Welding is the most common way of permanently joining metal parts. In this process, heat is applied to metal pieces which melts and fuses them to form a permanent bond. Because of its strength, welding is used in shipbuilding, automobile manufacturing and repair, aerospace and thousands of other manufacturing activities. Welding also is used to join steel beams in the construction of buildings, bridges and other structures, and to join pipes in pipelines, power plants and refineries.
Sheet metal welders work on large-scale projects, custom projects or large shop-built modules. In this field, you may make the machines used in automotive assembly or food processing plants. On the other hand, you may find yourself working on a specialized installation almost anywhere in the world, such as a nuclear power plant or high-tech factory. The projects you will work on last for years and enhance the quality of life for many people.
Welders work in a wide variety of industries. The work that welders do and the equipment they use vary with the industry. There are more than 100 different processes that a welder can use. The type of weld is usually determined by the types of metals being joined and the conditions under which the welding is to take place.