Welding is a physically strenuous job that is a vital part of fields such as construction and automobile manufacturing. In many instances, several people perform different welding jobs for a project, working either according to their specialties or on the work that must be completed most quickly. Groups of welders are overseen by a welder lead hand. Lead hands are found in several other areas of construction and manufacturing work; like other lead hands, the welder lead hand directly supervises people performing a specific job (in this case, welding). The welder lead hand is responsible for ensuring that the welders' contribution to the overall process remains high and is conducted in safe conditions. The welder lead hand acts as a sort of liaison between upper management and front-line employees, and they take on a direct supervisory role to ensure that work progresses at an optimal pace.
There are no mandatory educational requirements for most employers beyond a high school diploma or equivalent. Hands-on experience is necessary, with five or more years of welding experience generally required; between 10 and 20 years of experience is considered average for this position. Welder lead hands must have strong communication skills, the ability to coordinate the work of several people to meet management's vision, and excellent interpersonal skills.
Welder Lead Hand Tasks
Follow blueprints to arrange metal pieces and temporarily fix them into position before welding.
Safely set up and operate welding machines and other shop equipment.
Cut or join together metal pieces using manual or semi-automatic welding machines.