Welding is a method of permanently joining metal pieces together. If you're considering welding as a hobby or as a career, start with safety basics and get hands-on experience.
: Always wear protective eye covering and take all necessary precautions when using welding equipment.
Step 1: Visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website Visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website for an in-depth description of training and skill qualifications for the welding profession.
Step 2: Learn common welder jargon Learn welding jargon by visiting welding websites. "Tacks" are small welds holding metal pieces together. "Filler rods" are metal added to pieces by welding.
Step 3: Get an overview of welding processes Get an overview of welding repair processes like arc welding, spot or seam welding, metal inert gas or MIG welding, and tungsten inert gas or TIG welding.
TIP: Arc welding is the most basic beginners' learning option and the equipment is the least expensive.
Step 4: Know about basic tools for a beginner Know about basic beginner tools like a right-angle square ruler, a scratch awl to make lines on metal, and an angle grinder to remove excess metal.
TIP: Arc welders use an electrode tool that creates an electric arc to the welding spot.
Step 5: Know about personal protective equipment Learn about work-safety precautions and personal protective equipment like safety gloves, particle masks, leather capes, and welding gloves.
TIP: The lens of an auto darkening helmet automatically darkens to shield the welder's eyes from an arc welding tool's bright light.
Step 6: Find welder organization training resources Find training resources through professional welder organizations like the American Welding Society or the Fabricators' and Manufacturers' Association.
FACT: The Speedo LZR Racer swimsuit used by Olympics champ Michael Phelps consists of three polyurethane pieces ultrasonically welded together.