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Become A Journeyman Welder

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Working As A Journeyman Welder

  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • $38,150

    Average Salary

What Does A Journeyman Welder Do

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers use hand-held or remotely controlled equipment to join or cut metal parts. They also fill holes, indentations, or seams of metal products.

Duties

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers typically do the following:

  • Study blueprints, sketches, or specifications
  • Calculate dimensions to be welded
  • Inspect structures or materials to be welded
  • Ignite torches or start power supplies
  • Monitor the welding process to avoid overheating
  • Maintain equipment and machinery

Welding is the most common way of permanently joining metal parts. In this process, heat is applied to metal pieces, melting and fusing them to form a permanent bond. Because of its strength, welding is used in shipbuilding, automobile manufacturing and repair, aerospace applications, and thousands of other manufacturing activities. Welding also is used to join steel beams in the construction of buildings, bridges, and other structures and to join pipes in pipelines, power plants, and refineries.

Welders work in a wide variety of industries, from car racing to manufacturing. The work that welders do and the equipment they use vary with the industry. Arc welding, the most common type of welding today, uses electrical currents to create heat and bond metals together—but there are more than 100 different processes that a welder can use. The type of weld normally is determined by the types of metals being joined and the conditions under which the welding is to take place.

Cutters use heat to cut and trim metal objects to specific dimensions. The work of arc, plasma, and oxy–gas cutters is closely related to that of welders. However, instead of joining metals, cutters use the heat from an electric arc, a stream of ionized gas called plasma, or burning gases to cut and trim metal objects to specific dimensions. Cutters also dismantle large objects, such as ships, railroad cars, automobiles, buildings, and aircraft. Some operate and monitor cutting machines similar to those used by welding machine operators.

Solderers and brazers also use heat to join two or more metal objects together. Soldering and brazing are similar, except that the temperature used to melt the filler metal is lower in soldering. Soldering uses metals with a melting point below 840 degrees Fahrenheit. Brazing uses metals with a higher melting point. 

Soldering and brazing workers use molten metal to join two pieces of metal. However, the metal added during the soldering or brazing process has a melting point lower than that of the piece, so only the added metal is melted, not the piece. Therefore, these processes normally do not create distortions or weaknesses in the piece, as can occur with welding.

Soldering commonly is used to make electrical and electronic circuit boards, such as computer chips. Soldering workers tend to work with small pieces that must be positioned precisely.

Brazing often is used to connect cast iron and thinner metals that the higher temperatures of welding would warp. Brazing also can be used to apply coatings to parts in order to reduce wear and protect against corrosion.

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How To Become A Journeyman Welder

A high school diploma or equivalent combined with technical and on-the-job training is typically required to become a welder, cutter, solderer, or brazer.

Education & Training

A high school diploma or equivalent combined with technical and on-the-job training is typically required to become a welder, cutter, solderer, or brazer. High school technical education courses and postsecondary institutions, such as vocational–technical institutes, community colleges, and private welding, soldering, and brazing schools offer formal technical training. In addition, the U.S. Armed Forces operate welding and soldering schools.

Courses in blueprint reading, shop mathematics, mechanical drawing, physics, chemistry, and metallurgy are helpful.

An understanding of electricity also is helpful, and knowledge of computers is gaining importance as welding, soldering, and brazing machine operators become more responsible for programming robots and other computer-controlled machines.

Although numerous employers are willing to hire inexperienced entry-level workers and train them on the job, many prefer to hire workers who have been through training or credentialing programs. Even entry-level workers with formal technical training still receive several months of on-the-job training.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Courses leading to certification are offered at many welding schools. For example, the American Welding Society offers the Certified Welder and Certified Welding Fabricator designations.

Some welding positions require general certification in welding or certification in specific skills, such as Certified Welding Inspector or Certified Robotic Arc Welding.

