Welding FAQ

Are you interested in becoming a welder? The demand for welders continues to grow at a steady pace. Midwest Technical Institute (MTI) offers two programs in welding: Welding Program and Welding & Pipefitting Program.

If you’re interested in becoming a welder, the following frequently asked questions may help you understand more about this field.

What are the responsibilities of a welder vs electrician?

The kind of work that welders do varies. Welders are typically employed as cutters, solderers, or brazers depending on their training, duties, and the job site. Welders can work in manufacturing, construction, and pipefitting.

An electrician is someone trained to perform electrical work. This can include planning the layout and installation of an electrical system, installing breakers, fiber optics, telecommunications, and replacing faulty wiring. Electricians may work on residential or commercial job sites or choose to be independent contractors.Welders and electricians are expected to be committed, skilled, on time, and prepared with the proper education and certifications.

Can welders have tattoos?

Many welders have tattoos, but whether they are permitted on a job site is up to the employer.

Do welders travel?

It is not uncommon for welders to work all over the world, and many welders enjoy traveling as a part of their job. Jobs which welders might travel for include industrial shutdowns, ship building repair and maintenance, military support, pipe line installation, and underwater welding.

Can you become a welder over 40?

There are no age limits to becoming a welder if you are able to complete the education and certification requirements.

Should you choose Welding or HVAC?

Welding and HVAC can both be fulfilling career options. An HVAC technician installs, maintains and repairs heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and refrigeration units and can work on residential and commercial jobs. MTI offers a 9-month HVAC/R-MAR Technician Program.

HVAC technicians may work long hours of overtime or set schedules. HVAC technicians must also closely adhere to safety procedures to stay safe on the job.

How many hours do welders typically work?

The hours a welder works depends on their job at the time, but a set schedule could be 40 hours a week. However, there is often overtime in welding which can increase the amount of hours per week. Some jobs require urgency and have tight deadlines, which can mean more hours or overtime work for welders.

Who typically hires welders?

Welders are valued tradespeople who are needed in many different fields, including construction sites, metal fabrication shops, factories, and infrastructure projects like skyscrapers and bridge-building. Some welders start their own shops or choose to work as traveling welders.

How can you become a traveling welder?

Traveling welders can work on a variety of welding jobs, and will need to have the same certifications and training as other welders. Depending on the employer, traveling welders may need to have a specialty, additional training, or more experience in the field. A traveling welder may choose to specialize, such as a welder that works in industrial or military environments. Pipefitters may travel for their jobs. The Welding & Pipefitting Program at MTI offers pipefitting as a part of the required training.

How to treat and avoid sunburn from welding?

The best way to avoid a facial sunburn from welding is by wearing protective eye gear and the correct helmet with faceplate. Skin protection is also key to avoiding sunburn. A t-shirt is not enough, welders should wear a welding jacket, welding apron, and welding gloves that cover the hands and forearms. A welding sunburn should be treated quickly when possible. This may include:

  • Reducing inflammation with ice packs
  • Treating the burn with aloe or after-sun cream
  • Staying hydrated

Severe burns should be seen by a doctor for proper medical treatment. Following all safety measures on a welding job is the best way to avoid injury.

Can welding damage your eyes?

Eye injuries from exposure to UV radiation, loose particles, or eye irritation can occur in welding. To prevent eye injuries, it is important you follow welding safety precautions. Welders should always wear proper eye protection, such as glasses and a welding helmet with a face shield.

Why do welders wear masks?

Welders wear masks because eye injuries and welding sunburns can occur in welding from exposure to UV radiation and particles that come loose during welding. A proper mask or welding helmet with a face plate and eye filter can protect from these injuries.

Begin Your Path to Becoming a Welder