Metal Worker

Career Progression From Carpentry to Metal Work And Welding

The carpentry profession leads the carpenter to work in a variety of fields within the building and ornamental industries. Building tasks are very diverse and construction companies do work to construct, renovate, remodel and do the interiors of a commercial or a residential structure. Carpenters may therefore be found working with construction companies, carpentry contractors or renovation businesses.  The number of carpentry jobs has been in a constant increase especially within the 21st century. It is therefore predicted that in a decade’s time, carpentry work may end up being among the hottest blue collar jobs for grabs.

Carpenters who opt to gain their working skill and experience from reputable colleges are trained to deal with not only wood but also metals. This is the reason why some carpenters will be able to do metal trusses joinery work without having to call professional welders on site. A certified carpenter may well be well equipped with the knowledge and skill of cutting, preparing, repairing, joining and installation of metals by the use of welding machines and equipment. Technically, this is not their major field of study. They can therefore only be able to handle some simple metal work and not the very complex ones. For a carpenter to become a professional welder and metalwork handle, furthering their studies is important.

From a Carpenter to a Welder

Welders spend more time in class in comparison to apprentice carpenters. However, the time they will spend in the field is still considerably more than the time spent in class. On average, a welder will take at least a year of study, 80% of this time being spent on the field and not in class. As a carpenter, before you even think of going to proceed with your studies, you may decide to seek for employment in companies that deal with both metal work and carpentry. As you go by your daily carpentry work, in collaboration with the welders, you will be able to gain skills slowly by slowly till you achieve your goal. In fact, most of those welders who have done their training in the field go to collages only for the sole reason of getting the required papers for certification purposes.

Carpentry and welding work have got a lot of similarities. The two professions are equally competitive but due to interest or other reasons, you may deem it well for you to switch from carpentry to welding work.

This is among the easiest progresses you can make in your career. It is worth noting that it’s easier for a carpenter to progress to becoming a welder than it is for a welder to switch to carpentry. This remains a fact as long as the carpenter in question acquired his professional skills from a reputable, accredited college.

During carpentry training, there is a lot of metal work that is taught. By the time a carpenter goes to the field, or by the time he wants to switch to metal work and welding profession, he will already be having vast knowledge and skill pertaining to metal work. Carpenters are trained to be able to handle roofing work that involves metallic trusses among other responsibilities.

Carpentry Categories and Specialization

Two major categories of carpenters include;

  1. The structural carpenters and
  2. The detail carpenters

Structural carpenters specialize in building and construction of structures such as houses, wall units, cabinets and the rest. Safes, trusses, cabinets, beds are all metallic structures that can be built by either carpenters or welders. Only detailed carpenters may however be able to achieve this. The detail carpenters do specialize in interior designs and the cosmetic appearance of the internal applications of a structure.

There are different carpentry specializations that exist. One of this is the Green Carpentry specialization.

i.            Green carpenters specialize in using only environmentally friendly materials to make their products. The use of metals in carpentry work is considered environmentally friendly since wood from trees are saved. If you are a green carpenter, it’s absolute that you have an upper hand of becoming a welder than all the other carpenters within your profession. It is therefore advisable that before you plan to switch from carpentry to welding, you should first think of specialization into the green carpentry side. By this, you may end up noticing that you probably don’t even need to go for further welding training.

ii.            Finish carpenter: Other countries call these carpenters-joiners. They can double up as cabinet makers. This occupation needs the minimum possible error margin and exact joints to be done. Such carpenters need to have welding skills because cabinets can be made of metals and wood alike.

iii.            Ship Carpenter: This is a carpenter who is specialized in the shipbuilding as well as their maintenance together with and other water vessels. Both steel warships together with the wooden ones need ship carpenters. With welding skills, you will be at the best position to work in this industry

Welding training in reputable colleges will not only guarantee you of certification but also the fine detailed skills. In college, you will be trained in the latest hand and power tools welding technology that’s quite different from the technology used in woodwork. Some of these include computerized machines that enhance the efficiency of your welding work. This will enable you to be able to cut, assemble and fit metallic materials in the construction of a building or any other structure such as the body of a motor vehicle and other machinery.

Generally, as a welder, you need to study how to read a blue print, how to measure and to mark the project layout, cutting and the shaping of the materials as well as the final implementation of the project in question. With this knowledge, you will have different areas where you can work and practice your skills. Such areas include

  • Starting your own welding contractor firm
  • Working for a welding contractor in a contractor firm
  • Arranging work for sub contractors
  • Preparation of cost estimates and quotation
  • Writing of progress reports
  • As a carpenter and welder, clients will prefer you because they get all the services under one roof, obviously at reduced rates because of reduces cost of production.

Just like carpentry, welding needs lots of physical and intellectual skill and attention. You need to be very keen when cutting, metals, grinding or joining the metals using the welder. Carelessness in welding will obviously result to more serious injuries than in carpentry. More fatal accidents have been reported in welding than in carpenters’ shops. You therefore need to go to school so that you can gain the organization skills together with safety measures.

In Review

The formal welding and metal work training is available in certificate programs, seminars, high schools, online classes, associate degree together with advanced college degrees. These programs are in many times referred to as pre apprenticeship training and will help the learner to be able to construct, restore and preserve welding fields. In the modern construction industry, it’s important that you do not just rely on one construction material but train to use different building materials. This will make sure that you are always ahead of your competitors. For these reasons, it’s very prudent for you to progress from just being a carpenter to a carpenter who also brags of certified welding skills.