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What is your definition of a skilled welder?

December 5, 2011

In my last blog Where are all the skilled welders I received many good answers, ideas, and comments through my social media page Linkedin. The question that kept reoccurring was ‘what is the definition of a skilled welder?’.

Although everyone has their own opinion, most would agree that being a skilled welder involves experience in multi-arc welding processes or aka combination welder. (pipe welding included) Multi processes include manual skills at SMAW(stick), GMAW(MIG), FCAW(Fluxcore), GTAW(TIG), oxygen/acetylene flame cutting, carbon arc gouging and some mechanized welding experience (Submerged Arc Welding or SAW.)  This is the ‘skilled welder’ that is hard to find these days.

EWI clients call on our skilled welding technicians to go out into the field and train their staff on both manual and automated welding. When we train our clients in automated welding, we find that a skilled manual welder is always the easiest to train. This is because they have already developed that ‘eye for the arc’. This ‘eye for the arc’ is the skill of bead placement, torch/electrode angles, and the ‘tricks of the trade’ that is needed to make an x-ray quality weld in any arc welding process.

I would also like to add the importance of positive attitude and work ethic to this definition of a skilled welder. Many of our clients report that a skilled welder with a ‘can do’ attitude is also becoming rare in today’s workforce. Welding can be hard work. Some have not learned the work ethic it takes to become a skilled welder which may lead to a negative attitude about welding. Positive work ethic and attitude needs to be addressed early in the trade schools and/or training facilities as it is just as important as the welding skills.

What is your definition of a skilled welder?