As metalworking goes, welding history is relatively recent starting in approximately 1000 B.C. The history starts with the discovery and shaping of metals in ancient civilizations with a progression from copper, bronze, silver, gold and iron. Metalworking then progressed on to steel. The first welded pieces are thought to be gold ornaments.
Technology stayed pretty much the same until the Industrial Revolution in the 1700's to 1800s. At this time forge welding technology was developed which uses heated metal to join two pieces together. This was similar to the familiar blacksmith shop.
At the beginning of the 19th century acetylene was discovered, providing a controllable source of heat for welding. Modern welding didn't start until the widespread availability of electricity at the start of the 20th century. The need for military related welding in World War I and II accelerated welding technology and methods. Prior to WWI welding wasn't trusted to join metals in critical objects such as ships due to cracking. The welding history timeline below details how the technology developed. Copper was one of the first metals to be welded and civilizations progressed to bronze, silver gold and iron.
The art of welding is seeing a surge in job growth with the demand for professionally trained welders has made this one of the most in demand professions in the country. New construction, transportation projects and pipelines for natural gas have all contributed to the growing demand for professional welders and that demand isn’t expected to lessen anytime soon.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the need for welders is expected to grow by 26 percent by 2020, making this one of the fastest growing professions in America. The growing demand for welders has caused many jobseekers to consider a career in the welding industry, not only because jobs are available but because this industry offers higher than average starting pay, good benefits and a bright future.