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TIG vs. MIG Welding: What Those in Welding School Should Know

October 02, 2020

Welding School Both MIG and TIG welding are procedures that use electrical arcs to create enough heat for melting down metals into liquids. Both methods use filler material to join metal pieces together, and inert gas is also used to prevent welding electrode corrosion for both procedures. Despite these similarities, these welding types remain quite different in their approach, and with different purposes for their use.

Generally speaking, MIG welding is a good low-cost bet for completing jobs on steel and aluminum quickly, whereas TIG welding is typically reserved for more expensive, high-quality, and precise jobs–requiring more training to master and taking a lot longer to complete.

For a better understanding of which welding type to use and when, let’s take a closer look at both of these processes!

What Is MIG Welding?

This type of welding is often called ‘point and shoot’ welding due to its similarities to aiming and pulling the trigger on a gun. Metal inert gas (MIG) welding works by feeding metal wire continuously from a spool connected to an electrode into the weld–with wire being used to join the two metal objects together as a filler material. 

An electric current flows through the filler wire to produce an arc. While it’s touching the metal being welded, the arc is generated. With this short-circuit welding process, you move the gun at a steady speed along the joint upon starting the arc until the job is done.

Pros with welding technician training may know that MIG welding is effective on many thicker types of sheet metal. It’s also a lot easier to pick up as a trade, and a faster process than the more precise art of TIG welding.

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MIG welding is good for faster and more basic jobs, and is easier to learn than TIG welding.

What Is TIG Welding?

If you’re interested in attending welding school, you’ll eventually hear about the more finicky art of tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding. Here, the metals you’re looking to weld together need to have a tungsten electrode running a current through them. Once the metals have been liquefied by the heat of the electrode, you join the pieces together by putting filler material into the weld puddle.

Unlike the one-handed use of a MIG welder, TIG welding requires both of your hands for the filler and the torch, since they are separate here. You control the electricity coming to your torch via a foot pedal, which allows for a level of deep penetration and accuracy that prevents the arc weld splatter that can result from a more basic MIG job. 

In order to feed the wire, you must have a steady hand and stay extremely focused while moving through the weld. The level of control made possible by this procedure allows for a much cleaner weld—perfect for high precision, more advanced jobs. With TIG welding, you don’t even necessarily need filler material to get a successful join.

How to Decide Which One to Use After Welding Technician Training

With any weld job, looking at some key components of the work at hand will help you decide whether to use the MIG or TIG approach. Cost is your first consideration, with TIG jobs typically being much more time consuming, and therefore more expensive to complete. To execute fast and low-cost jobs, MIG is best. 

The thickness of the metals you wish to weld is next on the list, with MIG welds generally being much more effective on thicker, bigger pieces of sheet metal than TIG. Finally, you should consider the aesthetics of the job. Welding requiring any filler material is usually a messier procedure. The precise metal-to-metal welds that TIG welding can enable is splatter-free, allowing for the smooth, neater surface you’re looking for.

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Weld type depends on the size of the metal sheets, your budget, and how pretty the results need to be!

When talking about MIG and TIG welding, it’s really not possible to say that one type of welding is definitively better than another. Both procedures are necessary in the world of liquefying and joining metals, and both take a good deal of training to master—with MIG being the more basic starter skill that can later lead to performing the more precise art of TIG welding.

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A Brief Intro to Welding Symbols for Those Interested in Welding Training

August 18, 2020

When you first look at welding symbols, you may be overwhelmed by the seemingly arbitrary shapes and numbers. However, despite what you initially think, these symbols do have deeper meaning—and knowing this meaning will work wonders for your future welding career.

These symbols are often found on welding project blueprints, and are used to communicate between the designer and the welder. Without understanding these symbols, you won’t know what specifications a weld requires.

If you’re interested in becoming fluent in the language of welding symbols, read on!

Welding Symbols 101 for Those in Welding Training

Welding figures generally consist of five main figures: arrow, leader line, reference line, tail, and weld symbol (not to be confused with the welding symbol, which represents the entire diagram). Confused yet? Let’s explain them figure by figure.

