How to become a … Welder

How to become a welder
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by Jessica Tabinor on

With large amounts of investment in infrastructure and a variety of major projects currently underway, there are fantastic welding jobs where you can gain valuable welding experience in the UK construction industry. With heavy investment in infrastructure, companies are currently recruiting for welders to work on company based projects and for time served welders to join client-based projects. 

Read below to find out more about the skills and experience you’ll need and to discover whether a welder career is the right fit for you.

RATES
£16-35k dependent on experience​

HOT SPOTS
Hinkley Point C / HS2
 
QUALIFICATIONS
ABC, City & Guilds, BTEC, NVQ
 
What do welding jobs involve?

Welders can work in a range of different industries and on a variety of projects. You could be working on large-scale projects such as commercial buildings or bridge structures or on smaller, more intricate work such as individual components in a production line or repair work.

Welding jobs revolve around cutting, shaping and joining separate pieces of metal, alloys and composite materials like plastics together. You’ll utilise several different welding and joining processes to get the job done, including arc, TIG and MIG welding.

You’ll need to read and interpret engineering instructions and engineers drawings, then follow these to cut materials into the necessary shapes and then weld them together. You’ll need to utilise precision measuring equipment to inspect and test all cuts and joints, ensuring a high degree of accuracy.
 
What is a welder’s salary?

A welder’s salary can vary, depending on the location, scale and nature of the project you’re working on, as well as from one employer to the next. Starting out, you can expect to receive a salary of between £16,000 and £19,000 per year, with this rising to between £20,000 and £30,000 as you gain more experience and progress in your career as a skilled welder. 

The most experienced welders – those in senior or specialist positions at the peak of their career – can often earn up to £35,000 per year. Self-employed welders can set their own rates, meaning your annual salary may vary.

These figures are intended as a guideline only and actual salary figures may vary.
 
What skills do I need?

As a welder, you’ll need an excellent eye for detail and the ability to understand and follow complex technical engineering plans. Due to the nature of the work, good levels of hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity are essential, as well as general physical fitness.

In terms of previous experience, Maths and arithmetic skills are also important to enable you to work out measurements and angles, and ensure wasted materials are minimised.

You’ll need knowledge of various welding techniques and health and safety procedures, and be confident working both on your own and as part of a wider team.
 
What qualifications do I need?

There are a number of welder qualifications, one of the most common routes into a welding career is through an apprenticeship. This gives you the opportunity to earn practical experience and learn the skills needed for your career, all while being paid. To gain entry to an apprenticeship scheme, you’ll usually need at least 4 GCSEs at grade C or higher, including Maths, English and Science. After completing an apprenticeship, you could then apply for a role as a trainee welder to gain further experience.

Alternatively, you could choose to gain a specific welding qualification, such as the ABC Certificate in Fabrication and Welding Practice, City & Guilds Certificate in Welding and the BTEC National Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering (Welding and Fabrication).

Once you are working, there are a number of NVQs you can study to further your training, including:

  • Fabrication and Welding Engineering – levels 2 and 3
  • Performing Engineering Operations – levels 1 and 2
  • Fabrication and Welding – level 3

You’ll need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card if you’re going to be working on a building site.
 
What are the hours and conditions?

In a full-time role, you can expect to work between 35 and 50 hours per week, Monday to Friday. However, shift work is also common and you may be expected to work overtime on evenings and weekends, as and when the project requires it.

The conditions you work in can vary depending on the industry or project you’re working on, but you can expect it to be hot, noisy and dirty. You may have to work in cramped spaces, or outside in all weather conditions. Protective equipment, such as gloves, face-shields, helmets and boots are essential, with some roles also requiring safety harnesses.
 
Career progression

With enough experience and additional training, there are a number of different routes for progression in welding jobs, providing you with fantastic opportunity for development.  If you’re willing to put in the time and effort you could advance to become a foreman, supervisor or workshop manager. You could also move into testing, inspection or quality control.
 
Areas of specialism
 

Talented welders are in high demand across multiple sectors, and because most welding skills are transferable, you have a lot of options when it comes to specialising in a specific area – from civil engineering and construction to shipbuilding and vehicle manufacturing. 

To search for opportunities across the sector click here. Or, browse our dedicated HS2 and Hinkley Point C pages for more information.


