Trained welders are in high demand in a wide range of industries, including the automotive, construction, aerospace and manufacturing industries. If you’re looking for a rewarding, hands-on career, then welding may be right for you.
While the fundamental principle of welding—joining two pieces of metal together—has been around for thousands of years, today, welders use a wide variety of techniques. Some processes are preferred for different metals, environments and industries. The types of welding techniques you’ll learn in a good welding training program will unlock a variety of career opportunities. Here are just a few of the techniques that, if mastered, will make you highly sought after in numerous industries.
Stick Welding: A Fundamental Technique for Your Welding Career
Stick welding, also called shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) or manual metal arc welding (MMAW), is among the easiest welding techniques to learn. Mastering this technique during your welding training will make learning more advanced techniques much easier for you.
With stick welding, an electric arc is struck between the base material and the consumable electrode rod (also called the stick). The electrode rod is covered with a flux that, when melted, creates a gas shield and layer of slag that protects the weld from oxidization and contamination.
After completing your welding classes, you’ll have the skills needed to master the stick welding technique
While stick welding is easy to learn, welding experts know that the electrode needs to be replaced frequently, and the process produces a lot of slag—or waste buildup— that must be chipped away afterwards. Chipping away slag is not something many welders enjoy, but fortunately, there are other techniques that get around this problem. Read on to learn about some of these other techniques!
Metal/Inert-Gas (MIG): An Essential Technique for Any Welder
As you progress through your welding career, you’ll grow to appreciate welding techniques that require less time spent cleaning up slag. That’s where metal/inert-gas (MIG) welding comes in. Similar to stick welding, MIG is fairly straight-forward and easy to learn, and it doesn’t create any slag buildup.
Here’s how it works: a solid-steel wire is fed into the MIG gun, where it then comes into contact with an electrode. When the trigger of the MIG gun is pulled, the wire is melted and a weld puddle is created.
MIG welding is an extremely useful technique for any welding hopeful to know, because it is quick and creates a high-quality weld. It’s also a technique that’s often used in the automotive industry. So if you plan on working in an automotive repair shop or in most manufacturing facilities after graduating from welding college, expect to become very familiar with MIG welding.
Tungsten/Inert-Gas (TIG): A Top Choice for High-Quality Welds
Once you’ve mastered the more fundamental welding techniques, like stick and MIG, you may want to take your skills to the next level by learning tungsten/inert-gas (TIG) welding. TIG produces a very high-quality weld, especially on thin metals. The non-consumable electrode is made of tungsten, which is an extremely strong metal alloy. When a very strong weld is needed, like in aviation and shipbuilding, employers look for welders who have mastered the TIG technique.
If you want to take your welding skills to the next level, TIG welding could open new job opportunities
Professional welders know that TIG is not an easy technique to learn, and the process takes more time than stick or MIG welding. However, that’s why TIG welders are highly sought after by employers. TIG welders are at the top of their trade, so once you master this technique, you’ll unlock many career opportunities for yourself.
Are you ready to begin your welding career?
Contact North American Trade Schools today to learn more about our welding classes!