The arrow, for starters, points to the part of the diagram where the weld is needed. Attached to the arrow is the leader line, which intersects with the reference line. In the middle of the horizontal reference line is the weld symbol: this represents the type of weld required. Finally, at the opposite end of the reference line, you may find the tail—it is only required for special instructions—which forks off in opposite directions.

How to Interpret Welding Symbols

As you’ll learn in welding training, the location of the weld symbol vis-à-vis the reference line determines which area of the joint you should perform the weld.

If the weld symbol is under the reference line, you should make the weld on the same side as the arrow. However, if the weld symbol is located above the reference line, you should make the weld on the opposite side of the arrow. But if the symbol is on both sides of the reference line, then, as you can imagine, you must perform the weld on both sides.

Learning welding symbols takes time, but is well worth it in the long run

Understanding Dimensions and Angles in Welding Symbols

In addition to shapes and lines, welding symbols can also include numbers that communicate the depth, diameter, and length of a weld–along with the beveling angle, if applicable.

In many cases, you will find the weld diameter (or width) on the left-hand side of the weld symbol. The length of the weld is found on the right. If the length is not indicated on the welding symbol, you should conduct the weld from the beginning of the joint to the end.

The reference line also plays a part in understanding the dimensions of a weld, just as it did for the weld type. Any dimensions indicated below the reference line pertain to the joint on the side of the arrow. Dimensions above the reference line pertain to the joint on the opposite side. If dimensions are indicated on both sides of the reference line, then you should weld both sides of the joint.

If these numbers, figures, and placements seem complicated, fret not—welder technician training is there to help you decipher these symbols with ease.


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What is Flux Cored Arc Welding? Find Out at Welding School

February 12, 2020

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A professional welder is able to master multiple welding techniques specific to different metals and industries. Flux cored arc welding (FCAW) is a variant of arc welding and is often used to join heavy steel plates together.

FCAW differs from other welding processes as it can be done outside with minimal equipment and produces impressive results. It is one of the fastest manual welding processes and can produce more than 25 lbs of welded metal per hour. By comparison, gas metal arc welding (MIG) generates substantially less.

Read on to learn more about FCAW before practicing it for real in the workshop!

Learn How Flux Cored Arc Welding Works at Welder School

Similar to MIG, FCAW involves joining two pieces of metal together using heat. An electrode is continuously fed through a welding gun onto the joint. The electricity short circuits to generate heat, or an ‘electrical arc’, that causes the electrode to melt. This forms a molten puddle that joins the metal together when it cools.

Flux cored differs from other welding processes as the electrode contains a flux compound and shielding gas, which is released when heated. Shielding gas is normally made up of carbon dioxide or argon carbon dioxide, which protects the weld pool from contamination by oxygen or water vapour. This is normally added externally, however, in FCAW it is released automatically in a process called ‘self shielding’. Taking welding classes will teach you even more about these different aspects.

The Difference Between Self Shielding and Dual Shielding

There are multiple versions of FCAW, including self shielding and dual shielding. In self shielding, no external protective gas needs to be applied, as the gas released from the electrode is enough. This means that welding can be performed outside without concerns about windy weather contaminating the heated pool.

By contrast, dual shield welding uses an external shielding gas as well as the inner shield for extra protection. At welding school, students will gain practical hands-on experience performing these processes in the workshop.

The Advantages of Flux Cored Arc Welding

FCAW is a highly productive arc welding method and can weld large volumes of metal in a short time period. The electrode is continuously fed through, meaning that the operator does not need to stop and start to introduce a new electrode. Because of this, it is a common technique for welders working in the construction and maritime industries and who usually work with large, heavy metals.

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Flux cored arc welding is often used to join heavy metals in the ship industry

FCAW is one of the only welding processes that can be completed outside. It is less easily contaminated by dirt or rust because of the flux compound, and requires minimal equipment. You do not need a heavy gas bottle, meaning that welders can move around and work outside of a workshop if needed. As well as this, FCAW can be used on mid- and low-alloy steels, stainless steels, and some high nickel alloys.