Cx Jobs

Project Manager

Are you an experienced Project Manager? Do you want to work for a company that is demonstrating sustained periods of growth, as well as having a solid order book of more work to come? Do you want to work for a company that offers autonomy, along with the freedom to develop in your career? Then Vital want to speak to you.Vital resources are currently working with a reputable and well established Civils and Groundworks contractor to assist them in their search for a new Project Manager. Our client is looking for someone who can demonstrate a background in Civils and Infrastructure projectsAs an experienced Manager your responsibilities will include but are not limited to:Daily management of various civil projects within the portfolio of workLeading successful contract delivery, ensuring the site team are fully appraised of the contract parametersInvolvement of projects at all stages from Pre-Qualifying and tendering through to completionEnsuring contracts are executed in accordance with client requirementThe successful applicant for this role will be able to demonstrate:Background in a similar positionPrevious experience working within groundworks, deep drainage and, cut & fill works.Degree educated (or similar)Full UK Licence as travel to sites will be requiredAbility to work alone with minimal supervisionFor this our client is willing to offer a competitive salary along with a comprehensive package.If you would like more information, please apply or contact Jamie Nicholson using the below details

Project Manager

Morson have an exciting vacancy for a Project Manager based in Yeovil for one of our Aerospace Clients. Job DescriptionThe Project Manager is responsible for the successful delivery of the defined Project with authority and responsibility from the Programme Manager to run the project on a day-to-day basis.Key Job Accountabilities Include:The project manager is responsible for leading and managing the project team with responsibility and authority from the Programme Manager or Sponsor on a day-to-day basis. Delivering the project to schedule, cost and quality.Interfacing between the project and functional business areas to achieve the overall Project deliverables. Demonstrate good communication and encouragement across functional business areas, for change.Effective co-ordination of the project and the inter dependencies into the overall Programme or as an independent small project, including resolution or mitigation of any risks and issues arising during the project. Supported by the Programme Management office.Ensuring all activities are carried out in accordance with policies, and processes.Ensuring delivery of contract life cycle relevant to accountable project.Managing and production of the required deliverables proactively monitoring its progress, resolving issues and initiating appropriate corrective action to achieve quality and schedule within budget.Planning, designing and monitoring the project, preparing any project plans as required. Please contact us for more information.

Visual Modeller

Our Client is developing a virtual aircraft maintenance trainer at its Dalgety Bay facility in Fife. The software solution exploits an existing in-house product capability called VoRTEX (Virtual Reality Training Executive). The VoRTEX core software provides the virtual environment, state store and rule set that govern how the user interacts with the platform virtual model. To run with the VoRTEX core, the project is creating the specific behaviour and 3D visual models for the relevant aircraft systems.The role will primarily focus on creating real-time textured 3D objects to be incorporated into a highly detailed aircraft with opening panels and removable parts. The source data will usually comprise very high polygon count CAD files that need to be optimised then textured. This will mostly be done manually because automated tools usually create unacceptable artefacts. Some objects will be created from photographs and measurements only. Applicants with full-time experience creating 3D assets for games or military simulators will have an advantage. The applicant should provide a portfolio or examples of work. Skills (essential):3D Modelling and texturing/shading of real time assets based on real world reference materials;Ensuring that all models produced are optimised for performance, taking into consideration the limitations of the target system;Ability to work in a team setting, working to deadlines and time constraints. Skills (desirable):Understanding of baking textures, generating specular / normal maps and physically based shading;Pro-actively contributes to improvement of production pipeline;General knowledge of rigging, lighting, animation and rendering techniques;Can develop MEL / Maxscript tools;Traditional art drawing skills;Knowledge and experience of using JIRA for task management. Tools (essential):3D Modelling - Autodesk Maya preferred, also 3DS Max (pure CAD software experience is unsuitable);Texturing - Adobe Photoshop CC expertise. Tools (desirable):Texturing - 3D painting software experience is useful;Game Engine - Unity 3D preferred, also Unreal Engine.

Site Manager

Are you an experienced Site Manager? Do you want to work for a company that is demonstrating sustained periods of growth, as well as having a solid order book of more work to come? Do you want to work for a company that offers autonomy, along with the freedom to develop in your career? Then Vital want to speak to you.Vital resources are currently working with a reputable and well established multi-disciplined contractor to assist them in their search for a new Site Manager. Our client is looking for someone who can demonstrate a background in Rail, Water, Civils, or Infrastructure projectsAs an experienced Manager your responsibilities will include but are not limited to:Daily management of groundworks packages in the central Belt of ScotlandOrganise and Purchase on Site Labour, Materials, and PlantLiaise with the commercial teams and other operational teams to ensure projects are delivered in a timely, and cost effective manner.Organise and Chair meetings with clients and senior management.The successful applicant for this role will be able to demonstrate:Background in a similar positionPrevious experience working within groundworks, deep drainage and, cut & fill works.Experience working as a subcontractor is preferred, but not essentialSMSTS CertifiedFull UK Licence as travel to sites will be requiredAbility to work alone with minimal supervisionFor this our client is willing to offer a competitve salary, along with a comprehensive package.For more information, please contact Jamie Nicholson using the details provided, or click the apply now link.

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