Projections for the future of the welding industry are optimistic.
International publication The Welding Journal surveyed business leaders in a variety of industries which utilised welding and found an emphatic 70% of respondents projected growth for the future.
This figure is hardly surprising, however, since welding is vital in a diverse range of industries.
Vehicle, rail car and aircraft manufacturing and the building of ships, space stations and rockets would be impossible without welding.
Defence giant British Aerospace was the first to introduce a TIG welding robot as long ago as 1989 to weld titanium Airbus components. Today, robotic TIG welding is widely used in the multi-billion pound global aerospace industry, providing consistent accuracy.
Another huge market for welding is the construction industry, in particular for major structures such as bridges, skyscrapers and highways.
MIG welding is widely used, being suitable for most tasks, from small repairs through to ship-building and large structures.
Offshore oil platforms, natural gas pipelines, solar panels and wind turbines require welding. The UK oil and gas sector's most active region, the UK Continental Shelf - home to industry giants Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Total - employs an army of rig welders to carry out essential repair and maintenance work.
Welding is required to produce, install and maintain anti-pollution systems and boilers and also for the pipes for residential, commercial and industrial facilities.
Welding is also used to create decorative items, using plasma cutting to produce custom-made parts and metal shapes.
This method is also widely used by fabricators, who interpret engineering drawings and cut steel plates into a required shape, subsequently welding them into a structure - for example, for plumbing systems and industrial equipment.
The ongoing use of welding in many industries, of course, creates an increasing need for manufacturers of the necessary equipment, such as welding tools, safety equipment and MIG and TIG machines.
A study by the Gases and Welding Distributors Association in the United States revealed the growing industry created employment opportunities even when other sectors were declining, with almost 100% of welding graduates finding jobs.