So you want to be a welder? - Part 6
Someone once said there is a difference between a calling and a passion for something. Such is the difference between a professional welder and a hobbyist. A lot of people want to dive into welding because they like it, and they want to know more about it. But fewer have a true calling for it. Being able to recognize whether you should keep welding as a hobby or turn pro might be a difficult thing to ascertain. But in general, testing the waters before jumping fully in is a good idea.
Take time to research and read before you set your sights on becoming a professional welder. Ask yourself the following elementary questions before you jump into things.
1) Do you enjoy being extremely hot? Welding can be extremely hot, well over 100 degrees F in many places.
2) Do you enjoy being extremely cold? Welding can be required in any extreme, and if you have a job to do, you can’t just lay out if it is too cold.
3) Do you like confined spaces? Welding requires confined spaces, particularly in repair type situations or rebuilding operations. Sometimes these are so tight that you literally have to squeeze into them?
4) Do you have a strong back? People with back problems and limitations have difficulty finding the best paying jobs. If you are afraid of developing back problems, welding isn’t the best place to work as many welders end up with all sorts of back ailments over the course of their careers.
5) Do you smoke or have any breathing problems? Welding puts out a lot of fumes and employs a good many carcinogenic materials. Smoking and breathing problems make welding more difficult and compound the chances of coming down with cancer or severe breathing ailments.
6) Do you have good hand/eye coordination? While practice makes perfect, it is necessary to be able to accomplish and manage many different tasks at once while welding.