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What Is a Mig Welder and How to Become One

What Does a MIG Welder Do?

A MIG welder uses specialized equipment to weld metal parts to fabricate metal products. The MIG welding process requires a constant voltage power supply to produce heat. The welder operates a small electrode to form the weld while a shielding gas protects the weld from the air. The welder must carefully monitor the MIG welding machine during operation to ensure that no problems arise, like spatter or poor contact tips. MIG welding machines must be well maintained.

How Do You Become a MIG Welder?

To become a MIG welder, learn as much as you can about metal-working. Math and science knowledge is also helpful. Attend a welding training program at a vocational school or trade school, or get an apprenticeship with a welding company. The American Welding Society (AWS) has information on welding schools and apprenticeship programs. You also need to get AWS certification by passing a welding test and a written exam in order to work as a MIG welder.

What Is the Difference Between MIG and MAG Welding?

The difference between MIG and MAG welding is the type of gases used in the welding process. MIG stands for metal inert gas, so MIG welding only uses inactive gases like helium and argon for shielding. MIG welding is typical for non-ferrous metals like aluminum. MAG stands for metal active gas. Active gas mixtures are common shielding agents for steel welding. Both MIG and MAG welding are types of gas metal arc welding (GMAW).

How Long Is a Welding Apprenticeship?

Welding apprenticeships usually last three to four years of full-time instruction and on-the-job training. Most apprenticeships require at least 144 hours of classroom instruction each year. The practical component of an apprenticeship involves a minimum of 2,000 hours of hands-on training in the field per year. The coursework and fieldwork combined equate to a 40-hour work week. At the end of the apprenticeship, you must pass an exam to advance to a journeyman level.

Mig Welder Job Description Sample

With this Mig Welder job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Mig Welder role.

Job Summary

We are seeking an MIG Welder to join our fabrication team. In this role, you will be using MIG equipment to weld large pieces of steel and aluminum. You must be able to set up the equipment and clamp, grind, or bolt the materials into the proper position before welding. You will also inspect the final products for quality, so you should be able to read and interpret blueprints and other technical drawings. Applicants must be able to pass an MIG weld test and a pre-employment drug screening. Any experience with TIG welding is also a plus, although we will consider applicants with beginner skills.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Set up welding equipment
  • Weld steel and aluminum according to blueprints
  • Clamp, grind, tack-weld, or bolt components into position before welding
  • Inspect final products for quality standards
  • Troubleshoot issues with welding equipment
  • Maintain a clean and safe work area

Requirements and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or GED certificate
  • MIG welding experience (at least one year)
  • TIG welding experience a plus
  • Ability to read and interpret blueprints with welding symbols
  • Ability to lift up to 75 pounds
  • Attention to detail