If you work in welding, you should already know it encompasses a load of different things. With the expansiveness of welding, it’s pretty difficult to correctly categorize welding. But what category does welding fall under?
Welding falls under many different categories, depending on the type of welding you have in mind. Most welders work in manufacturing, making it the best industry to categorize welding. Alternatively, you can categorize welding under construction, as many welders also work in construction industries.
In this article, you’ll learn all you need to know about all the possible categories that welding can fall under. Also, I’ll show you why welding can be listed under so many categories and the different examples of common welding jobs and their respective categories.
What Is Welding?
Depending on the context, welding can either be defined as a trade or a process. In this context, it’s most correctly defined as a trade that involves the process of joining two or more parts using welding techniques.
Metal is the most common material that is joined by welding. However, it’s also possible to weld thermoplastics and some types of wood, as long as they’re weldable.
During a welding job, there is usually a parent material and filler material. The parent materials are the materials you’re joining, which can be metal, thermoplastics, or wood. The filler or consumable refers to a material added between the parent materials to help form the joint.
In most cases, the filler material will be similar to the parent material to form a uniform weld. When fillers that are very different from the parent materials are used in welding, it is known as heterogeneous welding.
While welding and soldering are somewhat similar, soldering doesn’t involve melting the parent material. In welding, however, the base metal may be partially melted to mix with the filler material, creating a pretty strong joint.
From the description of welding, it sounds very much like a job in the construction industry. That would be the case if there was only a single kind of welder. In the next section, I’ll show you the different welding jobs to change your perspective on the category that welding falls into.
Examples of Careers in the Welding Industry
Most people try to associate welding with construction only. When you look at the bigger picture, however, you’ll notice that there’s more to welding than just construction.
Without further ado, here are some of the different careers in welding that will convince you that welding is more than just a construction job.
- Solderers and Brazers.
Solderers and brazers fall under the welding category because they also join two or more metals together. But unlike in dedicated welding, soldering involves fusing the metals using a metal filler with a low boiling point.
Soldering is mostly used to join two metals that shouldn’t be exposed to too much heat. Since conventional will require some parts of the base metal to melt with the filler, that is usually not required in soldering.
A high school diploma is usually sufficient for an entry-level soldering job and they mostly work in manufacturing, which is the main category for soldering.
- Welding Inspectors.
After the completion of a weldment in an industrial setting, the work must go through a welding inspector before it goes into the next phase of production. Think of them as the quality control unit in regular companies, but with more experience in the actual welding process.
Most times, welding inspectors are experienced welders who can easily tell if a job is of high quality. They inspect the weldment carefully, ensuring there are no cracks or faults that may impact the lifespan of the end product.
Welding inspectors use different strategies to determine the quality of a weld. They may run x-rays, bend tests, stress tests, and destructive cutting tests to ensure that the work is up to the standard of the company they work for.
Welding inspectors usually work in construction and manufacturing, but they usually work in an establishment that purchases finished weldments for manufacturing. Since there are no welders to tell the quality of their purchase, a welding inspector is always much help.
While welders should use heat to join metals, cutters use heat to separate them. While you may think this doesn’t fit into the job description of a welder, it does. The reason why they’re classified as welders is that they cut and trim the metals to make them easier to weld.
In regular settings, cutters work with hand tools like electric arc torches or oxy-gas to trim the metal and make it smooth enough for welding. Industrially, cutters control automated machines to do the work on a large scale, resulting in faster and more accurate cutting.
Cutters can fit in any industry where you have welders. However, they work best in industries where precision matters, and that is usually in manufacturing. Cutters also engage in recycling the residual metal from the cuts.
What Category Does Welding Fall Under?
From the previous section, it’s pretty evident that welding is too broad of a term to determine a specific category that it falls under. The industry you attribute to welding depends on what kind of welder you had in mind.
If welding was to be assigned a specific category, it would be manufacturing. In the United States alone, over 300,000 welders work in manufacturing, making it the likeliest industry you’ll be working in as a welder.
Welders that work in manufacturing could work in automobile production companies or aerospace. In manufacturing, welders mostly use automated machines while they focus on learning how to operate these machines throughout their careers.
Construction is another industry that also has a huge concentration of welders. Most people take it to be the best category for welding, as most welders they know work in construction.
The main reason for this is because construction is the main industry that refers to welders as welders. In manufacturing, they’re either solderers, brazers, welding inspectors, or other generic titles.