Powerful Geography



Main Topic: GI. Science
Secondary Topic: Environment and Society

Overview: Welders use hand-held or remotely controlled equipment to join, repair, or cut metal parts and products. They typically need a high school diploma or equivalent, combined with technical and on-the-job training, to enter the occupation. On the job they are responsible for and should possess the skills to read and interpret blueprints, sketches, and specifications, calculate and measure the dimensions of parts to be welded, inspect structures or materials to be welded, weld materials according to blueprint specification, monitor the welding process and adjust heat as necessary and maintain equipment and machinery. Specifically, welders use welding torches and other equipment to apply heat to metal pieces, melting and fusing them to form a permanent bond. Some workers specialize in welding; others perform all disciplines or a combination of them. The following are examples of Welder job titles:

Welders join metals using a variety of techniques and processes. For example, in arc welding they use machinery that produces electrical currents to create heat and bond metals together. Welders usually choose a welding process based on a number of factors, such as the types of metals being joined.

Cutters use heat from an electric arc, a stream of ionized gas called plasma, or burning gases to cut and trim metal objects to specific dimensions. They also dismantle large objects, such as ships, railroad cars, and buildings.

Solderers and brazers use equipment to heat molten metal and join two or more metal objects. Soldering and brazing are similar, except that the temperature used to melt the filler metal is lower in soldering. Solderers commonly work with small pieces that must be positioned precisely, such as to make computer chips. Brazers connect dissimilar metals through the application of a filler material, which creates strong joints in products created with multiple metals; they also may apply coatings to parts in order to reduce wear and protect against corrosion.

Welders work needs geographic skills for various reasons. First, their work requires them in many instances work outdoors in all types of weather, or indoors, sometimes in a confined area designed to contain sparks and glare. They may work on a scaffold or platform high off the ground. Being aware of their space and environmental conditions helps them perform their job better. Welders also need extensive mathematical skills and spatial reasoning. They also need to understand 2D and 3D diagrams and models in relation the geography of their job site. Having the knowledge of using remote sensing and acquiring spatial data would benefit their work greatly. They also need a working knowledge of creating and interpreting maps and sketches and have to work with dimensions. Hence, knowledge of GIS and map making would facilitate their work extensively.

Geographers at work:  Environmental geographers, geographic information scientists, physical geographers

Recommended College Courses: Environmental geography, geographic information science, physical geography

Skills:  Mapping and modelling, geographic information systems, computer and database systems, spatial analysis, map reading and interpretation, environmental and weather interpretation

Occupation Group: Production


Learn more about Welders from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/welders-cutters-solderers-and-brazers.htm#tab-1

Written by Binay Thapa