…and the Disadvantages of Flux Cored Arc Welding

However, there are some disadvantages that come with flux cored arc welding. FCAW produces high levels of noxious smoke, which can make it difficult for the welder to see their work. There is also a risk of the finished metal being porous as gases escape through the metal as it cools.

In addition, the wire and filler in FCAW is more expensive than in other arc welding processes. Lastly, FCAW cannot be used on non-ferrous metal likes aluminium, meaning that it is less flexible than other welding processes out there.

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Why 2020 is the Right Year to Enrol in Welding Training

January 21, 2020

welding technician training

The beginning of a new year, particularly a new decade, is the perfect time to consider starting a new career. If you’re a practical person looking for a challenging but rewarding trade which offers high pay and the opportunity to work in various countries and industries, welding could be the industry for you. 

Welders make and put together metal parts using heat. They are most commonly employed in the oil, gas and mining industries, but also work in the automotive, marine and military sectors. 

Skilled welders are always in demand, and this demand is expected to increase this year thanks to retirement numbers and developments in energy and manufacturing. 

Read on to find out why now is the perfect time to enrol in welding training. 

Welders Are Always in Demand

Figures show that this year Canada could face a ‘baby boomer retirement’ crisis, as ‘baby boomers’ (those born between 1946 – 1964) retire in huge numbers. This is good news for those starting a new career in a trade like welding, as there will be plenty of job opportunities. The Canadian Government estimates that may be as many as 24,000 new job openings across the country between 2017 and 2026.

As well as this, there is lots of development happening in the energy sector right now which will create demand for welders. The nation is looking to invest in better sources of renewable energy, as well as continuing to build infrastructure for current sources like wind turbines and solar panels. These are often made using metal, meaning that welders will be needed. 


Developments in the energy sector are one of the reasons welders are in demand this year
Developments in the energy sector are one of the reasons welders are in demand this year


Skilled welders with specialized experience in Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW), and Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) are among the most in-demand. 

As part of your welding technician training at North American Trade School, you will gain practical experience in each of these techniques, putting you in an excellent position to find employment after graduating. 

Work in a Variety of Industries with Welding Technician Training 

Studying to become a welder can lead to a career in a wide variety of industries. Welders are needed in almost every area of manufacturing, construction, energy, and repair and maintenance, and are also able to switch between industries throughout their careers. 

Welders can choose to work in factories, on ships or shipyards, as part of the military repairing military tanks and vehicles, as well as in the engineering, oil, gas and mining industries. 

As well as this, there is always the opportunity to take your career a step further with extra studying, which could open up opportunities in robotics or education. 

The Opportunity to Travel the World 

If you’re looking for a career that will take you all over the world, then look no further. Demand for welders is increasing internationally, not just in Canada. 

You can also work in interesting and unusual environments. A welder working on board a cruise ship, for example, would be able to visit multiple countries while working, and would also benefit from high pay, as well as free room and board. 


Cruise ships require welders to carry out routine maintenance and repairs during voyages
Cruise ships require welders to carry out routine maintenance and repairs during voyages


Additionally, some welding jobs structure their contracts to allow you a lot of time off, such as roles where you work on the road for six months and then have six months off.

Earn a Competitive Salary 

Welder salaries vary depending on skill, experience and location. Highly skilled welders that are prepared to travel can earn well over six figures. Welders working with the military in the Middle East can also expect to receive high pay because of the risk involved. 

Are you interested in taking the next step in your career with welding training?

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Finishing Welding Classes? Here’s How You Can Land Your Dream Apprenticeship

December 24, 2019

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Welding can be a challenging job, but also a rewarding one. Getting an apprenticeship is what helps students on their way from the classroom to a welding career, and gives them the knowledge necessary to move up to journeyman status. Students who love working in hands-on environments can thrive in this type of career, and there are several ways in which they can get the kind of training they want.

