Critical Thinking Essay Welding

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Welding is my future career choice. I have chosen this career because I grew up watching several of my family members and friends weld. Welding has become an ever-growing interest to me. Welding pays incredibly well, keeps you occupied, and makes work days go by ultrafast. This job really does not require any special education except in situations where you are looking to work for big industries. However, the education required for this job does vary by employer. Most employers require a high school diploma and completion of employer-based welding tests.

Most welding programs usually take about two years or less to complete, and there are even schools that take as little as seven months to complete. Some of the schools that give the best welding education are:

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    • Northwest Louisiana Technical College: $2,000 to $4,000 in tuition
    • Central Louisiana Technical Community College: $2,000 to $4,000 in tuition
    • Pelican Chapter Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc.: $1,000 to $3,000 in tuition

I am already very educated on how to weld because I grew up watching and helping both my father and grandfather with a variety of welding projects. I have taken an interest in this career and very much enjoy taking on small projects. Being that I would like this to be a main job, I have looked into the yearly salary of welding in Louisiana and have found that welders make $47,810 a year which can increase to $69,680 a year. A welder’s average salary in Alaska is up to $75,000. In Wyoming, it's up to $57,000 a year. That is a very satisfying amount considering that it has a widespread with the pay scale. Knowing people who weld, and being hired to do small projects, I know that you can make anywhere from $20-$70 an hour depending on the project and experience.

There are multiple types of welding processes used. There is GMAW or MIG (Gas metal arc welding), SMAW or stick welding (Shielded Metal Arc Welding), TIG or GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc welding) and FCAW (Flux-Cored Arc Welding). Each of these procedures has special characteristics that make them different from each other.

GMAW is the type of welding process where a shielded gas is used along a wire conductor and heats the two metals to be conjoined. This is the most common industrial welding process used today. It requires a lot of energy. The use of energy is not as concerning since this weld is very useful. It is commonly used for construction and repair and also for fusing mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.

Then you have a GTAW, the process is done using a tungsten electrode to create heat and develop a molten weld puddle to work with. This process is very complex and takes a lot of practice to be able to master. This is normally used for high-quality work.

FCAW is an alternative to shield welding, except it is done using a tubular wire filled with flux. This welding is known for being affordable and easy to learn. Being that it is a quick solution to many problems, it, too, is often used for construction.

And last but not least you have shielded metal arc welding, which is normally referred to as ‘stick’. Arc welding is the most basic of all welding processes. You use a welding stick that conducts heat and forms an electric arc between the stick and the metals so they can conjoin. This process is mainly used in the construction of steel and in industrial fabrication.

My personal favorite welding process to use and work with is MIG because it is a lot easier to work with and the welds come out more aesthetically pleasing. I believe this is the best career choice for me because it is something that I thoroughly enjoy doing.

Welding is a very dangerous career and can be harmful to the human body. To start off there is the really bright flash from the welding arc that can critically damage your vision temporarily and or permanently. Then there are the fumes and gases that a welder is exposed to during welding that can increase the chance of lung cancer in the future. Furthermore, it can irritate the eyes, nose, and skin as well. You are risking serious electric shock, fire, and explosions if you aren’t careful.

I have been thinking about going into two different jobs in welding, either pipeline or offshore. Both jobs bring in a significant amount of money.

The pros of pipelining are that the wages are great. For a traveling pipelined, you will earn anywhere from $50,000 to $180,000 a year. Most of the companies will supply you with most of the gadgets and tools you will need; welding rods, grinder wheels, oxygen and acetylene bottles for your cutting torch, etc. The cons of pipelining is buying all the things you need just to start off. They do not give you a place to stay so you will either have to invest in a camper or keep paying for motel rooms and dinner every night. Personally, I would go ahead and invest in a camper rather than a motel room. There are also no benefits from this but the high pay sort of evens it out. So to start off, you have to spend a bunch of money before you actually start making money. A loan from the bank would probably be needed to be able to meet your needs. The major thing that you need is a truck and a welding machine. The truck will have to be big enough to pull a camper if you choose to get one. Pipeline jobs are everywhere around the United States so it will be an intense amount of traveling. Most pipeline jobs will last anywhere from two months to almost two years, depending on how major or minor the job is.

Offshore welding is a mix between underwater welding and above-water welding. Although the salaries are also fruitful like pipelining. Salaries can start anywhere from $80,000 and typically can increase to $200,000 a year based on performance. I am more interested in offshore welding rather than pipeline welding because you are home more often. Offshore workers are set work schedules. They come home for two weeks, work two weeks or three weeks, and two weeks off. So, you are home more often than you are on the pipeline, family is incredibly important to me so this is a very appealing characteristic of offshore welding. The benefits all depend on the company you work for.

With all the benefits explained above of offshore welding, it can be a very, very dangerous route. You are risking hypothermia, electrocution, explosion, and drowning. But, the monetary benefit is that overall the checks look really nice.

Working in a welding shop is also an idea that has come to my mind. One of the benefits that I would get out of it is I would be closer to home. Which means on my off time I will be able to have some family time. I also would not have to spend loads of money on buying a machine or tools. It would all be supplied by the owner of the company. The average wages of shop welders start off around $18 per hour and can reach anywhere to $35 per hour. Being a shop welder is a pretty interesting job. You can fix or build any kind of equipment furniture or decorations for anyone.

Another way to make money from welding is to be self-employed. By that, I mean to go around looking for projects that people might want done. This does not call for any type of education, although it might help you to be more successful. You can take on projects that people ask you to do. I have experienced this with my father when I was younger, and still today. I still help my dad weld things and do small projects for people who ask me to. Being self-employed you can charge people a reasonable amount for the size of the project. If it is a small project, then charge a couple hundred. If it is a large project, then charge several thousand for your work. The price you charge people does depend on how well and exactly you have done the job.

I have done projects that have gotten me a couple thousand dollars. As of right now, I’m working on two projects that a man has contacted me about. I am building a gate to the entrance of a garden, and a table for his kitchen. I will charge him around $1000 for the gate and around $1300 for the table. For projects like this, they are usually included with special designs that the customer asks for. The reason the price is that much is that I charge them the cost of the materials that I have to purchase for the project, and then I charge a reasonable amount for the labor. If I keep doing jobs like this for people, the more my name will be spread around and the more work and bigger and better projects come along.

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Critical Thinking Essay Welding. (2024, January 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 24, 2024, from
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