3 Signs You Should Consider Welding Training

Welding joins two pieces of metal together using fire and pressure. The process began in prehistoric times, and methods have evolved the welding process throughout history. Today, there are many types of welding careers, including combination welding. Find out if your personality and natural talents lend themselves to a welding career path with the following indicators.

  1. I like to solve problems.

    You enjoy learning how things work, especially when it’s a challenge. You don’t shy away from a problem and will do what it takes to find a solution. You’re ready to adapt to changing situations, and you feel a sense of accomplishment when you crack puzzles others can’t solve. Your knack for logical thinking has always been one of your strengths.


  2.  I like working on projects alone.

    You believe it’s important to come to work prepared and on time—even when no one is looking. You’re independent, responsible and motivated. You can work with little to no supervision. Because you take initiative, people trust you to get the job done right. You often receive praise for your high-quality work. While you prefer working on your own, you’re a strong team player and can motivate others to do their best work, too.

    There are several types of welding careers; many welders work on bridges, ships or in manufacturing plants. They work in hands-on, solitary conditions and are responsible for controlling their welding tools and equipment. Independence and self-motivation are key for students pursuing welding training.

  3.  I like to learn new things and improve my skill set.

    Sometimes you find yourself taking something apart to see how it works or Googling the answer to a technical question that pops into your head. At work, you ask tough questions because knowing the answers makes you feel more confident.

    Because a welder’s job involves inspecting, trimming and soldering complex metal objects, welders must pay close attention to detail. While welding school provides a foundation of knowledge, tradesmen and women typically learn new machines and techniques throughout their careers in order to meet evolving safety standards and technologies.

Consider technical training opportunities for welding schooling in New York by exploring our Combination Welding Technology program.


*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department. Grad rates, debt and other consumer disclosures at apexschool.com.


Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.


Shielding gas and gas cylinder, some of the basic welding tools and equipment

4 Basic Welding Tools & Equipment Pieces

With all the types of welding, figuring out which tools you need can feel overwhelming. Below, we’ve explained some of the basic welding gear beginners may encounter. Find out what each of them does, along with some factors to consider when learning how to use them.


  1. Welding Machines

  2. One of the most essential and basic welding tools are welding machines, which provide most of the power and equipment you need to weld. You will need different welding machines depending on what types of welding you plan to do:

    • Flux-Cored and MIG welders
    • TIG Welders
    • Stick Welders

    Each type of welding machine is best for different uses and features, including speed, material welded, precision, strength, and welding environment. For example, MIG welding tools allow you to work with steel, stainless steel, and aluminum alloys, while only stick welding gear can handle cast iron.


  3. Shielding Gas & Gas Cylinder

  4. MIG and TIG (or GMAW and GTAW) welding requires a shielding gas to protect the weld from atmospheric gasses. Welders choose their shielding gas based on cost, distributor, and use. The most popular shielding gases include pure or careful mixtures of helium, argon, CO2, oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen. The welding gas or mixture of gases you use affects the quality and capability of your weld.

    Shielding gas must be stored in properly designed and functioning gas cylinders to prevent leaks and allow for optimal use during welds. Many welders purchase used cylinders they can have refilled by their supplier on a regular basis. The size of the cylinder depends on how much gas the welder plans to use, and how portable the cylinder needs it to be.


  5. Consumable Welding Wire

  6. Certain types of welding require a consumable metal wire to create an electric arc between your welding tool and what you’re welding. This ultimately melts the two metals together, creating the weld. Welding wires of varying sizes can be made of the following metals, depending on what and how you’re welding:

    • Silicon
    • Manganese
    • Titanium
    • Aluminum
    • Zirconium
  7. Spool Gun

  8. For welding that requires consumable wire to create the electrode (explained above), a spool gun is used to feed the consumable wire into the welding gun. According to Weld My World, spools can prevent your consumable wire from bunching up in the wire feeder. When shopping for a welding machine, torch, or gun, check for this capability, especially if you’ll be working with aluminum wire.


Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Student learns tungsten inert gas welding techniques

How Many Types of Welding Should I Learn?

If you’re considering starting a career in the – welding field, you might be wondering why there are so many types of welding, and how many you should learn. Different types of welding are used depending on the following factors:

  • Tools available
  • Type of metal you’re welding
  • Timeline and setting of the project
  • Quality needed
  • Budget available

To serve a wide range of clients, individuals in the – welding field learn different types of welding. And while there may be more than 30 types of welding, the following are “the more common.”

Oxyacetylene Welding

One of the oldest types of welding, oxyacetylene welding is usually used for maintenance and repair. By combining oxygen and acetylene gas in high pressure, a welder uses a gas-fueled, high-temperature flame. Temperature and pressure can be easily controlled, and this type of welding can be conducted nearly anywhere, including outside. The flame can melt a variety of materials around it, providing a simple process for welding multiple metal types together.

