Welding, as a profession, is looked at as unskilled work or labour. Of course, this is a big misbelief. The truth is the exact opposite of this misinformation. Welding is a job that requires in-depth knowledge of the field, along with the temperament and physical prowess to handle the mechanical nature of this work.
Any industry that requires two metal pieces, big or small, to be joined, needs welding; which is why welding is very important but is deeply misunderstood. Even large structures like bridges and statues owe their existence to welding.
It isn’t just the large structures, welding also plays a big role in our daily lives. How? By being a constant in fields like manufacturing, construction and infrastructure, transportation and military, to name a few.
Now that we have understood how welding affects our lives, we know that it is a necessity to ensure that welding education is a field that gets promoted and before that, understood well. It is not just a field that employs, it is a field that requires people who understand all its jargon and nuances. That requires welding education and training.
Welding two metals requires welding materials like welding electrodes, welding consumables and other things like cast iron welding rod, or other ferrous and non-ferrous metals and gases. These are heavy duty materials. It holds a lot of potential to go really wrong, really quickly.
An untrained, unskilled or ill-equipped professional will not be able to handle these welding materials properly. Neglecting safety concerns and precautions is extremely hazardous and will affect not just the quality of the weld but also the health of the welder and people around him or her.
To eliminate this concern, welding licensing and off-the-job training before one starts with their jobs or with their practice of welding helps. This safeguards all the people involved in this process- the welder, the employer and any others involved. In addition to this practice, certificates of previous work or training as well as referrals should be involved, just like any other industry or career.
Now, there exist around 30 types of welding, like, gas metal arc welding, tungsten inert gas welding, shielded metal arc welding, laser beam welding. Since all of them are very different from each other, each requires a certain amount of specialization, even if someone has a basic understanding of welding. This again reinforces as to why systematic education and training in welding is required.
Not just the specialization, but also the precautions that each type of welding would require are very different and all the professionals are expected to know these inside out. A welding certificate of having finished a certain level of education in it, shows that the specialization has been achieved, professionally and academically.
It also is proof on paper that the person has the capability to perform the welding as per a standard quality as well as inspect their own work, without involving other people.
The best way to go about this, is to find a school that offers at least a diploma course in the field of welding, before you kick-start your career in it. Like any other field, welding should be treated as a skill-based profession which requires a minimum standard of education and academic learning.