Welders operate welding equipment to weld ferrous and non-ferrous metals. This unit group also includes machine operators who operate previously set up production welding, brazing and soldering equipment. They are employed by companies that manufacture structural steel and platework, boilers, heavy machinery, aircraft and ships and other metal products, and by welding contractors and welding shops, or they may be self-employed.
Welders perform some or all of the following duties:
- Read and interpret blueprints or welding process specifications
- Operate manual or semi-automatic welding equipment to fuse metal segments using processes such as gas tungsten arc (GTAW), gas metal arc (GMAW), flux-cored arc (FCAW), plasma arc (PAW), shielded metal arc (SMAW), oxy-acetylene (OAW), resistance welding and submerged arc welding (SAW)
- Operate manual or semi-automatic flamecutting equipment
- Operate brazing and soldering equipment
- Operate metal shaping machines such as brakes, shears and other metal straightening and bending machines
- Repair worn parts of metal products by welding on extra layers.
- Welders may specialize in certain types of welding such as custom fabrication, ship building and repair, aerospace precision welding, pressure vessel welding, pipeline construction welding, structural construction welding, or machinery and equipment repair welding.
Welding, brazing and soldering machine operators perform some or all of the following duties:
- Operate previously set up welding machines such as spot, butt and seam resistance or gas and arc welding machines to fabricate or repair metal parts
- Operate previously set up brazing or soldering machines to bond metal parts or to fill holes, indentations and seams of metal articles with solder
- Start up, shut down, adjust and monitor robotic welding production line
- Assist with the maintenance and repair of welding, brazing and soldering equipment
- May adjust welding heads and tooling according to work specifications.
- Completion of secondary school is usually required.
- Completion of a three-year apprenticeship program or
- A combination of over three years of work experience in the trade and some college or industry courses in welding is usually required to be eligible for trade certification.
- Trade certification is compulsory in Alberta and available, but voluntary, in Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon.
- Interprovincial trade certification (Red Seal) is also available to qualified welders.
- Welding, brazing and soldering machine operators
- Some secondary school education is required.
- Several months of on-the-job training are usually provided.
- Experience as a machine operator helper may be required.
- Experience with robotics may be required.
- Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.
- Red Seal trade certification for welders allows for interprovincial mobility.
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