Welding is a great industry, full of job opportunities and growing all the time. Here are a few tips for putting your best foot forward as a junior welder and advancing your career as quickly as possible.
1. Put Ergonomics First
If done incorrectly, a career in welding can be physically damaging, and even in the best cases will be physically demanding. It’s important, before you even start looking at ultrasonic tooling and horns, to learn how to use your body in ways that will help you avoid injury and stay healthy on the job.
Whether that means installing lifts or getting better work surfaces, do whatever it takes to keep the strain off your body and on the tools. It’s also a good idea to frequently remind yourself to relax and unclench muscles that have been doing hard work. Something as benign as flipping your visor down with your hand rather than with a head snap can save you a lot of pain in the long run.
2. Choose Your Method
Welding is a diverse craft with many different methods for approaching the same task. Deciding on your preferred method usually means trying them all out, on different materials and for different types of designs. Get comfortable with playing around and experimenting, because that’s the best way for a welder to learn their craft and find their niche.
3. Find a Mentor
If you’re not attending classes to learn how to weld, it’s important to have a professional you can look to for support and expertise. But if you can’t find anyone to fill that role, finding a good online class or tutorial series to watch can be just as good in the beginning. Look for someone who can teach you the basics in a clear and thorough way. You’ll be able to refer back to these videos later on if you get stuck or can’t remember specific techniques.
4. Set Yourself Up
Whether you’re planning to weld in your basement or a garage, it’s important to get properly set up before you begin. Set up a small area with a welding table, any assists you decide you need, and all of your equipment within an easy reach. Get the proper protection gear, such as the helmet and welding shirt, and wear thick clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
Starting out in any industry can be pretty intimidating. These tips will set you up for success and you’ll be a pro welder in no time at all.