Welders build, reinforce and repair heavy equipment that often experience rough usage by large animals such as cattle. Iron and steel are the main sources of materials used for everything in beef from livestock handling facilities and feeders to portable iron fences and front-end loaders on tractors.
Different welding methods depend on the type, size and shape of metals being used. Methods include electrical arc welding, gas welding (such as with oxy-acetylene welding), and arc and gas combined. Welders may also use wire-processing welding where semi-automatic wire feeding processes are used such as gas metal arc welding, flux cord arc welding, and submerged arc welding.
- Operate equipment safely in maintaining a safe work environment
- Develop, design and implement solutions, or follow directions given in blueprints, layouts or work orders
- Create and fix metal parts using welding torch, wire, rods and other welding tools as a means to melt metal to a high temperature and fuse them together permanently
- Examine components for defects and potential hazards or weaknesses; clean and shape parts prior to and after welding when required
- Conduct and comply with safety codes and specifications
Skills and Qualifications:
- Manual dexterity, good hand-and-eye coordination and great vision are required for this type of work.
- Attention to detail, ability to concentrate on detailed work, patience, and a level of creativity are also required.
- Various projects require critical thinking and the ability to assess and evaluate structural components and sources of potential problems that may need to be fixed.
- Mechanical and mathematics are required for projects that require building and designing systems or equipment for machinery or buildings to adhere to specifications according to weight, size, strength of the structure and other factors in its potential use and operation.
Risk of injury is associated with this career in working with hot metals and torches with the resulting sparks and toxic gases. Welders work in variety of environments, from outdoors on farm or construction sites, to indoors in repair and production shops. Travel may be required if welders are to perform work on-farm and talk to producers on what jobs need to be done. Standing, bending and kneeling is done for most of the day. Capable of being able to lift over 20 kg is also expected of this job.
Education and Training:
A welder in Alberta must be either a registered apprentice, an Alberta-certified journeyman, or hold a recognizable related training certificate. The term for apprenticeship for a welder is three years that include a 1,560 hour period of on-the-job training, and eight weeks of technical training each year. Wire-process operators require only two years of training, with a minimum of 1,500 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of technical training in the first year, and 1,800 hours of on-the-job training in the second year.
Alberta Apprenticeship and Training arranges technical training through various colleges that offer such programs include NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology), SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology), Lakeland College in Vermillion, Keyano College in Fort McMurray and Red Deer College.
Salary and Wages:
Average hours worked: 42.2
Average wage: $33.79 per hour
Average salary (Alberta): $74,839.00 per annum