Spotlight on Specialties: Welding & Steel Trades

Spotlight on Specialties: Welding & Steel Trades

General contractors often rely on subs from a wide range of specialties on the jobs they work. Roofers, concrete workers, and even HVAC specialists are all an important part of getting the job done. When thinking about contracting specialists, however, it’s important not to forget welders and steel workers. Not only do they have a skill set that’s hard to replicate without training, but they also are growing increasingly important in the construction industry.

A Good Welder

At first glance, it’s easy to think that welding is simple. After all, you’re just taking a couple of pieces of metal and melting them together with what’s essentially a torch, right? Of course, anyone who’s ever tried their hand at welding will know what a laughable statement that is. Even passable welding requires skill and patience to create, and good welds are almost works of art. The best welds ARE works of art, and it often takes years of experience to build the skills necessary to achieve them. Any contractor worth their salt knows just how important it is to have a good welder available when you need one.

Steel Work as a Specialty

Beyond welding, steelwork in general is a highly skilled specialty. Steel brings with it a lot of strength, but it also adds a lot of weight to your construction. Knowing how best to balance these two factors and create strong and well-formed steel structures are vital to steelworkers. Needless to say, there’s a real need for those who can work with steel as easily as some other contractors and subs work with wood or other materials.

Steel Construction

The need for good welders and steel workers is only going to grow moving forward. Steel construction carries with it a lot of benefits, including an increased fire resistance and a greater resistance to damage from earthquakes or other environmental hazards. Many companies are shifting their focus toward steel construction, creating a significant opportunity for those who are well-versed in welding and working with steel buildings. Steel is becoming more popular on the smaller scale, too, with homeowners increasingly choosing steel as a frame for garages, shops and other external buildings.

Specializing in Steel and Welding

There is no easy way in if you’re thinking of specializing in welding or steel construction in general. Steel requires skill, and the only way that you can get that skill is to either learn it on the job or hire on crew members that already have those skills. This may mean you’ll have a few years before you can really start breaking into the steel construction industry if you’re looking to make the switch, but it’s one of those things that it just won’t pay to try and rush.

On the plus side, the steel construction industry isn’t going anywhere. The time you spend now developing welding and steel-working skills will pay off in spades down the road once you start moving into that market. Remember how important good welds and knowing the ins and outs of steel are to high-quality steel construction. You can’t rush that sort of skill. Once you’ve got it, though, those who need good steelworkers will all but beat a path to your door.

How often do you need a good steelworker on the job?