Q. What makes a STRUCTURAL STEEL WELDER such a special profession?

A. Each time you pass by a large building where people live or work, or a massive steel bridge that connects our lives, or look at large container ships, aeroplanes, trains or busses that are the backbone of our transport infrastructure always remember that each one required hundreds, thousands and sometimes millions of welds skilfully carried out by a structural steel welder.

Q. What exactly does a STRUCTURAL STEEL WELDER do?

A. A structural welder specialises in the welding of steel structures. They physically create the metal framework for buildings and bridges as well as cut and repair beams, columns, and girders. They work for construction companies, manufacturers, shipbuilders, mining companies, oil and gas companies, and aerospace industries. The special skill needed in structural welding is the ability to weld large steel structures. In other words, these welders weld large steel parts used in building construction.

Q. What type of personality traits are best suited to becoming a STRUCTURAL STEEL WELDER?
It is important to know how to read and interpret blueprints, use hand and cutting tools, and understand maths and the spatial relationships of objects.
Physical stamina and good health are also important. You will need to move heavy beams and/or welding equipment and bend, stoop and reach while working. Having good hand-eye coordination is also imperative.
You may be expected to work outside in unfavourable weather or awkward positions. This means a structural welder sometimes work at heights and on scaffolding to gain access to the joints they need to weld.
Agility also plays a role since welds are often made in precarious welding positions. Safety is therefore crucial and a harness and other safety gear need to be worn especially if working at a considerable height.
Q. How much can you earn as a STRUCTURAL STEEL WELDER?
A. Structural welders can expect to earn an average salary of R50 000 a month. It is worth noting that there is a demand for skilled structural welders in South Africa. They are therefore sought after by employers because their skills are specialised. This is therefore a highly rewarding career that will allow you to stand out from other job seekers.
Q. Which specific skills do you need to be a STRUCTURAL STEEL WELDER?
Any welded steel construction requires a high degree of skill not only to deliver the welds but also to plan the weld sequence as specified in the welding procedure specification.
This includes the requirement for a sound knowledge of various aspects of welding terms, welding symbols and the need for working to welding procedure specifications.
Structural welding also requires a good understanding of the properties of the metals to be joined as well as the measures to ensure that the total fabrication section is free from distortion.
The main welding processes that need to be mastered to become a certified structural welder are the Gas Metal Arc welding process and the Shielded Metal Arc welding process.
SAIW Structural welding students, therefore, undergo a performance test to be certified competent to weld structural steel sections, the main standard used is an American welding standard called AWS D1.1
Q. How can the SAIW help you pursue this career?
A. Students seeking to pursue a career as a Structural Welder and expanding their global career horizons should consider the SAIW’s (IIW) International Welder (IW) qualification programme with a focus on Fillet and Plate welding. Training and assessment in the IW programme are linked to the requirements of the international standard, ISO 9606 qualification testing of welders.
Q. How flexible is the training schedule?
A. The SAIW structural welder training programs can be tailored to suit an individual’s needs and can also be booked on a week-by-week basis. To obtain a personalised assessment of your career needs and a tailored recommendation of courses please email and our student liaison officer will be in touch.