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Welder Fabricators work in a range of different sectors including construction, transport and logistics, utilities, engineering, aerospace, off-shore oil and defence. Depending on the requirements of the job, welder fabricators will work with metals and alloys, cutting and joining using a variety of welding techniques such Arc, MIG, TIG and Stick Welding. Similar job titles include Fabricator, MIG/TIG Welder, Coded Welder, Automotive Welder, Machine Shop Operator or Engineering Fitter.
Day-to-day tasks for Welders may include setting out the materials to be cut or joined following engineering instructions and drawings, inspecting and testing cuts and joins using precision measuring instruments as well as using general workshop tools and small machine equipment such as saws, drills, lathe & mills, including hand tools and hand power tools. Welders will also frequently use manual and computer-operated machinery for drilling, milling and cutting.
Next Phase regularly has opportunities for Welder Fabricators and MIG/TIG Welders working on armoured vehicles focusing on vehicle protection systems, seats and the installation of sub systems. Previous experience of working on automotive or military projects is highly advantageous for these welding jobs.
Skills Required for a Career in Welding
- NVQ Certification in Fabrication & Welding Engineering Level 2 and 3-
- City and Guilds trained
- Welding standards to BS4872-1: 1982 and BS9606-1
- Understanding of technical plans
- Ability to concentrate for long periods
- Reasonable maths and measuring skills
- self- motived, able to work as part of a team
Salary Levels and Career Progression
The starting salary for a career in welding is around £16,000 to £19,000 which can increase to around £35,000 for highly experienced welders. Due to the nature of the work and the need to be flexible with regard to location, many welders work on a self-employed contract basis for which the hourly rate is around £16. With experience and a good track record, welders may be promoted to a supervisory role or be a workshop manager.
The South West
The South West region is one of the nine official regions of England. It consists of Gloucestershire, Bristol, Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, including the Isles of Scilly. Major towns and cities in the region include Bristol, Plymouth, Swindon, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Exeter, Bath, Truro and Bournemouth. Agriculture and Tourism are the major employers in the west of the region which is less prosperous in general than the east of the region, due in part to the better transport links to London enjoyed by the latter. In Bristol, Swindon and the M4 corridor the economy centres on aeronautics, defence, telecommunications, electronics, technology and IT. The region is famous for being home to Stonehenge, Glastonbury, the Eden Project and a wealth of stunning beaches and countryside.
Famous people born in the south West: Ben Ainslie, multiple Olympic sailing gold medallist and Agatha Christie, novelist/crime writer