Although getting welding training at an educational institution is an essential step in the process, what you do after your schooling is even more important than what you do during it, and getting the best possible apprenticeship can help build a foundation for anyone wanting to work in a skilled trade such as welding. Here are some tips for you to land your dream welding apprenticeship.

Get the Right Welding Training, Both in and Out of the Classroom

Finding the right apprenticeship opportunity can begin with the right training program. In Canada, apprenticeship programs vary between provinces, but they often require classroom time during a span of six to eight weeks per year, as well as paid, on-site training between two and five years. For welding specifically, the combination of classroom time and on-the-job training amounts to about 6,000 hours, or around three years.

Apprenticeship programs take around a total of 6,000 hours, most of which is on-the-job training
Apprenticeship programs take around a total of 6,000 hours, most of which is on-the-job training

Whilst in school, students can learn various aspects of the trade through their welding courses. For example, the Structure & Pressure Vessel Welder diploma program at North American Trade Schools can teach welding students about concepts such as positional welding, blueprint reading, electrodes, consumables, and various welding processes.

How On-Site Training Can Give Students the Tools They Need for Success

Anyone hoping to have a career in welding in Ontario must become a member of the Ontario College of Trades, and must remain part of the College throughout their apprenticeship. As an apprentice on the job, students will be given instruction from a skilled worker, and the apprentice’s sponsor is tasked with signing the parts of the training standard demonstrating that the apprentice has met all necessary training requirements.

Apprenticeships can also pave the way for students to get good-paying jobs after their training. Apprentices get paid in the meantime so they can earn and learn at the same time. 90 per cent of the training for an apprenticeship takes place on the job, and the student will need to find a sponsor who can help provide them with the necessary training.

Apprentices get paid on the job, and can even see their wages increase with time and experience
Apprentices get paid on the job, and can even see their wages increase with time and experience

What a Student Needs to Do to Get the Most Out of Their Apprenticeship

Students should research various welding training programs, and call the schools to get more information on what each offers. Similarly, they can reach out to businesses offering apprenticeships or other welders to get tips and insights on how to get the apprenticeship they want after their welding courses. Since many training facilities are in close contact with companies hiring welders, they can work together to offer the best possible apprenticeship programs to students.

Furthermore, the length of an apprenticeship can be determined by how much prior work experience and classroom education the apprentice has under their belt. NATS’ welding diploma program also teaches students about searching for jobs, crafting resumes, and what they can expect during an interview for a job in welding to help them land an apprenticeship.

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A Look at Consumable vs. Non-Consumable Electrodes If You Want to Become a Welder

November 07, 2019

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Different types of electrodes, also known as rods, are categorized based on their material, diameter, coating and whether they are consumable or non-consumable. The most common type of rods are steel, which may be mild, low alloy, or stainless, but there are also bronze, aluminum, and composite welding rods. It is part of the welder’s job to decide on which type of rods to use for different projects. The material of the core wire of a rod will depend on the type of metal being welded, also referred to as the parent material.

In order to choose the right material and type of rod, a welder must know the differences between consumable and non-consumable electrodes.  Each is used for different applications and, with theoretical knowledge and hands on experience, a trained welder will know how to make these decisions to ensure quality welds.

First: a Few Basics of Welding Training

Before getting into the specifics of consumable and non-consumable electrodes it is important to set up some foundational points for your welding training. An understanding of what flux covering (or coating) is along with what a weld pool is, will give you a greater understanding of the main differences between consumable and non-consumable electrodes.

 Manufacturers mark the different types of coating with colour codes
Manufacturers mark the different types of coating with colour codes

Flux coating is a layer of chemicals that covers the rod and burns off during welding. This produces an inert gas that protects the weld pool and solid metal from atmospheric contamination. Oxygen will weaken the bond of your joint and impurities in the weld pool can also cause problems. Typically, though not always, consumable rods have flux coating. Non-consumable electrodes usually do not, meaning they require the use of shielding gases.

