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Below are several venues in which the use of the title Master Welder is pervasively sited.

1. The artist type: those who create, the metal sculpture, the metal artist, bike builders, retrorers of antique cars and artifacts, those who fabricate garden art, the garage hobbiest. I would never question their artistic and creative ability. Many of them are extremely skillful, talanted and gifted. However, I may be inclined to critically examine their comprehensive welding knowledge and ability. In most cases there are no standards, codes, procedure specifications or certification requirements for the welding they do. The focus is not on their comprehensive welding knowledge, training and abilities but rather on their artistic and creative prowess. Someone, in their spare time, can pick up a mini-mig from Kmart, tack together a collection of nuts, bolts, washers & cut nails; and behold "the master welder."

2. The retired: These hardened, tempered and weathered souls have spent there whole lives under the hood. They come from fab shops, construction sites, shipyards and the commercial-production industries. Their span streaches from the deepth of the seas to the tops of skyscrapers. Most of these men received intensive training through apprenticeship programs, on the job training, the military and / or trade schools. Practically all have had careers of typically 30 years or more having qualified in producing welds meeting rigid standards, codes, procedure specifications and certifications. It is not clear to me at what point these men became master welders. However, in the end, it is clear that they have earned the distinction and are worthy of the title "MASTER WELDER"

With the greatest respect

The Retired - The Obituaries

3. Unspecified: To my knowledge, to date, the title " master welder" is in no way an official title. There is no universally recognized organization, authority or agency that justifies or bestows this title. There is no universally accepted definition or description of a "master welder." The title is not something that is earned through a concrete or specific set of tasks, competencies or skill-set completion. Welding is not a trade. The term "masterwelder" is most often just a matter of who calls himself or is referred to as a "masterwelder" and why? and who recognizes the title and why?

Unlike the term "master" as applied to the: plumber, electrician, carpenter and the like. These are established trades. They earn the title "master" after the completion of a highly planned and structured, usually, very lengthy training program. The term "master welder" should not be confused or assimilated with " Certified - Registered - Licensed - Insured or Qualified. These terms are usually validated by specific: Organizations - Agencies - Professional Societies - Unions - Companies - Institutions, Local, State & Federal Governments and so forth, wherein the individual is usually trained, tested or examined to meet critical, specified criteria that in many cases may even possess legal ramifications.

Some employers may advertise for the position of " master welder," each with their own definition, version or job description of what they believe a master welder should be or the criteria that the individual should meet. The job description is probably written by a human resources person with limited or no knowledge of welding, so the description is probably tailored or fabricated to each employers particular needs.

Also, there are more and more welder training programs that now offer a "master welder's certificate" usually a 30 credit semester hour certificate program, titled "master welder". I am not sure if there is a standard syllabi or curricula that is consistent across these schools. However, the training is less than a year to complete. It is ambiguous as to who can be declared a "master welder" and why; even someone with less than a year of training and no experience can be declared a "certified master welder."

There are claims saturating the internet & cyber space that they can easily earn well over one hundred thousand US. dollars per year! or earn more than doctors and lawyers with very little or quick and easy training. After well over fifty years of direct welding experience, I would declare this information highly deceptive, misleading, if not even a hoax, in that it raises more questions than can be reasonably or sensibly answered.

Undoubtedly the most highly skilled welders on the planet come from the ranks of the: Ironworker, Pipefitter, BoilerMaker, SteamFitter, SheetMetalWorker, ShipBuilder, AeroSpaceWorker and the like. Although these are different trades their welding skills and procedures may often overlap. They are the benifactors of lengthy and intensive training, however, ironically, they do not wave the "masterwelder" banner.

Finally, in support of my perspective on this topic, I visited: O*Net Online - The Dictionary of Occupational Titles, - The Occupational Outlook Handbook, - The American Welding Society and most other top non-profit welding related websites and best seller welding textbooks; To date: { MMX - C.E. } I could not find even mention of the term "master welder / certified master welder" let alone a definition, description or picture of one; but, however, I am sure that all of this will change.