Welder Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Welder, or Journeyman, is responsible for fusing pieces of metal together to join metal parts, fill a hole, or fix seams in metal. Their duties include finding the correct tools to properly ignite the torch and welding machine for the specific type of metal, positioning, lining up, and securing all metal pieces according to design specifications prior to welding, and joining these pieces together.

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Welder duties and responsibilities

Some of the duties of a Welder are to operate equipment (e.g. calipers, rulers, power saws) to put together metal parts or structures. They work on everything from commercial projects like buildings, cars, and pipes, to areas such as construction, manufacturing, aviation, auto body shops, and underwater builds. Their daily duties include marking up construction drawings with proper specifications and working with Thermal Engineers and Site Construction Managers to order tools, equipment, supplies, and all materials necessary to successfully complete a job. Other duties and responsibilities include: 

  • Analyzing blueprints and designs
  • Finding the right pieces of metal according to the design
  • Following all safety and health procedures to avoid accidents and hazards
  • Choosing the best equipment to weld specific metals
  • Identifying issues and hazards
  • Operating angle grinders and other tools
  • Lining up specific metal components using calipers, rulers, and clamp pieces
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What does a Welder do?

Welders are primarily responsible for joining pieces of metal together with tools that produce high levels of heat and turn metal materials into a liquid to create joints that cannot be broken. There are three types of Welders: Apprentices, Intermediate Welders, and Journeymen. An Apprentice is someone who has finished school and has been in the welding field for less than five years. An Intermediate Welder is someone who has worked in the position for more than five years, but does not have as much experience as a Journeyman. A Journeyman Welder has years of experience and is highly skilled in all aspects of welding.

Welder skills and qualifications

The skills and qualifications required to become a Welder include analytical skills and technical knowledge to operate flame-cutting, brazing, and soldering equipment. Some welding jobs call for the ability to lift heavy objects and have good dexterity, as Welders will often be on project sites and would need to assist a Site Manager. Other essential skills and qualifications needed to become a Welder are: 

  • Exceptional attention to detail with a strong focus on safety
  • The ability to read and understand technical documents, safety rules, blueprints, manuals, and documents referring to metallurgy
  • A deep knowledge of welding techniques
  • Excellent flexibility to work under pressure
  • Time management skills

Welder experience requirements

Some of the experience required to become a Welder can be a combination of work experience (starting from three years) and an apprenticeship. Candidates who complete compulsory training will often start off with entry level roles.

Welder education and training requirements

To become a Welder, candidates must first complete a specialized program at a trade school or college. There are no university degrees that are specific to the field of welding. However, if a candidate does have a university degree, this must be coupled with formal coursework or training through the Canadian Welders Bureau, with several years of experience, since they need to learn how to manipulate large pieces of metal for a variety of construction projects.

Welder salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Welder is $24.27 per hour. This hourly rate may depend on a candidate’s education, experience, location, and industry. Welders who work in specialty fields (e.g. welding underwater, commissioned works) or who have Red Seal certification are typically paid more due to the amount of skill, training, and experience required to perform the work.

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Welder job description FAQs

What are the day-to-day duties of a Welder?

On a daily basis, Welders operate safety equipment to form materials into flat, vertical, or overhead positions. They also remove any spots or dents from metals by using portable grinders, hand files, or scrapers to smooth out the surface. Once those are complete, they prepare the materials while making sure there is no rust, moisture, grease, or other foreign materials.

Do Welders have different responsibilities in different industries?

Yes. Since welding is involved in almost all industries, each type of welding job requires a different skill set. There are different types of welding, as well as different types of industries which will require specific skills (i.e. construction). Some welders are predominately responsible for fusing fixtures, while in manufacturing, it may be more on dealing with industrial parts.

What should you look for on a resume for a Welder?

Designations are incredibly important for Welders, and the Red Seal exam is the most predominant professional designation and a nationwide-recognized seal issued by provincial bodies. Having this on a Welder’s CV shows they have a combination of more than three years of work experience as a Welder as well as college or professional certifications.

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