Welders are specialist engineering fabrication tradespersons. Welders cut, shape, join and finish metal to make, repair or maintain a variety of metal structures and products. Welders work in the heavy machinery and equipment sector, and sometimes the light metals sector.
Welders construct or repair metal products using a variety of welding methods including electric arc, MIG and TIG welding or oxy-acetylene welding or by using machines. First class welders can specialise in welding a range metals such as mild steel, stainless steel, cast iron, aluminium, copper, brass, diecast metal and magnesium. Further specialisation is possible as a pressure welder who assembles, welds and repairs pressure vessels such as storage tanks, pipelines and gas cylinders to exacting specifications.
Welders work in workshops or production areas that can be noisy, hot and dusty, however the work environments are generally spacious, ventilated and well lit. The majority of their work is spent standing and they often need to bend, crouch or climb. They sometimes work in confined spaces or at heights, and many work shifts.
Welders may work in a team or alone and because of the nature of their work safety awareness and compliance with regulations is important. They must be aware of safety regulations and must wear supplied protective equipment.
You can sometimes work as a production welder without undertaking any formal training or qualifications however some employers will prefer that you do. To work as a production welder you will usually require a Certificate II in Engineering.
With experience, and possibly some further training, production welders can become welders (first class) . This will usually require a Certificate III in Engineering (Fabrication Trade).
You can work at even higher levels within this occupation and sector. Welders can with experience, and possibly further training, specialise as pressure or structural welders, and work in more technical and supervisory occupations and even at a para-professional level assisting engineers.
Of course you can continue to progress further along a career pathway that could see you in a number of senior management positions.
Earnings, Job and Employment Prospects
For detailed information about earnings, job and employment prospects for this occupation, go to the Australian JobSearch Careers page and click on Job Outlook .
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Manufacturing Skills Australia
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