The weld pool is the small coin-shaped part of a weld where the base metal is at its melting point. This is where a welder will either use filler material, in the case of non-consumable electrodes, or not use filler in the parent materials requiring consumable electrodes.

Consumable Electrodes

The key characteristics of consumable electrodes are the following: they have lower melting points, they are usually used in metal inert gas (MIG) welding, they are typically made of mild steel or nickel steel and they are used in arc welding. The lower melting point means that they melt away, or are consumed as the welder works. This also means that they have to be replaced on a regular basis.

There are four types of consumable electrodes if you are considering flux coating and they range from bare (no flux coating) to heavily coated. While there are even more variations in terms of the types of coating that may be used, overall, it is worth noting that consumable electrodes have fewer industry applications.

Non-Consumable Electrodes

As indicated by the name, non-consumable electrodes do not melt away in the process of welding. As a student in welding school you should know that non-consumables are made from materials with higher melting points. These materials include tungsten, carbon and graphite and although these materials will not be consumed during the weld, the rods may lose length due to vaporization and oxidation.

Welders get hands on experience in their training
Welders get hands on experience in their training

When using non-consumable electrodes a filler metal is necessary to make the weld pool. Shielding gases that would normally come from flux coating are also required to protect the welding area. Another factor to consider is that tungsten electrodes are more expensive than carbon or graphite electrodes. However, the choices you make will likely depend mainly on the parent materials.

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How Your Welding Career Can Open Up These Travel Opportunities

October 01, 2019

Welding is a great job to have if you want to travel. Although you might not think it at first, a welding career can open up several different opportunities for travelling, in a number of different work environments. Working as a travelling welder—or “road warrior,” as they’re called—can be extremely exciting, and it also gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of the craft in various locales.

With many situations in which those in the field can perform their duties while seeing various parts of the country, welding is a field with plenty to look forward to after your training. Here are three opportunities in the welding industry that can involve travelling.

You Can Pursue Work as an Underwater Welder

If you have a love for both welding and swimming and have a strong willingness to travel, this could be the ideal way for you to marry the two. By working as an underwater welder, you’ll be working in aquatic locales in rivers, lakes, and oceans to help repair or construct infrastructure, such as dams, oil rigs, pipelines, ships, bridges, and more.

Underwater welding is only for the most experienced of welders, and to get this job you’ll also need your diving certification, which you can pursue after your welding diploma. Since underwater welders are a relatively rare breed, this is definitely a career choice that could result in you travelling or relocating entirely.

You Could Also Become a Structural Welder for Industrial Buildings

As an industrial structural welder, you can travel between factories during shutdowns to repair or maintain industrial buildings and energy plants. In this kind of role, you can expect to spend a significant amount of time on the road, going to the facilities where your skills are required. Industrial shutdown work is often fairly easy to come by, even if major plants tend to have a limited period of being shut down (i.e., about a week or so). However, being able to travel frequently and for certain stretches of time could be a definite boost to your welder career—not to mention you’ll be helping manufacturers keep their plants running smoothly.

Working as an industrial welder can see you spending time on the road

You Could Also Work at Shipyards or on Ships in Your Welder Career

Becoming a welder in the shipping industry can also be an exciting opportunity if you’re intrigued by the idea of taking your skills out to sea. Not only is there plenty of variety to be found in the industry as a welder, but the breadth of locales you could find yourself working in can also make this kind of job a particularly rewarding one. You can help to construct various types of ships—in which case you would work in a shipyard—or you could do maintenance tasks onboard a ship, which can involve living on the ship while it is at sea. In either case, the locations where you could find yourself working can be wide ranging. Likewise, onboard maintenance welding jobs can result in you working in different countries often, such as if you’re working on a cruise ship or container ship.

Working onboard a ship as a welder can be an exciting opportunity

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Why Learning About Shielded Metal Arc Welding Can Help Your Welding Career

September 10, 2019

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It’s an essential process for aspiring welders to learning, but how exactly does it work, and why do you need it in your welding career? Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW)—known by some as “stick welding”—is where a weld is made through an electric current that forms an arc between a weld pool and a flux-covered electrode, leading to the formation of gases that shield the weld pool and give it a layer of slag. As a result, the weld is protected from contamination.

