What Does a Pressure System Welder Do?

 A Pressure System Welder welds metal plates, shells, tubes, drums and structures to assemble and repair boilers and pressure systems to meet pressure test standards.

Video supplied by The CWA Canadian Welding Association website link

Additional information on training standards for this particular trade in the Industrial sector may be found on the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website at: http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/trades/training-standards1/industrial

Job Related Skills, Interests and Values 

  • Apply American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ standards to welds.
  • Use weld procedure specifications.
  • Apply welder performance qualifications.
  • Select pressure welding components.
  • Select pressure welding procedure.
  • Cut and prepare pipes, tubes, tanks or vessels.
  • Complete assembly of pipes, tubes, tanks or vessels.
  • Weld pressure systems with shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding and flux cored arc welding processes.
  • Braze metal on pressure systems.
  • Repair defective welds.
  • Perform specialized techniques.

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

To become a Pressure System Welder you need to have a certificate of qualification as a welder (456A) or equivalent. You should complete Grade 12 or equivalent (GED or ACE) with credits in mathematics (particularly technical math) and some shop courses. In Ontario, Pressure System Welding is a Voluntary trade; completion of an apprenticeship could take approximately 3 years (5,280 hours) including 2 periods in-school theory (Level 1: 8 weeks; Level 2: 8 weeks). Upon successful completion of the training agreement, you will receive a Certificate of Apprenticeship. This is the minimum to be apprenticed in this trade under the Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). Please note that minimum entry requirements to this and other trades are currently under review by the Ontario College of Trades.

If you are currently attending high school, you may benefit from enrolling in a Manufacturing Specialist High Skills Major Program.

What’s Your Future as a Pressure System Welder?

Most workers in this occupation work full-time, sometimes in shift work, usually indoors. Those with the ability to work with high-technology welding applications may have better employment opportunities. The bulk of employment opportunities are predicted to occur in the non-electrical, machinery, construction and metal-fabricating industries. Some workers will become self-employed. Examples of companies that employ Pressure System Welders include:

  •  Fabricating shops
  •  Manufacturers of structural steel and platework
  • Construction industries
  • Boilers
  • Heavy machinery contractors
  • Aircraft contractors
  • Ship building and other transportation contractors
  • Specialized welding shops

Wage Rate

  • as an Apprentice you would start at a wage rate less than that of a journeyperson
  • this rate increases gradually as you gain competency  
  • the wage range for fully qualified Welders ranges from $12.50/hr-$35/hr, depending on what geographic area they live in and the type of welding they perform


Ask Yourself: Is Working as a Pressure System Welder For You?

Are you good at preparing and planning a job from start to finish?

Yes     No

Can you look at a diagram or shop drawing and visualize how things come together?

Yes     No

Do you like figuring out what’s wrong with something and then repairing it?

Yes     No

Are you able to bend, stretch, kneel, stand for long periods and lift material and supplies?

Yes     No

Would it bother you to work around dangerous gases and intense heat?

Yes     No

Do you have good hand/eye coordination to guide a welding arc along the edges of metal?

Yes     No

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, Pressure System Welder may be for you!

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills, such as:

  • Millwright
  • Welder
  • Sheet metal worker
  • Fitter/Welder
  • Machinist
  • Boilermaker

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