How to Read Welding Symbols | Big Easy Mobile Welders
Welding Symbols

How to Read Welding Symbols: The Basic Steps

The majority of welders struggle with sign interpretation, despite the fact that it is crucial. Very few employers insist that potential welder applicants be able to read symbols. The current market’s lack of welders makes it impossible to impose this requirement.

Welder training is something that businesses need to implement. The issue is that fabricators frequently lack a staff member who is capable of doing this. Usually, small- to medium-sized businesses are like this. However, you can rely on outside assistance if you require this kind of instruction.

The steps listed here serve as an extremely simple introduction to welding symbols. This hardly scratches the surface of weld symbol instruction.

What Are Welding Symbols?

If you’re new to welding, you might be wondering what all those squiggles and symbols on blueprints and drawings mean. Welding symbols are the standard language used to communicate welding information.

Just like other symbols, they are intended to convey a clear and concise message. While welding symbols can look like hieroglyphics at first glance, they are actually quite easy to interpret once you know how.

The Basics of Reading Welding Symbols

The Basics of Reading Welding Symbols. Welding symbols are intended to provide a quick but clear representation of a welding joint.

The main elements of a welding symbol are the arrow, the weld symbol, and the tail. The arrow points to the side of the drawing where the welding is to take place.

The weld symbol is a simple line drawing that represents the type of weld, the size of the weld, and any other pertinent information. The tail contains any additional information that may be necessary, such as the weld symbol’s dimensions.

Here are the basic steps in reading welding symbols:

Understanding Welding Symbols

  1. There must be an arrow and a reference line on every weld symbol.
  2. The arrow could be pointing up or down.
  3. The side of the joint that needs to be welded does not always need to be indicated by the arrow. The line will indicate whether the weld goes on the arrow side or the other side when the arrow cannot always fit on one side of the drawing due to space restrictions.
  4. There is a special symbol used to indicate the type of weld joint. A nice chart describing these symbols is available from the American Welding Society.
  5. Next to the weld sign will be information such as size, length, and other unique concerns. It matters where this information is located.
  6. If the fillet weld is not the complete length of the join, its length is shown to the right of the sign.
  7. Length and Pitch are used to call out intermittent welding. The pitch, which shows the separation between centers, is represented to the right of the length.
  8. If you are in a shop and you ever see a flag at the point where the reference line and the arrow meet, DO NOT MAKE THAT WELD. This signal denotes that this weld needs to be performed in the field.

This was a really simple explanation of weld symbols. The length of the training sessions we have undergone or hosted for customers has ranged from four to sixteen hours. The length of programs often varies greatly because they are tailored to the needs of the consumer.

Elements of a Welding Symbol

Are you planning on doing any welding projects?

If so, it’s important to know how to read welding symbols. These symbols are used to provide information about the weld, such as the type of weld, the size and angle of the weld, and any special instructions.

Welding symbols can seem confusing at first, but they’re actually not too difficult to understand.

Here are the basic elements of a welding symbol:

1. The Arrow:

This is perhaps the most important part of the symbol, as it indicates the direction of the weld. The arrow should point towards the side of the weld that will be facing up when the project is complete.

2. The Root Opening:

This indicates the size of the gap that will be present at the root of the weld.

3. The Weld Type:

There are several different types of welds, and each one has a different symbol. The most common types are fillet welds, groove welds, and spot welds.

4. The Weld Size:

This indicates the size of the weld, typically in inches or millimeters.

5. The Weld Angle:

This indicates the angle at which the weld will be made. By understanding these basic elements, you’ll be able to read welding symbols and get started on your project with confidence!


By following the basic steps to reading welding symbols, you will be able to interpret the information given in a welding symbol. These steps include understanding what each element of the symbol represents, and how to read them in order from left to right.

With this knowledge, you will be better equipped to understand complex welding symbols.

Looking for a company that offers mobile welding services in Louisiana? Look no further than Big Easy Mobile Welders! We offer basic welding symbol reading services to help you get started on your next project. Give us a call at (504) 370-2757 today to learn more about our services and how we can help you with your next weld!

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