The United States armed forces have an ongoing need for welders to build structures, to repair equipment, and to perform routine maintenance that includes anything from cutting to welding, to brazing. Every branch of the armed forces has vehicles and structures that require welding, and since there are military bases all across the country, there are plenty of opportunities to find welding work in your region.
Here is an overview of a few current welding jobs in the armed forces, but these summaries will serve best as guides to the kinds of skills and experiences you’ll need to get a welding job in the armed forces:
U.S. Coast Guard Welding Job
You don’t have to be a member of the armed forces in order to work with them as a welder. The U.S. Coast Guard is looking for welders for the Naval Engineering Support Unit, Industrial Operations Division where welders will perform repairs on lighthouses, aids to navigation (AtoN), barges, boats, shops and small vessels and their associated equipment. Welders could work in tight spaces or at extreme heights, as well as ducts, railings, masts, and tanks.
Welders should have a variety of welding skills for this work including stick welding and processes that include: oxyacetylene, oxyhydrogen, and other industrial gasses. There will be a variety of metals to weld, including welding dissimilar metals together such as copper and steel.
Welding for the Coast Guard will require a commitment to safety in the workplace and a general handyman capability for jobs that include brazing, soldering, cutting, and metal spraying. Welders may be called on to help in other areas as needs arise.
While all qualified applicants are encouraged to apply for this welding job, a special preference will be given to military veterans with welding experience.
U.S. Army National Guard Welding Position
If you’re a member of the Army or National Guard, you can apply to transfer to a base in Wyoming for this welding position that calls on a wider skill set than the Coast Guard position. In addition, if you’re eligible to join the Army or National Guard, then you can also apply apply for this work as a welder after enlisting.
Welders for this position with the U.S. Army are expected to use a wide range of processes that include: electric, acetylene, and/or inert gas shielded welding processes, pre-heating, brazing, head welding, tack welding, flame cutting, pressure welding, and heat treating.
The position will include a broad range of applications, from making repairs, to building from blueprints, to fabricating metal parts. Welding will take place in a variety of positions: flat, vertical, horizontal, and overhead and could be in a tight place or out in the open. Some welds on heavy armor plates or engineering equipment will require a great deal of precision and attention to detail.
Besides the wide variety of welding processes and positions for this welding job, you’ll also need to cut, bend, roll, and shear metal for a variety of jobs. You could end up welding storage cabinets, armored personnel carriers, or duct units for heating and cooling.
U.S. Navy Welding Engineer
If you have experience as a welding engineer, then you can apply for a welding job with the U.S. Navy at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The salary is adjusted for the high cost of living in Hawaii and the position itself is open to civilian applicants who meet the requirements for the position.
Welding engineers for the Navy will develop procedures for welders to follow and administer quality control standards to all welding work performed for the Navy base. They will also help design specifications for welding designs and ensure that all support equipment is in good working order.
Welding engineers for the Navy should have a broad range of welding experience in a variety of processes and applications, as well as the ability to use blueprints and to evaluate the quality of welding work according to established standards.
An engineering degree will also be mandatory, with specific knowledge in at least five of the following areas: statics, dynamics; strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); fluid mechanics, hydraulics; thermodynamics; electrical fields and circuits; nature and properties of materials.
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