welding careers

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What You'll Want to Know About a Pipe Welding Career

It sounds simple enough. Pipe welders join and repair pipes made out of metal by using a variety of solders, metals, and processes. But it’s that variety and those processes that can make it complicated, and really interesting. If you’re thinking of a pipe welding career, here are a few things you should consider:


Welding training is only the beginning. You’ll need to know all about welding safety, equipment, techniques, and technology. There’s a lot to learn! Just a few of the skills you need include:

·         Basic Welding

·         Proper Cutting Procedures

·         Schematics and Blueprints

·         Weld Varieties

o   Bead

o   Fillet

o   Flat

o   Horizontal

o   Vertical

o   Overhead

o   Groove

o   V-Groove

o   Joint

o   Pipe

o   Flux-Cored Arc

o   Gas Metal Arc

o   Gas Tungsten Arc

o   Shield Metal Arc


Once you learn all that, you’ll need lots of practice to master your new skills.


Apprenticeships are step 2. An apprenticeship will help you develop your skills and get experience in a real world setting. You’ll learn more about how to read piping schematics and technical drawings. You’ll also work under journeymen to help them get the job done. Some of the tasks you may need to perform include:

·         Clean and maintain work sites

·         Set up welding equipment

·         Prepare work surfaces and parts for welding

·         Follow all safety procedures

·         Take regular parts and equipment inventory

·         Use hand and power tools

·         Help with repairs of worn parts

·         Operate welding and cutting equipment

·         Assist with metal shaping machines such as shears and brakes

·         Position pipes to be welded according to journeyman instruction

·         Mix protective coating and apply to welded parts

·         Melt bars and scrap for reuse

Pipe welding careers are wide and varied. Wherever there are metal pipes, welders are needed. You might use your skills on the pipes that make up construction scaffolding. Or you could weld plumbing pipes. Or pipes used for utilities. If you lived in Alaska, you might work on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, one of the world’s largest pipeline systems. But pipe welders are also needed for work on the ocean (offsite oil rigs), land (auto manufacturing), and sky (rocket systems). Where do you see your future?

If you’re interested in a welding career, check out the Trades Programs at Charter College. We can provide you with the training you need to get started in this rewarding career.