Guide to Welding Services

Various types of welding services are hired by residential and commercial clients. Read ahead for a comprehensive guide to welding services in 2021.

If you own a business or commercial structure there is a good chance you will need to hire a welding service at some point. Residential homeowners also have use for welding services for various renovation and/or repair projects. Some providers specialize in welding services, while larger construction contractors might include the service as part of a multifaceted project.

Are you interested in a welding job in 2021? Training to become a welder helps you obtain a lucrative and useful career as a sole-proprietor or with a full-scale welding organization. Read ahead for a comprehensive guide to welding services in 2021.

Welding Services 101

Welding is a fabrication-based construction process, which uses heat and/or pressure to fuse together multiple parts of certain materials. While welding applies to metals, wood and thermoplastics, certain materials require specified techniques and processes for welding to work effectively. Other materials are not capable of sustaining the welding process at all.

Welding services are provided by multiple company types. For example, some companies only provide welding services whereas larger, multifaceted construction businesses might include it as part of service packages/contracts. Essentially, the welding process eliminates boundaries between two distinct items and melds them together when the pressure and/or heat increase to adequate levels. Welding is a technical blue-collar craft, which also blends artistry and engineering into its process. Multiple types of welding services exist although four are considered to be primary.

Types of Welding Services

Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) is perhaps the most common type of welding available. GMAW services, also referred to as metal inert gas (MIG) welding, utilizes shielding gas along a wire electrode. The electrode heats up and welds two chosen joints together. GMAW/MIG welding involves four types of metal transfer methods to create the end results required based on welding positions and type/shape of materials used.

Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) requires each welder to engage in a manual process called stick welding. A welding stick utilizes an electric current to create a connecting arc between it and the materials chosen for welding. SMAW is commonly used in steel structure construction and fabrication welding of industrial-based iron and steel.

Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW/TIG) is commonly used for welding thicker non-ferrous and stainless steel metals. A fixed consumable tungsten electrode is used during this type of process to create the final welded product. The GTAW/TIG process takes significantly longer than other types of welding processes and requires more detailed preparation. Melting points for non-ferrous metals vary a great deal between material types. GTAW/TIG welding requires careful calculations prior to starting the process.

Flux cored arc welding (FCAW) is a popular alternative to shield welding. FCAW is a semi-automatic arc weld process commonly used on construction project sites due to combined fast completion speed/portability. FCAW is also useful for a wide variety of welding protect types. The process generates high levels of fumes and smoke, however, so FCAW workspaces are best situated in outside locations or beneath industrial ventilation hoods. Additional types of welding processes/services include:

  • Energy beam welding (EBW)
  • Laser
  • Atomic Hydrogen Welding (AHW)
  • Friction Stir
  • Thermal Stir
  • Plasma Arc

Metals Used in Welding Projects

Aluminum is the most popular metal used in welding projects today due to its strong corrosion resistance and electricity-conducting capabilities. Aluminum is lightweight and generally simple to use. TIG, MIG and plasma arc welding processes commonly use aluminum, as do projects requiring additional blended metals. Aluminum alloys are supplied in various grades. Grades 1XXX, 3XXX, 5XXX, and 6XXX are viable aluminum welding grades, while grade 4XXX is commonly used as filler material.

Cast iron is a popular welding metal due to its hard qualities even though it is sometimes challenging to use. Cast iron contains a high carbon content, which results in its overall hardness. Despite the appeal for its hard makeup, cast iron is prone to cracking. Therefore, cast iron welding is best left to more experienced welders who understand the necessary pre-heating measures required to prevent damage during the welding process.

Oxygen-free copper is the best type of copper material for welding. Copper is almost as simple to use as aluminum and is resistant to corrosion/breakdown as well. Reasons for using copper include its strong electrical/thermal conductivity. This makes it an excellent choice for multiple project types. Avoid using oxygen-bearing and phosphorus deoxidized copper for welding, however, as both those types of copper are prone to corrosion.

Stainless steel and steel are two common metals used in welding. Low-carbon steel is likely the most versatile welding metal available. This metal’s ductility allows it to be easily reshaped without losing its vital qualities. Stainless steel is commonly alloyed with chromium/other metals to increase its corrosion resistance. Of the three types of stainless steel, austenitic and ferritic are best for welding and martensitic is generally to be avoided.

Find Welder Services (including average costs)

Welding services are provided based on a variety of client needs. Each provider sets prices based on the type of metal(s) used, size/length of a project and other factors. National average prices for welder services cost approximately $150-$250 per job, although prices fluctuate. For example, repairs and small home-based jobs might range in price from $25 to $100. Larger and long-term jobs charge extra for flux/gas ($60-$75/wk), sandpaper ($64/wk) and wire rolls ($15-$20/wk). Some welders charge $60-$125/hr with a one-hour minimum. Finding top welder services near you is easy using online resources such as:

Training Needed to Become a Professional Welder

Training required to become a professional welder varies per employer/contractor. A high school diploma is often required as is the ability to pass certain employer-facilitated welding tests. Enrolling in a certificate/vocational school training program is advisable to give you an edge over competing candidates. A welding certificate, associate degree for Science in Welding or a bachelor’s degree for Science in Welding Engineering are all highly useful for getting hired as a welder in 2021. Once you obtain a certificate or degree from a top school such as Lincoln Tech or TWI Global it is common to serve several years in an apprenticeship before venturing out in business on your own.