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TIG, MIG, Stick and Arc Welding Certifications: What’s the Difference?

You might not realize it, but welding continues to be a lucrative career that shows growth annually. Last year the field grew by 26%, even during COVID, making it one of the fastest-growing professions in the U.S. Interestingly, as a profession, there are numerous advancements in the field that have created a variety of welding techniques. For job candidates seeking employment, most final interviews include an on-the-spot welding test. This means you should know all of these techniques to help you stay prepared in the welding field. This blog will look at these techniques so you understand TIG, MIG, stick, and arch welding, and the certifications that are available for you to capture and advance your career.

Types of Welding and Welding Certificates

You can be certified in the four types of welding:

  1. MIG welding
  2. TIG welding
  3. Stick welding
  4. Arc welding

MIG Welding

MIG welding is a type of gas metal arc welding, where electrodes are harnessed, sent through a “gun,” and then connects with the base metal to fuse it together. MIG welding uses a protective gas bubble to contain the weld from the ambient air. MIG welding can be used for thick and thin pieces of metal. It lets you adjust the output so you can weld softer metals without burning them up. It’s an easy type of welding to use, and highly effective. However, the materials you weld must be clean, and the welder cannot work in wet or windy conditions.

TIG Welding

TIG welding is typically one of the most popular welding types out there. TIG is a type of gas tungsten arc welding where a non-consumable tungsten electrode heats up the metal and melts it, creating a weld puddle. There is also a gas bubble to protect the weld from contaminants, but there’s no feeding involved, so you don’t have to worry about anything but the gas tank. Like MIG, you can apply this to all kinds of materials, including aluminum and steel. It’s particularly good for cars and motorcycles, and it’s one of the cleaner weld types with no splatter.

Stick Welding

Stick welding is a shielded metal arc welding process that is one of the oldest types of welding on the market. It’s very simple to use, but the bond it creates is typically very strong. Stick welding is appropriate for even the toughest materials. Stick welding has a single electrode that providers most of the welding material. The electrode gets hot and melts the structure, then it’s coated in flux to protect it from contamination. Stick welding is great for cast iron; note that other welding types can’t affect this tough metal.

Arc Welding

Finally, there is arc welding, which is similar to the MIG welding process. Both of these techniques use a flexible wire that is fed into the welding tool. However, arc welding has a flux core that creates the gas shield around the weld automatically. MIG welding requires an external gas supplement. Arc welding is perfect for very heavy, thick materials. You’ll see it used most often in heavy steel construction, on heavy machinery, and more.

Ready to Find Your Next Welding Job?

Now that you know the four types of welding, are you ready to get to work? Lingo Staffing matches the best employers with skilled, certified welders. Talk with our team—we can put you to work.

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