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Math for Welders: Its Real Importance and Practical Tips

I am terrible at math. How about you?

Math, indeed, is important in lots of skilled trades, especially welding. Learning a little maths will keep you from wasting gas, welding rods and ruining projects, and it is definitely necessary if you want to master at welding. You will only need understand some basic welding maths to become a really good welder, those include fractions and decimals, understanding simple formulas and know your way about the maths of geometrical shapes.

What and how much math does a welder need?

The reality is that welders need those math knowledge and skills:

Fractions and Decimals

Whether you are working in fabrication or construction, various basic welding applications require a basic understanding of measurements to size, cut and fit metal and other materials accurately. Measurements have everything to do with computational fractions, which may also need converting to decimals in certain situations.

Reading and understanding schematics and blueprints requires a general knowledge of fractions and decimals to understand measurement breakdown and apply to the item or structures you are building. A good welder can tell how many times ¾ goes into four and a half without having to rely on a calculator. Some practice with any good maths book will make you well versed in adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions. As problems like how to write 3/16 of an inch in decimals rise up frequently, you need start learning with a calculator and then try to do more and more in your head. Doing so will save lots of time.


Knowledge about geometry, including understanding, calculating and measuring angles, measuring and calculating volume and area of various shapes, and calculating diameter (distance from one side of circle to the other), radius (distance from the center of circle to one side) and circumference (distance around the outside of circle) of circular or round objects, are all essential skills for any welders.

Clearly, forming joints is a really big part of welding, and joints form angles and angles are prime time in geometry.

Getting a grip of how to use drafting tools is really helpful when constructing joints. Those tools help make sure the joints are square and determine the diameter, radius and circumference of a circle.


Whilst we are getting up to some rather high math when it comes to trigonometry, lots of welders agree that a rudimentary understanding of trig, inclusive of sine, cosine and tangent, is an all-important tool when it comes to problem solving, especially in calculating angles and length of each side in a specific shape you are trying to replicate.

Also, calculating area and volume, calculating degrees and understanding formulas are important skills for welding, which is rooted in trigonometry.

Volume and Area

Calculating volume and area are components of geometry and trigonometry as well.

Main welding related calculations include:

• Calculating weld volume, area of segment (weld reinforcement) which defines the rounded cap placed on the weld joint.

• Calculating required pounds of steel to reinforce a joint effectively.

• Estimating the required materials for a project.

• Determining the volume of materials needed to fit in a certain size area.


There are some formulas applied in welding, so welders should feel comfortable with formulas and seize how to use them. There will be formulas related to shapes and formulas related to gasses. Understanding formulas not just means knowing how to use the formulas in calculations but means knowing what a formulas means when looking at it. For instance, one of the gas laws says that pressure times volume equals to temperature times a constant. A master welder will look at that formula and tell you immediately what happens to the temperature if the pressure drops and the volume stays the same.

Tools and resources for welding math skill-up

Calculator is great tool, but…

A calculator is, without doubt, an important tool for welders though, what if you are out in the field doing some repairs or on the construction site and don’t have ready in hand a calculator?

Learning to write out long-form computations and equations is crucial, which will not just help you when you don’t have a calculator handy, but gives a better illustration of a specific scenario or problem you are trying to work through. As you are able to work through a particular problem, you could apply the same process in the future.


There are many excellent books and online resources that can help you hone your welding math skills. Here are some authoritative resources suggested for you:

• Practical Problems in Mathematics for Welders – Robert Chasan

This presents a highly effective, practical approach to maths with latest procedures, technologies and practices in today’s welding industry. You will clearly see how welders rely on math skills to solve both daily and more challenging problems, from measuring materials for cutting and assembling to ordering materials effectively and economically. Easy-to-read explanations, a number of real-world examples, and practice problems shed light on math skills most important in welding these days, from basic procedures to math tools needed for today’s welding.

• Math to Build On – Johnny Hamilton

This easy-to-follow book explains the basic math used in manufacturing, construction and design. Starting with fractions and decimals and moving on to mitered turns and arcs, those principles are made as understandable as possible thanks in large part to detailed illustrations and practical applications. The result is higher efficiency, productivity and confidence in tasks from initial design to final product.

• Math for Welders – Nino Marion

This is a combination of text and workbook that give many practical exercises designed for welding students to apply basic math skills. Main areas of instructional content include whole numbers, common fractions, decimal fractions, percentage, measurement.

• The AWS Fabrication Math I course

If you suffer from math phobia, you can access this course on American Welding Online. It offers a thorough introduction to basic math skills. This riveting, multimedia, format gives explicit, step-by-step verbal and visual interpretations that make each math concept understandable. Topics cover place value, simplification, measurement, estimation, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers, mixed numbers, fractions, decimals. This self-paced, online course allows you to start at whatever level you select. For example, you may desire to to skip straight to conversions, or you may want to review addition and subtraction before moving on.

Above are important information and tips Vietnam Manpower Service and Trading Company – one of offshore placement agency in Vietnam has collected and share you. Hope they help you in successful welding career.

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