As someone who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology, Declan Birmingham has added to his resume by earning several different welding certifications, which can be viewed below:
- American Welding Society (AWS) – 2018 to 2022
- GTAW carbon steel, open root, 1/8 to 3/4” AWS B2.1-1-002 3G
- GTAW stainless steel, 1/8 to 3/4″ GTAW-IIIL-SS-WB 3G
- SMAW carbon steel, unlimited thickness SMAW-III-U-WB 3G
- GMAW carbon steel, unlimited thickness GMAW-1U-2-WB 1G
- GTAW aluminum, 1/8 to 3/4” GTAW-IL-A-WB
As Declan Birmingham has worked to obtain these certifications, he has learned from people in the industry just how dire the need is for welders in the world. As we read more headlines every day regarding artificial intelligence coming for our jobs, it’s crucial to highlight career paths that still need human experts. Welding is more than just permanently joining metals. It takes a certain level of skill and artistry that can only come through the exceptional effort of the men and women who pursue a job in the welding industry.
A person who has earned the rank of Eagle Scout, Declan Birmingham, has never been one to shy away from hard work. The physically demanding nature of welding is one of the parts he enjoys most about the experience. Welding is one of the essential components of industries such as automotive, construction, and aviation. The manufacturing world has been reliant on welders for generations. Currently, more than half of manufactured components are made via the skills and efforts of a professional welder.
For those interested in pursuing a career in welding, Declan Birmingham notes that the individual must adhere to strict safety rules to keep themselves and others safe from fire. Having high safety standards is a must for welders, as their job is to make sure that every product they work on is appropriately welded and ready to be safely used by a client. A welder spends a lot of time focusing on quality control. This means keeping all welding materials properly sanitized and ensuring the flames used to weld remain at proper temperatures. Most welders are perfectionists in their craft. Declan Birmingham believes it is nearly impossible to enjoy a successful career in welding without having a serious amount of pride in one’s work.
There is a significant demand for welders in various roles. The first step in the journey of a professional welder is often to earn a position as a welder’s assistant. The welder’s assistant position is an opportunity to work alongside an expert and learn. Responsibilities include everything from carrying equipment as requested to working to maintain a clean workspace for the main welder. Declan Birmingham notes that many welding assistants believe the most valuable part of holding this position is communicating with a professional and learning different trade tricks.
The traditional welder role mainly focuses on joining metals utilizing different machines. Many welders hold positions where they must interpret different designs and leverage their intelligence to find solutions to common welding problems. All unique welding procedures can lead to different results, so a welder needs to be creative. Welders are often also responsible for repairing damaged machinery. There’s rarely a handbook to refer to for a unique welding issue. Only a skilled worker can figure out a solution on the fly.
The welding industry also needs more people to fill the role of the fitter. Declan Birmingham notes that fitters set out, manufacture, and install different metal parts for the building process. Fitters will typically work with many other materials, including hydraulic systems, arches, and reservoirs. Another advanced career path for a welder is a structural welder. This calls for a true expert as they are responsible for mapping out and then creating metal foundations for roadways and buildings. With the safety of so many at stake, a structural welder has a crucially important job.
Declan Birmingham encourages any hard worker looking for a fulfilling career with some job security to consider welding. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is currently projecting that the United States will face a deficit of nearly half a million welding professionals by 2025, which means there is plenty of opportunity for emerging welders to take on prominent welding jobs.