Being one of the most basic and oldest welding techniques, SMAW may seem at first like it has a big learning curve, but it is actually quite simple once you’ve fully understood its inner workings. Here’s how SMAW works, and how it can be helpful for you and your welding career.

Those in Welding Technician Training Should Familiarize Themselves With the Process

Since it’s one of the simplest processes in welding, it goes without saying that those hoping to have a career in the profession should understand how shielded metal arc welding works. First, the electrode briefly comes into contact with the workpiece, striking the arc, which results in parts of the electrode being passed onto the weld pool before the covering disintegrates and forms protective gases. With the power source connected to a circuit, one of its two output terminals makes a connection with the electrode either with alternating current or direct current. Additionally, SMAW electrodes contain covering with various elements and materials that allow the welding process to be carried out, as not having the covering would make the arc hard to maintain and cause the weld bead to be improperly shaped.

During SMAW, the covering of the electrode disintegrates to form protective gases
During SMAW, the covering of the electrode disintegrates to form protective gases

Shielded Metal Arc Welding Needs to Meet Three Criteria to Work

Since SMAW is something you’ll learn in welding technician training, it’s important to remember that there are three steps the electrode in any SMAW application must take to properly weld. These are the ability to shield both the weld metal and the arc, the adding of metal to the weld, and the ability to sustain the arc. Furthermore, SMAW has three additional functions when the covering is heated well enough, which are the formation of the shield for the metal and the arc; the covering ionizing so that it can support the arc plasma; and the fluxing of the metal so it forms a cover on the weld bead as it cools, eventually giving off gases to avoid any contamination to the weld.

SMAW isn’t as sensitive to wind as gas shielded arc welding can be
SMAW isn’t as sensitive to wind as gas shielded arc welding can be

There Are Many Upsides to This Type of Welding—and Various Things it Can Weld, Too

The advantages of performing SMAW for your welding career are vast. Not only can it suitably weld a number of different alloys, metals and steels, but it’s also a process with various other upsides, not the least of which are its simplicity and relatively inexpensive nature. For example, the SMAW process isn’t as draft or wind-sensitive as gas shielded arc welding can be, nor does it necessitate the use of auxiliary gas shields. SMAW can also be applied to various welding positions, as well as its electrodes being able to access, and be applied to, hard-to-reach areas such as blind spots. Given how versatile and productive the process can be, it’s easy to see how advantageous it is for many welding projects.

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3 Challenges You Might Face in Your Welding Career, And How to Overcome Them

August 15, 2019

Welding is not only an incredibly rewarding field to be part of, but also helps showcase your ability to be strategic and maintain quality control. Like any industry, welding carries its own set of challenges, but they certainly aren’t unmanageable—in fact, they get progressively easier as you go along.

This is a great industry if you love working with your hands and aren’t afraid to tackle challenging situations head-on. If you’re looking for a new career in welding, here are three of the biggest challenges a welder can face, and how they can conquer them.

Welding Aluminum Has a Learning Curve, But it’s Easier Than You Think

Although it’s one of various types of metals you may encounter, aluminum is distinctive in terms of techniques needed to properly weld it. Aluminum has a varied chemical composition, a high thermal conductivity, and a low melting point—meaning that it can be broken, cracked, or warped easily, and burn-through can also happen.

It also runs the risk of discolouration, for which you need to make sure you’re using the correct filler metal to prevent magnesium oxide from building up while welding. With cracking and breaking, it’s best to use a filler metal with less of a heat-sensitive chemical composition, as well as making sure pulse capabilities are part of your gas metal arc welding (GMAW) process.

Welding aluminum comes with its own process

Learning Part Fit-Up Best Practices Throughout Your Welding Career

One of the biggest skills to have as a welder is the ability to problem solve. Furthermore, you will likely be taught how to read specifications and blueprints while studying for your welding diploma, so attention to detail is also essential. Therefore, it’s essential that you maintain quality control by ensuring parts fit with each other according to specifications.