Shielded Metal Arc Welding

A popular form of welding, shielded metal arc welding starts with an electric current that passes through an electrode conductor and stick, and forms an electric arc between the stick and the metal you’re welding. The metals melt and cool together, and the electrode forms a slag, or byproduct, that protects the weld from the atmosphere. Shielded metal arc welds can be done in one or more passes, and in more than one direction.

Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG and MAG Welding)

Metal inert gas (MIG) welding and metal active gas (MAG) welding use a welding gun to create an electric arc between a wire electrode and the metal you’re welding. As in shielded metal arc welding, a shield forms around the process, this time a gas shield, protecting the weld from contamination. Gas metal arc welding is known for its speed and effectiveness on steel and industrial welds. These welds must be conducted inside because of the use of gas.

Flux Cored Arc Welding

A purifying agent, flux is used to create a protectant shield around an arc weld. Flux cored arc welding is powered by a current, and sometimes combined with a gas shield. Like in shielded metal arc welds, flux cored arc welds form a slag, but they do not require the stick conductor. It’s popular in construction because of its portability.

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (TIG Welding)

Also known as tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding, gas tungsten arc welding uses a tungsten electrode conductor powered by electricity. As with gas metal arc welding, a shielding gas protects the weld, which often involves adding a filler metal rather than simply welding existing metals together. Gas tungsten arc welding allows individuals in the welding field to weld stainless steel, aluminum, magnesium, and copper in a precise manner. It’s a slower process because of its difficulty and precision, but it holds strongly.

Plasma Arc Cutting

By moving the electrode inside the welding torch used for gas tungsten arc welding, you can use the plasma arc welding technique. The plasma gas reaches higher speeds and creates higher temperatures, allowing metal to be cut cleanly and affordably. This method of metal cutting can be used for a wide variety of jobs, from industrial to small and personal.

These six types of welding are important for individuals wanting to learn the welding trade. By learning these methods in a hands-on atmosphere, you can gain an applicable entry-level base of welding knowledge.


Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.

Welder performing electric arc and combination welding

The History of the Welding Industry

Welding joins two pieces of material together through high energy. Usually, an extra material is used to join the two pieces, or bases, together. The extra material is often added to make the weld stronger than the base metals so the weld will hold. Find out how the history of welding started, and how types of welding have changed over the centuries.

The Bronze and Iron Ages (3000 BC – 700 AD)

Welding began simply as forging, any way of forcing two metals or materials together in a solid state. The earliest examples of welding come from the prehistoric Bronze and Iron Ages, during which people heavily used bronze, iron, and steel to create tools and, eventually, structures. Forge welding was often used to make the cutting edges of anything made out of steel stronger. Common ways of forging metals together are by heating, hammering, and/or pressing surfaces together, which are all still done today.

The Rise and Fall of the Blacksmith (1500s – 1800s)

Blacksmithing, one of the types of welding, involves hammering, bending, and cutting the metal. While blacksmiths existed in the prehistoric era, they became even more mainstream in the Medieval period, when every town would have its own blacksmith.

Before the industrial revolution, when modern welding methods were invented, blacksmiths were commonly considered the experts for creating and fixing any broken tools or hardware. Blacksmiths are known for heating metal in fire fueled by charcoal (and later, but not as preferably, coal) to make or repair the following items:

  • Gates
  • Metal appliances
  • Doorknobs
  • Horseshoes
  • Metal tools
  • Weapons
  • Decorative metalwork

Blacksmithing still exists as a career, but the 1800s saw the invention of electrically-generated heat that made welding a less labor-intensive process.

Electric Arc Welding (1800 – Present)

According to History.com, blacksmithing has been replaced by electric arc welding, which involves conducting electricity through a piece of metal to create an arc of electricity near the welding surface. The electrical arc heats the surface, making it possible to weld. While Sir Humphry Davy discovered the first electrical arc in 1800, strong resistance to this new type of welding lasted a century.

As the industrial revolution continued, construction became a main resistor of using welding. History.com notes that because they used rivets to fasten materials together, construction companies did not consider welding a necessity. In the 1900s, architects and engineers began to realize the limitations placed on structures that solely used rivets. By creating stronger, continuously welded steel beams, welders could free up space by simplifying the structure of the building. Lincoln Electric, with an architectural firm, erected “the first commercial building wholly constructed from arc-welded steel” in 1928: the Upper Carnegie Building in Cleveland.

Now, welders can even create continuous beams with curves and unique angles, making the once difficult task of connecting structural pieces simple.

Combination Welding

From welding iron to stone using a fire and pressure, to using electrical arcs to create stronger skyskrapers, welding has come a long way. Today, individuals in the welding field are often known as combination welders. Combination welding includes the following areas:

  • Blueprint reading and creation
  • Maintenance and repair techniques
  • Simple to complex levels of arc welding

With a rich history in methods and uses, the welding trade continues to flourish as a viable modern career option.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.