How to Join a Welding Union?

How to Join a Welding Union?

A simple guide to teach you How to Join a Welding Union? so that it makes your work easy.

In general, iron is heated to the point of incandescence, which is usually called red-hot iron, and then is subjected to the forging process.

The typical processes of the Ironworkers shop are forging the welding elaboration of 1. Grills sculptures, 2. Furniture 3. Tools 4. Religious and decorative articles 5. Weapons, and 6. Kitchen utensils.

Ironworkers with sufficient skill and experience can produce excellent quality products with minimum energy and effort that bring a combination of originality and talent. Regarding welding, there is evidence in ancient civilizations such as 1. Egyptians 2. The Greeks, and 3. The Romans who already made ordinary welds.

They interposed molten non-ferrous alloys between metal parts that needed to be soldered. When this bond solidified, the desired bond was guaranteed. On the other hand, the Arabs carried out welding with alloys very similar to those used today. Currently, around fifty different welding methods are depending on the material that 1. You want to join 2. Need 3. The shape, and 4. The conditions you have to work.

For a person who works as a welder, his main duty is to join metal parts used in the construction of: Large buildings, Pipes at the residential level, power plants, structuring buildings.

They must know about: Understanding drawings, calculating dimensions and monitoring the heat used in welds. Providing good service is imperative to become a certified welder.

But you must also have skills in communication, very good attention to detail, know about industrial safety, and great command of the essential principles of welding. See what’s coming new at best welding helmets.

Union Vs Non-Union Welding

If you have decided to become a professional welder, it should be clear that you can work independently or by joining a union. Each of these work modalities has its pros and cons, so you must be well aware of which is the best for you. To join a union, you must meet certain essential requirements.

The first requirement is associated with the training you must acquire since you must have a welding certification that is under the auspices of the Ironworkers and American Welding Society. Second, you must pay an initial membership fee that certifies you as an active member of the union.

Before joining, you must verify that the union’s mission must be consistent with the specialty you developed as Boilermakers, Pipe fitters, or Iron workers.

One of the advantages of working in a unionized way is that welders’ wages are higher than the wages you can earn when you work independently. However, although you can take the job you want, you cannot go outside the specialty you joined the union.

If you work independently, it is unnecessary to have a welding certification to work just by taking a few hours of theory and practice; you can go out into the work environment. Another way is to start your apprenticeship as a welder’s helper, and as an apprentice, it will help you acquire welding knowledge empirically.

The downside to freelancing is that you cannot request payments at the level of a unionized welder because you do not have a welding certificate certifying you as a professional level. However, the positive thing about working this way is that you can get welding work of all kinds as long as you know how to do it without being penalized by a union.

Education Requirements

Many jobs may require a welder, from joining beams to building large structures. As well as operating equipment and heavy machinery or assembling machines and vehicles.

Welding is part of Ironworkersing techniques essential to developing activities within different industries such as metalworking, construction or plumbing, etc.

A welder must not only muster a special skill set to comply with safety procedures. Learning to pay attention to details and to be easy to communicate. You must also train and acquire specialized technical training that allows you to learn to:

  • Design
  • Build
  • To size
  • Transform
  • Read plans
  • Master the art of welding

Attending a trade school may be enough to master the principles of welding. These courses can last from three to six months and include academic hours where you teach theory while you receive the practical training necessary to properly develop the welding technique.

Course content generally includes safety practices for the proper use and handling of:

  • machinery
  • tools
  • cutting torch
  • preparation of metal parts
  • measurement
  • personal skills
  • professional ethics

This course is very comprehensive and is the best preparation for someone who wants to get a welding job and join a union group.

Welding workers must have a certain level of training to join a unionized group. These groups demand learning and education requirements as well as training and even some level of experience.

This is why it is necessary to obtain a welding certification through the Ironworkers and American Welding Society to become a union welder.

Currently, the people who take the course can obtain the certification online.

Union Worker Job Duties

In general, a unionized welder can perform different functions and specialize, such as:

Iron workers

Welders who work for iron unions become true Ironworkers dedicated to designing and installing building structures for residential, commercial, and industrial use.

Ironworkers skills allow them to carry out professional work in the construction area to rehabilitate roads and buildings, both private and public works.

Knowledge and mastery of machinery to transform metallic materials such as iron and steel are key when carrying out different projects.