Make sure the pieces are cut and fit proportionately, as it can be tedious to weld successfully if there are major gaps, or the parts don’t fit well enough. You must also be careful in preparing the joints, and you can do this by cleaning all paint, oil, and other matter from the edges, as well as cutting bevels properly and making sure the surfaces of the joint are smoothed out.

Learning How to Weld in Different Positions

In your welding career, you may weld parts in overhead, flat, horizontal, or vertical positions. Each requires a certain technique to do properly. The flat position is arguably the easiest, as it involves welding the uppermost side of the joint while the face remains horizontal and molten metal travels downward. The horizontal position involves welding material on the upper side of a horizontal surface against a vertical one, and vertical welding is where the weld’s axis and plate lie in a vertical position. Overhead welding is considered the most complex position, as it involves welding from the underside of a joint.

You could find yourself welding out of position during your career, such as horizontally

The best ways to tackle the latter three welds are to point the flame up at a 45 degree angle to the plate during a vertical weld, so that the lower parts go against the force of gravity. Horizontal welding needs the tack weld and plates aligned at both ends, so heat can move evenly toward both sides of the joint. As for overhead welding, make sure the weld puddle is small so the deposited metal doesn’t sag or drop on the plate.

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Why a Welder Career Is a Great Choice for Gen Z and Millennials

August 01, 2019

Welding is facing a serious labour shortage as many Baby Boomers retire and not enough younger workers line up to replace them. With Millennials (born roughly between 1980 and 1995) now firmly in the workforce and Generation Z (born between 1995 and 2002) following closely behind, many employers know that attracting these young workers to the welding profession is essential.

The good news is that there are plenty of reasons why welding is a great career choice for today’s young people. In fact, a career in welding aligns extremely well with what Millennials and Gen Zs are looking for in a career. Here’s how.

A Welding Apprenticeship Is a Great Way to Learn New Skills from the Pros

Millennials and Gen Zs are accustomed to disruption and they know they need to learn new skills to stay competitive in the workplace. However, they differ in how they go about learning those skills. While Millennials tend to be independent and like to forge their own paths, Gen Zs tend to respect authority and want to learn from their elders.

The career path to becoming a welder is likely to appeal to both Generation Z and Millennials who are eager to learn new skills. After acquiring training at school, would-be welders complete an apprenticeship with a more experienced welder and learn on the job. This means that Gen Zs appreciate learning under the direction of a professional, while Millennials enjoy the flexibility of being able to learn while earning money on the job.

Both Millennials and Gen Zs are eager to learn new skills to stay competitive

Welding Careers are Currently In Demand and Pay Well

Gen Z grew up watching their parents struggle with the fallout from the Great Recession and with student debt. As a result, they tend to be pragmatic and realistic about their careers. For example, for Gen Z, 44% say that salary is their main benchmark of success. While Millennials are more likely to value flexibility in their career, salary is also important for them. About 43% of Millennials who plan on leaving their jobs soon say they will do so because they are dissatisfied with pay.

The good news is that a young person who wants to become a production welder will have a career that is very well compensated. In Canada, the average hourly wage for welders is $28 per hour, or $58,000 annually, and welders have seen an impressive 13% increase in wages since 2010.

Welders are in high demand and are well compensated for their work

A Welder Career Combines Passion with a Secure Job Outlook

Whereas Generation Z places a high premium on job security, Millennials are more willing to eschew the traditional office career and want one that provides them with meaningful work. A welder career is the rare type of job that can appeal to both of these desires.

Welders have opportunities to work in a variety of environments and to even transfer their skills to different parts of the country. While being a welder can sometimes be a physically demanding job, it is certainly not boring, which is likely to appeal to Millennials. At the same time, the demand for welders is strong and there is a consistent need for welding skills across the country in a variety of industries, which is the type of security that Gen Zs crave.

Do you want a new career that is in demand?

Contact North American Trade Schools to learn about our welder technician training.

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