Regardless of the industry, those working in similar fields are often pitted against each other. But this is far from having a malicious intent behind the comparison.
A good understanding of a particular job and what it entails can be a fantastic way to decide which career to pursue. Also, making these comparisons can give you a good idea about how much the job pays.
You might have a decent idea about a welder and electrician. But you won’t mind knowing a couple of specifics about the two lines of work, do you?
So here is everything you need to know about a welder vs electrician.
A welder is a tradesman who uses a welding machine regularly to join materials such as metals. He or she has the skills to fuse materials, including metals, polymers, and sometimes plastics. In addition to joining materials, a welder also cuts, manipulates, and shapes them to get the final product. A welder may be an amateur or a professional.
The main sectors of work for welders include construction, industrial manufacturing, as well as shipbuilding.
An electrician is another tradesman specialising in electrical repairing, wiring, and maintenance of existing components and structures. Besides, an electrician is also responsible for the installation of new electrical systems and components. The main area of work for an electrician is construction.
Types of welders/welding
Welders are not explicitly classified as electricians. However, a welder may be specialised in one or more of the following types of welding.
- Gas Metal Arc Welding – Probably the most common type of welding, here a thin wire called the electrode is the main component. It heats up and melts to join the workpieces. A shielding such as helium and argon is another vital component. Other names of this process include GMAW, MIG, and Metal Inert Gas.
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding – This type of welding is very popular among welding hobbyists. Here, a consumable electrode coated in flux is manually used to join metal pieces. It is also known as stick welding.
- Gas Tungsten Arc Welding – This method uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode and an external gas for welding. Other popular names of this process include GTAW and TIG.
- Flux Cored Arc Welding – It is very similar to MIG welding and is also called FCAW.
Types of electricians
Unlike welders, electricians in the UK are distinctly classified, mainly based on their qualifications and experience.
- Domestic installer – In England and Wales, domestic electric installers are very common. They have the skills and appropriate knowledge to work in residential environments.
- Apprentice electrician – They are qualified to undertake almost all electrical works in residential and commercial places.
- Qualified electrician – Qualified electricians have three to four years of apprenticeship and a Level 3 Diploma.
- Approved electrician – Approved electricians are those in the top tier in terms of qualifications and experience.
How to become a welder
Similar to an electrician, there are three ways you can become a welder. Read on to find out.
Enrol in a college course
Depending on the institution of your choice, vocational welder courses include:
- Introductory welding skills – Level 1 certificate
- Fabrication and welding practice – Level 2 or Level 3 certificate
- Welding skills – Level 2 certificate
- Welding Engineering Technology – Level 2 certificate
For full details about the City & Guilds specifications on the welder’s course, visit this link.
Become an apprentice welder
This is the traditional but sure-fire way to get your credentials as a welder. For details about the entry levels for welder apprentices, visit the National Careers Service website.
How to become an electrician
Enrol in a domestic installer
Here, you will gain a good knowledge of essential electrical works. Also, you will learn about the current requirements of BS 7671.
As an electrician apprentice, you will undergo the NVQ or a Level 3 Diploma in Electrotechnical or a Level 3 technical certificate.
Along with a Level 3 diploma, a qualified electrician also needs an apprenticeship of about four years. An AM2 certificate from National Electrotechnical Training is also optional.
To qualify as an approved electrician, one must meet the Joint Industry Board’s criteria. In addition to other qualifications, a Level 3 certificate in testing and inspection is also necessary.
The average pay of welder vs electrician – A comparison
- Entry-level welder – £9.04 per hour. So the annual average is £19,844.
- Entry-level electrician – £10.15 per hour. So it comes to £24,781 on the annual average.
- Early career welder – £9.82 per hour, which is about £23,289 annually.
- Early career electrician – £12.13 per hour, and the annual average are £27,300.
- Mid-career welder – £11.43 per hour. So annually, it comes to £25,216.
- Mid-career electrician – £14.03 per hour or £29,428 annually.
- Experienced/late-career welder – £12.19 per hour or £29,821 annual average.
- Experienced/late-career electrician – £15.65 per hour, which comes to about £30,144 annually.
The figures above are inclusive of such benefits as tips, bonuses, overtime, and compensations. However, the average base salary does not include benefits such as healthcare, retirement, and equity.
Also, high paying cities such as London pays 15% to 20% more than the above wage. Simultaneously, the low paying areas such as the East Midlands may be lower than the quoted figures.
Welding and electrical jobs are both very fulfilling among tradesman jobs. Both tradesmen jobs have their pros and cons, just like every other career. But when it comes to deciding a career path, it comes down to personal choice. After all, you may be naturally gifted in fabricating exquisite items by welding. On the other hand, your friend or a colleague knows their way through circuit boards like the back of their hands.
However, there is no comparison with an electrician when it comes to financial prospects if we may. And this is not an isolated case while comparing with welders. Electricians have been steadily making a handsome income for themselves over the years. The statistics prove this as the absolute truth, and there is no disputing that.