Among its main responsibilities are:

  • They use tools to transform materials in safe conditions, whether in a workshop or other environments.
  • Assist in processes of the demolition of metallic structures
  • Design and installation of iron and steel structures


Boilers must generate and maintain heat and the electrical and mechanical energy necessary for other systems to function both in metalworking and other industries.

Boilermakers union welders are tasked with helping build metal boilers used to heat fluids and gases common in some industries.

A boilermaker is in charge of monitoring and keeping the boilers working in the best conditions. You must also replace damaged components or repair any defects as necessary to ensure safe operation.

Boilers are part of the energy industries’ equipment and the vehicle and machinery production industry. Generally, the job duties of a unionized boilermaker are:

  • Installation and maintenance of large furnaces and steam turbines
  • Reduction of air pollution and chimneys
  • Maintenance of large pipes
  • Tank cleaning

Pipe fitter

The use of iron pipes is very common in many industries, thanks to durability and resistance. This type of pipe is necessary and very safe for the transmission of water and gas.

Iron pipes are also used for the design and installation of ventilation ducts and cooling and heating systems.

Due to its application and multiple uses, this type of pipe requires specialists to design and install large pipe systems.

And in this sense, unionized pipefitters are in charge of the entire process from planning to installation and the use of specialized tools to ensure quality work.

A pipe fitter has not only the knowledge but the skills to design and install oversized pipes seamlessly. In the same way, it is necessary to reduce or adjust pipes to work correctly.

Unlike other smithy-related activities, a pipe fitter must meet more stringent requirements to be a pipe fitting union member. In addition to skills, they must also have completed a paid apprenticeship and four or five-year experience that will qualify them as a union pipe fitter.

The job duties of a pipe fitter include:

  • Design of piping systems and perform installations or repairs by technical specifications
  • Accurate tube measurements for precision cutting or threading and welding
  • Proper use of specific tools such as saws and cutting torches. As well as benders and welders
  • Perform corrective maintenance of pipes by replacing worn components.

A welder specialist develops a set of skills that allow him to perform various technical tasks within construction projects that involve the use of metallic materials such as structures and piping systems.

Aqueducts and structural elements in the design of residential or commercial buildings are just some of the most common projects that require the participation of a professional welder.

Welders and Ironworkers have skills to size, cut, place, adjust, connect pipes, design and read plans, and plan work.

Understanding and developing the welding trade can bring many benefits as you can generate better job opportunities and participate in large projects.

In general, welding and Ironworkersing are some of the most sought-after trades since many projects require handling the most popular metals on the market.

Demonstrating competence is vital when opting for good projects as a freelancer or choosing to join a union.

There are always jobs and projects as welders available, which represents a huge market. And it continues to be projected as a growing trend for the coming years.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much money does a union welder make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for non-union welders in the 2019-2020 periods is 43,897 dollars, and that of unionized workers is 67,170 dollars. That means around 53% higher when comparing the two work modes.

However, salaries are defined based on 1. The experience and certificates that the welder has 2. The salary scales of the local unions, and 3. The contracts are established in the workplace.

What union do welders belong to?

Welders typically join various types of unions, depending on their training and training in welding. There are the following unions:

Pipefitters and plumbing unions whose specialty is pipe welding can work in commercial or residential areas and private commercial or public works.

The hardware union works in all types of buildings, such as Bridges, Structuring elements, Ornamental works, and strengthening structures. They also work in Machine construction In-vehicle manufacturing.

The Boilermakers union is the other type of union in which welders work with metal structures exposed to high temperatures and strong pressure conditions.

How do I join the Plumbing Union?

The first thing you should do is train yourself by obtaining the American Welding Society (AWS) certificate and then locate a plumbing union that you like and meet all the elements required to achieve admission. You must request aggregation through the regional office, or you can do it online without inconvenience. All unions have a registration fee, and an annual membership must be paid, which is necessary to become a member.

How do I become a journeyman welder?

In general, people who complete all training and specialization in welding are certified as official welders. But they must have experience in the field to put into practice all the knowledge acquired.

Unions, depending on where they are located and the employer they are related to, request different welders who need to work under their auspices. It is very important to fulfill everything requested to become an official welder for an accredited union.

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Steve Leo
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