Welding is a way to make high strength joints between two or more parts. General Welders use high electrical energy to form an arc. Manual dexterity is essential in controlling the arc, which is used to melt metals, allowing them to fuse together to form a structurally sound weld.
Welding is used extensively and in almost every sector of industry. There is a high demand for skilled General Welders in areas such as: automotive, marine, transport, general fabrication, construction and many more. General Welders produce items like components for cars; ships; rail vehicles; simple metallic containers; and steelwork for bridges, buildings and gantries. Welding is a safety critical occupation and every welder takes responsibility for the quality and accuracy of their work. General Welders are required to produce joints that satisfy basic quality standards in order to ensure that the finished products function correctly, contributing to the safety of all and the global quality of life.
Skilled, qualified, professionally certified General Welders can work anywhere in the world and provide services in harshest of environments. For these accomplished professionals, the monetary rewards can be significant.
There is a highly complex range of welding skills: the different arc welding processes require different levels of manual dexterity, knowledge and skill to avoid making defective welds. There are a wide range of metallic materials that can be welded, each with different properties and behaviours.
Practical skills are considered as important as academic ability and the employer will set their own specific selection criteria. However, the candidate will be required to successfully achieve qualifications at level 1 in English and Mathematics and also to have taken examinations at level 2, for both subjects, within the period of apprenticeship if not already achieved.
Typical Duration of Apprenticeship
This apprenticeship has a typical duration of 18 months.
There are numerous pathways for General Welders who may wish to pursue higher level careers in welding. These include progression to Multi-Positional Welder, High Integrity Welder or Welding Instruction and Teaching, Welding Inspection and Managing and Supervising Welding Operations.