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Become A Lead Welder

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Working As A Lead Welder

  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • $40,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Lead 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 Lead 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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Average Length of Employment
Journeyman Welder 5.1 years
Welding Supervisor 4.9 years
Lead Fabricator 4.0 years
Welder First Class 4.0 years
Lead Welder 4.0 years
Pipefitter/Welder 3.8 years
Welder Fitter 3.7 years
Pipe Welder 3.5 years
Welder 3.5 years
Combination Welder 3.5 years
Maintenance Welder 3.3 years
Welder-Assembler 3.0 years
MIG Welder 2.8 years
Welder Operator 2.8 years
Structural Welder 2.7 years
Combo Welder 2.6 years
Steel Welder 2.4 years
Tank Welder 2.1 years
Welder Apprentice 1.7 years
Welder Assistant 1.6 years
Top Careers Before Lead Welder
Welder 50.2%
Foreman 2.5%
Supervisor 2.3%
MIG Welder 2.1%
Mechanic 1.6%
TIG Welder 1.5%
Top Careers After Lead Welder
Welder 43.8%
TIG Welder 2.7%
Foreman 2.4%
Owner 2.1%
Mechanic 2.1%
Supervisor 1.7%
Technician 1.6%
MIG Welder 1.5%

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Top Skills for A Lead Welder

  1. Plasma Arc
  2. Welders
  3. TIG
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Skilled with gas metal arc, flux-cored arc, plasma arc, shielded metal arc.
  • Participated 0de0sign of customized tools and interpret blueprints to effectively instruct welders in advanced fabrication techniques.
  • Drive continuous investigation and communication for improvement in safety, quality and productivity in the manufacturing process.
  • Followed safety procedures for transporting equipment.
  • Fabricated welds on stainless steel water pump casings according to stringent factory specifications.

Lead Welder Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 3,381 Lead Welder resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Lead Welder Resume

View Resume Examples

Lead Welder Demographics

Gender

Male

88.1%

Unknown

7.5%

Female

4.3%
Ethnicity

White

64.9%

Hispanic or Latino

15.7%

Black or African American

10.6%

Asian

5.2%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.0%

German

8.0%

Carrier

8.0%

Arabic

8.0%

French

4.0%

Polish

4.0%
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Lead Welder Education

Schools

Tulsa Welding School

18.4%

Hobart Institute of Welding Technology

9.2%

University of Phoenix

7.4%

Texas State Technical College - Waco

5.5%

The Academy

5.5%

Houston Community College

5.5%

Ferris State University

4.9%

Gateway Technical College

4.3%

Piedmont Technical College

4.3%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

3.7%

Austin Community College

3.7%

Arizona Automotive Institute

3.1%

Universal Technical Institute

3.1%

Macomb Community College

3.1%

Ashford University

3.1%

Fox Valley Technical College

3.1%

North Dakota State College of Science

3.1%

Fullerton College

3.1%

A-Technical College

3.1%

Bakersfield College

3.1%
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Majors

Precision Metal Working

46.4%

Business

10.4%

Industrial Technology

5.0%

General Studies

4.4%

Automotive Technology

4.2%

Apparel And Textiles

4.0%

Education

3.0%

Drafting And Design

2.5%

Computer Science

2.2%

Engineering

2.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.1%

Criminal Justice

2.1%

Fine Arts

2.0%

Mechanical Engineering

1.8%

Electrical Engineering

1.5%

Management

1.5%

Civil Engineering

1.5%

Property Management

1.1%

Aviation

1.0%

Graphic Design

1.0%
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Degrees

Other

48.5%

Associate

18.5%

Certificate

15.3%

Bachelors

9.7%

Diploma

4.6%

Masters

2.8%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.1%
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