Welders use manual or semi-automatic welding equipment to fuse ferrous and non-ferrous metals in all positions, on both plate and/or pipe, using SMAW, GTAW, and FCAW processes. They use flame-cutting, brazing and soldering equipment, melting and fusing pieces to be joined to form a permanent bond. They also use metal-shaping machines such as brakes, shears and other metal straightening and bending machines.
Welders generally plan work from drawings or by analyzing the job tasks, determine the materials required and welding processes, then use their knowledge to complete the job. They may specialize in certain types of welding such as custom fabrication, ship building and repair, pressure vessel welding, pipeline construction welding, structural construction welding or machinery and equipment repair welding.
Certified welders will qualify for Pressure Welding tests in British Columbia, administered by Technical Safety BC.
Welder is a nationally designated trade under the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program.
Grade 10 or equivalent education is recommended (Grade 12 preferred).
Two separate Welder program pathways are available to students. In contrast to the apprenticeship pathway described here, the other one does not require employer sponsorship - refer to Welder A-B Modular for details.
The Apprenticeship program comprises Levels 1-to-3 of progressive technical training, with each Level taking 8-10 weeks (240-300 hours) to complete. In addition, apprentices are required to accumulate 4,620 hours of work-based training. Students that have completed Welder Foundation are eligible to begin at Level 3.
After receiving their Certificate of Qualification, Welders can optionally register for an advanced Multi-Process Alloy Welding (MPAW) endorsement, requiring a further 5 weeks (150 hours) of technical training and 900 hours of work-based training.