Choose Welding

Everything from bridges, buildings and even lifesaving technologies such as pacemakers are fused by welding professionals

In Canada, welding is a profession that requires highly skilled and dedicated individuals because of the scope of the skilled trade. Everything from bridges, buildings and even lifesaving technologies such as pacemakers are fused by a welding professional who has spent many years learning, training and honing their workmanship.

Welding is no longer perceived as the “dirty trade” but instead a profession that fuses the world while playing a significant role in the overall Canadian economy. To become a welder, there are several steps that need to be accomplished. The days of just entering the trade are long gone, as an aspiring welder should ensure graduation of high school is first priority. Some secondary schools offer trades training while registered as a student, and some hold accreditation for dual credit programs.

Once grade 12 is completed, considering the right post-secondary institution is the next stage. Most colleges offer either a 1, 2 or 3 year program where welding processes, metallurgy and other relevant courses are the focus to prepare the student for the next phase of their welding career.

Although every province's and territory’s apprenticeship programs have similarities, there are also some differences. It’s encouraged for welding students to check with the local apprenticeship authorities to ensure provincial regulations are followed properly. Registration to a formal apprenticeship typically involves a contract with an employer, the local provincial authority and the apprentice. Apprentices will then be encouraged to partner with a technical training institution. During this period, the apprentice “earns while they learn” as they can continue gainful employment throughout the apprenticeship training. There are many funding assistance programs which subsidize educational costs. An apprenticeship program is a combination of both hands on training provided by the employer and technical training from the institution.

Once the recommended apprenticeship hours are completed, and the apprentice has successfully completed all levels of technical training, they have an opportunity to be examined for their Journeyman certification. This qualification is considered the entry level position into the welding profession. After completion of this designation, the welder then can pursue their Red Seal ticket. Many technical training institutions offer the InterProvincial Red Seal certification at the same time of writing the Journeyman exam. This qualification is highly regarded and is proof the welder has an extensive background in both technical training and hands on experience, and provides recognition of the welder’s credentials across Canada.

Although for some, this may be the final step in their journey to becoming a qualified welder. Additional certification such as structural and/or pressure tickets can also be attained. Welders have a diversified opportunity to further advance their careers. Welding inspectors, supervisors, engineers, underwater welders, aerospace, nano technologies, shop owner, sales personnel and even educators are other career paths a welder may pursue.