We live in times when technology and modern solutions surprise us at every turn. One example is welding of optical fibres, a very precise and demanding job with step-by-step joining procedures. The work requires physical fitness and stamina. It is often carried out in the field and therefore excludes people with allergies or asthma. Having imagination, good precision and eyesight is a plus for the candidate. The country with a noticeable increase in interest in fibre optic welding is Poland.

Fiber optic welding is the permanent connection of two optical fibers without the use of additional connecting elements. There are currently two splicing methods:

  • Welded joints
  • So-called mechanical welds

How to weld optical fibres?

One of the most important aspects of working with fibre optics is the laying of the cables, this is important in the attenuation of the signals to be transmitted through them.

  • We need to think ahead because we cannot run out of fibre and cable. It is recommended to take longer cable lengths than the calculations suggest. It is worth to be prepared for various scenarios, e.g. changing the path of the cable. The cables we can buy on the market have from 2 to 280 fibres.
  • Each cable has an allowable bending radius and it is recommended that trays are used at the cable ends. This will minimise the risk of damage to the connection.
  • The insulation can be stripped using standard tools - a knife, cutter or coating stripper. We should pay attention to the exposed fibres. If it is an outdoor cable, after pulling off the sheath you may find that it leaks gel, which is a protection against moisture. Be careful not to pull on the cable or you will break the sheath.
  • At this stage we should be focused and precise. First, we prepare the fibre and pullwe all coatings larger than 125 um diameter. A striker can help us with this. Next, cleaning the fibre from dirt and coating residue. Usually isopropyl alcohol is used for this. Remember to clean the fibre first and use dust free wipes. When we are ready to cut, we use a fibre cutter.
  • We can combine ready-made fibres with other methods. The tools used are usually special welders, whose prices may be too high for us at this stage. Welding machines are the most reliable methods of joining optical fibres.
  • Our last task as installer, will be to measure the optical path. For this we need a meter with constant power and light. On this requires the verification and quality of a properly made weld.

 

Fibre optic welding is carried out using a fibre optic welding machine. The choice of models varies in quality and technology. It is a technologically advanced process and requires the use of specialised welders, optical power meters and fibre cutters.

How much does a welder earn?

Professionals in this field are in great demand and cannot complain about the wages. Many of them choose to work abroad knowing the better conditions. Especially Western Europe tempts welders to emigrate. It is certain that the salary depends on the degree of qualification, experience and type of contract. Another element is the location and capital, if it is a big city, our salary will be higher, if smaller, lower. In Poland the average earnings range from 3000 PLN to 6000 PLN net. The highest earnings can be counted on by people working in the Gdańsk Shipyard or large companies. Welders are needed all over the world and can afford to choose their direction.

In our neighbours in Germany we can count on a basic income of 1800-4000 Euro per month, which is about 12-17 Euro. Welders with very good experience can count on the rate of even 22 Euro per hour. In some places you can also count on free accommodation, allowances, holiday and Christmas pay.

In the Netherlands we will earn between € 1900-2500 gross per month. Most companies also provide accommodation and free transport to work.

In Norway, rates start at 135 kroner (55 PLN) per hour. However, we must be prepared for a more expensive life in this country.

France offers 2000-2500 euros per month. A TIG welder with 2 years of experience and who does not speak French can expect a sum of 1600-2000 euros per month. We must not forget the working hours of the French. They work 35 hours a week not 40! We have to reckon with the fact that our salary will be lower.

Undoubtedly, knowledge of foreign languages will be another argument for increasing earnings abroad. It is a factor that improves our comfort at work and in the company of others. In most companies a driving licence is required, so it is good to work on it if we have the opportunity. A common question is: where do welders earn the most? Well, you can count on the highest earnings in Scandinavia.

 

How to become a welder?

Seeing the current market situation, young people decide to choose this branch that provides a good income and is future-oriented. For such people, there is a special course that ranges from 100 to 200 hours depending on the welding method. The course is divided into theory and practice, which is more stressed. The welder must pass a special examination to check his qualifications. The employer can check the applicant's skills before deciding to hire him. At the beginning of our conversation with the employer it is not enough just to have certificates about completed courses, but to make a welding sample. The more attractive we are in terms of professional experience, the more potential companies are willing to work with us. The most searched group are TIG welders and they get the highest salaries, so it is worth to specialize also in Mig/MAG method to broaden your qualifications. Most Poles get a job through recommendations from their colleagues, but they also contact employment agencies that take care of all formalities including accommodation.