The Institute for Printed Circuits offers certification and training in soldering. In industries such as aerospace and defense, which need highly skilled workers, many employers require these certifications. Certification can show mastery of lead-free soldering techniques, which are important to many employers.

Some employers pay the cost of training and testing for employees.

Important Qualities

Detail oriented. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers perform precision work, often with straight edges and minimal flaws. The ability to see details and characteristics of the joint and detect changes in molten metal flows requires good eyesight and attention to detail.

Manual dexterity. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers must have a steady hand to hold a torch in one place. Workers must also have good hand-eye coordination.

Physical stamina. The ability to endure long periods of standing or repetitious movements is important for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers.

Physical strength. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers must be in good physical condition. They often must lift heavy pieces of metal and move welding or cutting equipment, and sometimes bend, stoop, or reach while working.

Spatial-orientation skills. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers must be able to read, understand, and interpret two- and three-dimensional diagrams in order to fit metal products correctly.

Technical skills. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers must be able to operate manual or semiautomatic welding equipment to fuse metal segments.

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Journeyman Welder jobs

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Journeyman Welder Demographics

Gender

Male

93.3%

Female

5.2%

Unknown

1.5%
Ethnicity

White

81.1%

Hispanic or Latino

11.8%

Asian

5.5%

Unknown

1.1%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.4%

Portuguese

11.1%

Ukrainian

11.1%

Carrier

11.1%

Cheyenne

11.1%

Russian

11.1%
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Journeyman Welder Education

Schools

Tulsa Welding School

11.6%

Tidewater Community College

7.0%

Richmond Community College

7.0%

Mountain Empire Community College

4.7%

Bates Technical College

4.7%

Hinds Community College

4.7%

Tacoma Community College

4.7%

Texas State Technical College - Waco

4.7%

Pasadena City College

4.7%

Laney College

4.7%

Kaplan University

4.7%

University of South Alabama

4.7%

Reid State Technical College

4.7%

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

4.7%

Old Dominion University

4.7%

Bishop State Community College

4.7%

George C Wallace Community College - Dothan

4.7%

Paris Junior College

4.7%

Chaffey College

2.3%

Saint Louis Community College

2.3%
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Majors

Precision Metal Working

47.3%

Business

6.5%

Industrial Technology

5.3%

General Studies

4.7%

Drafting And Design

4.1%

Electrical Engineering

3.6%

Computer Science

3.0%

Education

3.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.4%

Fine Arts

2.4%

Heating And Air Conditioning

2.4%

Automotive Technology

2.4%

Medical Technician

1.8%

Heavy/Industrial Equipment Maintenance Technologies

1.8%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.8%

Criminal Justice

1.8%

Civil Engineering

1.8%

Accounting

1.8%

Apparel And Textiles

1.2%

Pharmacy

1.2%
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Degrees

Other

51.8%

Certificate

18.8%

Associate

16.5%

Diploma

4.9%

Bachelors

4.0%

Masters

1.8%

Doctorate

1.3%

License

0.9%
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Top Skills for A Journeyman Welder

StainlessSteelSafetyProceduresMIGInvestigativeTechniquesAluminumFluxCoreSmawPlasmaArcLayoutFcawGmaw-PBasicHandToolsGtawOshaStructuralSteelHeavyEquipmentMildSteelAWSIronworkerNewConstruction

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Top Journeyman Welder Skills

  1. Stainless Steel
  2. Safety Procedures
  3. MIG
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Welded various types of materials including steel, aluminum, stainless steel in a food processing plant.
  • Used TIG, MIG, STICK, and Flux core welding process to weld structure and piping.
  • Manufactured carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminum per supervisor's instructions and blueprints.
  • Assembled & welded bag house & scrubber systems using flux core and stick process.
  • Use of SMAW process, with 6010, 7018, and 316L electrodes.

Top Journeyman Welder Employers

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Journeyman Welder Videos

A Day in the Life of a Welder/Pipefitter

Train to become a welder! Great paying and rewarding career

NAIT Welding training facility

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