If you learn to weld, the skill you learn can give you a highly practical and applicable skill, whether you are using it on the job or just as a personal hobby. Welding is the procedure of permanently fusing two pieces of materials like metal together by using a high-powered energy source like a gas flame. Upon applying high heat to the edges of two pieces of metal, the pieces are joined by a pool of molten filler between them, which eventually cools off into the final product.
Sometimes pressure, as well as heat, is applied to the two objects before bonding their molten forms. Upon cooling, the result is a strong, singular piece. The two materials do not have to be of the same composition. That is, a plastic and a metal can also be welded together. If you learn to weld, this process is highly useful when it comes to repairing and building sturdy structures.
Altogether, there are approximately 100 types of welding. When you learn to weld, you will learn the differences among them. Differences are due to the molecular nature of the materials, required precision, and environment in which the welding takes place. For example, a sculptor might use a gas flame to weld two pieces of metal in an open-air setting, while an astronaut might use an electron beam to weld thermoplastics when working on a satellite in space.
When you learn to weld and even afterward, safety is a key issue in ensuring that both you and your project achieve a good outcome. Avoid the risk of burns by wearing personal protective equipment. Wear thick leather gloves and long-sleeved apparel to decrease the risk of injury from heat and flecks of hot metal. Wear goggles and specialized headgear with darkened faceplates to avoid the retinas of your eyes becoming burned out from looking directly at the ultraviolet light.
You can either learn to weld by reading a basic do-it-yourself (DIY) book on the subject, or taking a workshop class. Private programs and educational courses taught in trade schools are another way to learn to weld, at a reasonable rate. From classes you can learn the assorted tools of the trade, study the standard techniques, and squeeze in a little practice time as well. A few weeks of training instills you with enough knowledge for a low-skill job in welding. Moreover, several years of experience can help land you a highly skilled job.
It may be highly lucrative to learn to weld. The majority of jobs that require basic welding fall in the manufacturing industry. Some of them include automobile manufacturing, aerospace applications, and shipbuilding. However, many people who learn to weld may also choose to take classes to aid in a personal hobby such as in home repair and beautification projects.