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Welders 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, welders 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.
Sittingbourne is located in the Swale district of Kent in south east England approximately 45 miles from London, 17 miles from Canterbury, 20 miles from Ashford and 17 from Maidstone. Sittingbourne has direct railway links to London’s Victoria and St Pancras International stations with a journey time of around one hour and road links, particularly to the coastal ports, are also excellent.
The main employers in the Sittingbourne area are in the paper manufacture, cement making and fruit farming industries, Kent is particularly famous for its apples and cherries. In days gone by the Sittingbourne area was also well known for brick making, barge building and water transport. The Dolphin Sailing Barge Museum provides an insight into the barge building industry. New industries growing in the Sittingbourne area include engineering, IT, distribution/logistics and life sciences, the latter particular at the Kent Science Park.