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Career Connections: Welding

4 minutes

I'm Zachary Kulwicki. I am a welder and fabricator. A welder gets to play with fire and electricity a lot. On the most grandiose scale, it's pretty much shooting bottled lightning into a volcano. There are three different forms of welding. MIG welding, which is metal inert gas. that's for most production welding. You have what is colloquially known as "stick" welding, which is shielded metal arc welding, which is the big electrodes for heavy-duty welding of buildings and bridges. Then for the really fine detail work, you'll use TIG welding, which is tungsten inert gas welding, and it leaves a clean, polished look at the end. And it's such an interesting field that you can get into any aspect of daily life, and you can look at any corner of a room, and there's probably something that was welded. With everything going on as far as energy demands, internationally, depending on if pipelines or oil rigs in North, South Dakota, need to be fabricated, you have plenty of jobs there that are going to be up-and-coming. High rises in New York City or L.A. Even around the world, high rises are always going up. I think a lot of it is the fact that the skill was so diminished, I would say. Over the past couple of decades, you have the baby boomers who learned it after World War II and have been in the trade skills for the past 50 years, who are now retiring. So there's a huge gap of information and skill that needs to be filled. There are a set of codes and standards which almost all places will follow, and that's set by the American Welding Society. If you go through a certain course, you can become a certified welding inspector to make sure that all of those guidelines are met with every weld on a job. More often than not, those certifications are for areas such as pipe welding, boilermakers, ironworkers, et cetera, et cetera. As far as high school students go, you're going to need to know, or at least can tolerate, most maths. If you want to work for a metallurgical company, R&D department sort of things-- creating new filler material-- you need to know a lot more chemistry to know that. You will need to know some types of physics for the jobs you're working with, especially if you're a fabricator, along with just doing welding. Very often, the two go together. My parents went to college. They wanted all the best for us. I think that's what parents want-- only the best for their kids. And I think a lot of times the only avenue that people see is the four-year university, graduating with a bachelor's, then going and getting a master's and possibly a doctorate. But I find that a lot of people with skilled trades have a more rewarding life.

Funding to purchase and make this educational production accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

PH:1-800-USA-LEARN (V) or WEB: www.ed.gov.

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Learn about the academic and career demands of a commercial welder from a welding instructor. See live on-the-job welding and learn the benefits of a welding career from the professionals. Part of the "Career Connections" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 4 minutes

Career Connections
Episode 1
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 2
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 3
3 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 4
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 5
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 6
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 7
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 8
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 9
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 10
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12