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Welders cut and join pieces of metal. Welders may also work as machine operators who operate previously set-up welding, brazing and soldering equipment.
Working as a welder for a forest product company means you will be in a fast-paced environment. Fixing broken equipment may mean you have to step in and manage a situation without much notice. Welding is physically demanding, and it requires manual dexterity and an eye for detail.
Welder Level A is someone who has advanced training, skills and abilities to weld all materials, including specialized alloys, by any manual welding process.
Welder Level B is a person who can weld ferrous and non-ferrous metals on plates and pipes. Welder Level C is someone who can weld various steel and aluminum parts.
Welding work also overlaps with the work of industrial mechanics (millwright), sheet-metal workers, steamfitters, pipefitters, metal fabricators (fitter), iron workers and boilermakers. With extra training, welders can transfer their skills to these related occupations.
Getting a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification is usually required. After that, you will need to complete a three-year apprenticeship program. Alternatively, a combination of over three years of work experience as a welder and some college or industry courses in welding is usually required to be eligible for trade certification. As an apprentice, you get training while earning a pay cheque and building a career as a highly skilled worker. Interprovincial Red Seal endorsement is also available to allow your skills to be officially recognized across Canada.
Apprentices can receive up to $4,000 in grants to pay tuition, travel, tools or other expenses.
If you are considering an apprenticeship, visit the interprovincial Red Seal program for information on how to get started.