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Essential Competencies


Description: At the entry level the incumbent works under close supervision serving primarily as a helper/trainee. Perform simple welding projects that require minimal experience or training and work is checked prior, during and upon completion by a higher graded employee or supervisor.

I. Materials and Equipment

A.Identify various metals and alloys such as mild steel, nickel copper, aluminum, stainless, etc.
B.Use of measuring devices and gauges to determine thickness and size of metal.
C.Identify basic welding supplies, tools, and equipment such as arc welder, oxygen/acetylene torch, welding rods, chipping hammer, etc.
D.Maintain stock inventories of welding supplies and materials.
E.Lift, carry, and handle items weighing up to 50 pound frequently.
F.Picks up, transports, and delivers welding equipment, tools and supplies using a utility vehicle.
G.Operate small forklift, pallet jacks, hoist, etc. to lift and transport materials exceeding 50 pounds.

II. Welding

A.Use of Arc welder and electrode rods to perform simple tack and bead welds where strength and appearance are not a primary concern.
B.Use of oxygen/acetylene torch for cutting metals.
C.Use of grinder and other hand and power tools required to grind, bevel, fit metals together, and remove slag.
D.Perform welding and cutting of metals in vertical or horizontal positions.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Ability to handle weights up to 50 pounds frequently and weights over 50 pounds occasionally.

Ability to operate utility vehicles up to one ton, forklift (5000 lb. capacity), and other mechanical equipment required to lift and transport heavy loads.

Basic knowledge of welding procedures, practices, and techniques required to weld and/or fuse metals together where strength and appearance are not a primary concern.

Knowledge of and ability to use hand and power tools associated with welding, such as chipping hammer, grinder, arc welder, oxygen/acetylene torch, etc. including setup or connection of hoses, cords, regulators, etc..

Knowledge and ability to use common measuring instruments and hand tools such as tape measure, level, square, file or rasp, etc.

Knowledge of basic welding supplies such as welding rods, brazing rods, torch tip, striker, gloves, safety helmet, etc.

Ability to read, understand, and follow manufacturer directions.

Basic knowledge of inventory management procedures and practices.

Ability to complete and submit daily work reports and other basic required documents.


Description: At the developmental level, the incumbent must possess all entry level competencies. Incumbent receives initial oral or written directions from supervisor, and is expected to independently layout, and determine best method and procedure to use, and complete assignment.

I.Materials and Equipment

A.Acquisitions and stocks, correct metals, welding supplies, tools and equipment necessary for an efficient welding operation.

II. Welding

A.Read and follow blueprints, and/or rough sketches.
B.Performs a variety of electric resistance and/or oxyacetylene welding processes and methods to weld all types of commonly used metals and alloys of various shapes, sizes, thicknesses, etc.
C.Selects proper size and type of welding electrodes for specific welds to assure penetration, and complete fusion of base and filler metals.
D.Makes adjustments to welding machine such as adjusting polarity, voltage, amperage, etc.
E.Repairs, modifies or fabricates parts for equipment and attachments.
F.Welds in horizontal, vertical and overhead positions.
G.Tempers metals by heating, using proper methods and techniques to attain the desired temper.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Must be able to work from blueprints, sketches, procedures and other specifications.

Must be able to weld in horizontal, vertical and overhead positions.

Working knowledge of different metals and alloys commonly welded, various electrode types and sizes, and accepted procedures and practices used in all types of welding.

Ability to weld various sizes and shapes of metal objects such as pipe, channel iron, tanks, structural forms, plate metal, sheet metal, etc. not involving high pressure.

Must have the ability to shape, form, bend and fit metals to odd shaped sizes to assure proper fit.

Knowledge of and proficient in the use of electric and oxy/acetylene welders and the skill to use various cutting machines, such as oxy/acetylene and plasma-arc torches.

Must have the mechanical and technical knowledge and skill to perform operator maintenance on all equipment pertinent to the position.

Knowledge of or ability to learn National Park Service acquisition procedures and practices.


Description: At the full performance level, the incumbent must possess all competencies at the entry and developmental level. The incumbent serves as lead welder or supervisory welder over lower graded positions. Exercises independent judgement in the layout, design, fabrication and selection of tools, materials, supplies and equipment required to complete an assigned task.

I. Welding

A.Use of all varieties of welding machines and cutting equipment and techniques using plasma-arc and oxy-acetylene torches.
B.Develops blueprints or sketches of welding and fabrication task.
C.Welds in all positions including, flat, horizontal, vertical, and overhead position in confined spaces, and in cramped and uncomfortable positions.
D.Performs welding using auto feed welders, and tig and mig welders for all type of welding, including the welding of aluminum and stainless steel.
E.Welds high pressure water, steam and gas lines, fittings, etc.
F.Cuts, welds, and repairs all types of equipment, equipment attachments, vehicles, structural steel, etc. where strength and appearance are of primary concern.
H.Instruct other workers in welding techniques, practices and procedures.
I.Designs and constructs various jigs and fixtures to hold material to maintain true dimensions and assure fit and accuracy.
J. Performs underwater welding. (Optional)

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

* Certified by an accredited welding school to perform all variations of welding including the use of electric, mig, tig, oxy/acetylene and cutting procedures including oxy/acetylene and plasma-arc techniques (optional depending on job needs for underwater welding methods, techniques and practices).

Working knowledge of welding high pressure lines such as gas, water, steam lines, etc.

Knowledge of welding and fabrication mechanics in order to prevent distortion, meet critical dimensions, tolerances and provide strength.

Must be able to develop and work from blueprints.

*Suggested as an option by one reviewer: "As a substitute for welding school training and certification, an employee must have a minimum of 5 years of job shop experience and be proficient with all tools, equipment and techniques listed and attain certification within 6 months after being hired at the full performance level welding position, providing accessibility to certification is available."

National Park Service
Training and Development Division
Essential Competencies

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