Welding is a way to make high strength joints between two or more parts. General Welders use high electrical energy to form an arc. Manual dexterity is essential in controlling the arc, which is used to melt metals, allowing them to fuse together to form a structurally sound weld.
Welding is used extensively and in almost every sector of industry. There is a high demand for skilled General Welders in areas such as: automotive, marine, transport, general fabrication, construction and many more sectors. General Welders produce items like components for cars; ships; rail vehicles; simple metallic containers; and steelwork for bridges, buildings and gantries.
Welding is a safety critical occupation and every welder takes responsibility for the quality and accuracy of their work. General Welders are required to produce joints that satisfy basic quality standards in order to ensure that the finished products function correctly, contributing to the safety of all and the global quality of life.
Skilled, qualified, professionally certified General Welders can work anywhere in the world and provide services in the harshest of environments. For these accomplished professionals, the monetary rewards can be significant.
There is a highly complex range of welding skills: the different arc welding processes require different levels of manual dexterity, knowledge and skill to avoid making defective welds. There is a wide range of metallic materials that can be welded, each with different properties and behaviours.
Practical skills are considered as important as academic ability and the employer will set their own specific selection criteria. However, the candidate will be required to successfully achieve qualifications at Level 1 in English and Mathematics and also to have taken examinations at Level 2, for both subjects, within the period of apprenticeship if they have not already achieved these.
General Welders will have the skill to:
General Welders will:
Apprentices will be expected to comply with their company's standard PPE dress code. With the addition of new legislation, apprentices will be required to wear face fitted masks to comply. As such, apprentices will need to be clean shaven (to comply with face fit) or purchase an air fed mask.
Cost to be confirmed.
You could progress to the Advanced Apprenticeship in Welding Standard Level 3 (Plate pathway).
Welding apprentice Ashley Peppiatt always knew he liked making things but didn’t appreciate just how much until he spent time restoring his motorbike.
At the time Ashley was a self-employed graphic designer, but working outside and being hands-on, made him re-think his future.
Now 29, he is one of five former Derby College level 3 welding students selected for a national welding apprenticeship with leading power engineering systems business Doosan Babcock.
He said: “I was fed up with being stuck in front of a computer all day and wanted to do something more hands-on. Around that time, I got a motorbike – a Honda CG 125 – which kept breaking down. Me and my dad, who is a plater, got to work on repairing it and while doing that I got to know every single inch of the bike. I found I was loving using my hands and getting to grips with using different tools.”
Through a local apprenticeship, Ashley joined the level 2 engineering course at Derby College but moved on to level 3 welding after learning it could open doors to training with a top national firm.
He said: “I love my Doosan apprenticeship. The best part about it is that I’m learning a skill. It makes me feel useful, and it’s something I’ll have that will always be in demand. I don’t mind living away from home and I’m pleased to be earning money while also gaining great experience. High integrity welders can command decent money too. While we’re still training in the welding school, we’re paid apprentice rates, but according to the second-year apprentices, that will change when we go out on site. When we get to that point, we’ll be earning nearly as much as the experienced welders.”
Ashley, who wants to work on-site at a nuclear power station, said he’s grateful to his Derby College tutors for their support and glad that he decided to specialise and switch to level 3 welding.
I love my Doosan apprenticeship. The best part about it is that I’m learning a skill. It makes me feel useful, and it’s something I’ll have that will always be in demand. I don’t mind living away from home and I’m pleased to be earning money while also gaining great experience. High integrity welders can command decent money too. While we’re still training in the welding school, we’re paid apprentice rates, but according to the second-year apprentices, that will change when we go out on site. When we get to that point, we’ll be earning nearly as much as the experienced welders.