What they do
Welders fabricate and repair metal parts for use in machinery and other metal products and structures. They use a range of welding techniques to apply heat or electrical current to metal parts to join them together. They clean and smooth welds by filing, chiselling and grinding. They also examine welds for width and precision. In Western Australia welders work mostly in the resources sector but may also work in manufacturing or construction.
Welders work in workshops, factories and a range of other industrial production and engineering environments.
In line with occupational health and safety requirements, welders use a range of personal protective equipment (PPE), which will vary depending on the specific work being carried out.
Tools and technologies
Welders need to be familiar with a number of different welding techniques and equipment. They work with a number of different metals, hand tools, power tools, specialist welding tools and heavy machinery. They are also required to wear PPE, which may include leather gloves or welding gauntlets, ear plugs, breathing apparatus, and welding masks or helmets.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a welder in Western Australia, you usually need to undertake an apprenticeship in engineering tradesperson fabrication (first class welder) The apprenticeship usually takes 42 to 48 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.