. It’s not only wood, brick, and mortar that create our structures these days. Thanks to modern technology and science we can control, modify, and use various metals to our advantage when constructing new structures. The job of a metalworker is arduous and dangerous. Welding, brazing, and cutting are all necessary tasks in the creation of metal works and should be taken with extreme caution and seriousness.
Welding Techniques
Applying heat to metal in order to join parts is the most common method of metal working. There are over 100 different types of welding techniques. Some of the most common types are smoldering, brazing, and arc welding.
When a metal worker decides to flip down his helmet and begins brazing copper, he or she is imposing a wide variety of health and safety risks onto themselves. These risks affect more than 500,000 workers per year and are a rigorous part of the job at hand. In a job such as this, many safety precautions are taken and legal standards are created to be followed. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has created rules and guidelines specifically for metalworkers in the welding, cutting, and brazing industry.

Training and Education

In order to take on this career you must first become a certified welder. Programs for welding and metalwork are offered at colleges, trade schools, and through specific training programs. In some cases, on-the-job training is offered for low skilled positions. Most jobs prefer to hire people who have prior experience, or professional training. Training for welding also includes blueprint reading, study of mathematics, chemistry, physics, and, in some cases, an understanding of electricity is beneficial. If a facility wants to certify an employee to become a welder, they can send them to an institution and have them weld test specimens to see if they’re applicable enough to handle such tasks on the job. Some employers have been known to send their workers to a training program free of charge in order to become certified in metal welding/work.


Employment in the welding industry is prominent in the automotive repair and building industry, shipbuilding, machinery manufacturing, aerospace building, and many other manufacturing industries. The job outlook for ambitious welders is positive, as most employers state that they cannot find enough qualified people to fill the specific job title. Job openings also rise in this industry as many older workers find themselves reaching the retirement age. The vast spike in technological advances is creating more job opportunities for welding positions. These same technologies have also improved upon the current use of welding and create new methods of work.

The idea of getting to work with fire and metal all day long makes for a very exciting career path. This skill is being sought after by companies everywhere who need qualified metalworkers. It takes proper training, job research, and the right set of safety skills in order to work with this industry. If welding is something that you’re interested in pursuing take the necessary steps to becoming formally certified. In no time at all you’ll be contributing in the creation of some of today’s finest machinery and mechanical structures.
Ashely is a recent college graduate with a degree in Science. She likes to share tips and ideas. To see more, check out her Twitter @ashelymarie1985. 

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