3F Welding Position Explained

Written By: Liam Bryant

The 3F welding position is a vertical welding method, primarily used for making fillet and groove welds on a horizontal plane. This welding position is commonly employed in civil engineer jobs, metalwork, pipe and plate welding tasks.

welding positions

What is the 3F Welding Position

Welding is not a one-size-fits-all job – different tasks require different welding positions. Among those positions, the 3F welding position stands out for its distinct setup and use. Essentially, it is a vertical position used to weld the fillet joint on a plate or pipe where the welder moves upward, which is also called an uphill welding position.

I remember being trained in various welding positions during my early years as a welder. I found the 3F welding position somewhat challenging, but also exciting because of its distinct dynamics compared to flat or overhead positions.

Where Do You Use 3F Welding

3F welding is versatile. It’s used in various scenarios from industrial metalwork to civil engineer jobs, wherever vertical welding is needed. I recall working on numerous projects that needed this position, from fixing metal infrastructure to pipe and plate welding.

One of the most memorable experiences was when I had to weld an intricate metal structure. The plates were positioned vertically, and the only way to efficiently weld the joint was by employing the 3F welding technique. With patience and practice, I was able to master the 3F technique, making the job significantly easier and more efficient.

Characteristics Of The 3F Welding Position

Unique characteristics make the 3F welding position stand out from other types of welding.

Firstly, the vertical position of the weld means the welder is fighting against gravity, making it slightly more challenging than flat or horizontal positions. Gravity can cause the molten metal to flow downward, leading to underfill or sagging if not controlled properly.

Secondly, the 3F welding position requires excellent hand-eye coordination. Maintaining a steady, slow travel speed and holding a short arc length is important to achieve a strong, uniform weld.

Finally, this position allows for excellent penetration when done correctly. It produces one of the most aesthetically pleasing welds, with a visually consistent bead.

What is the Qualification Range for 3f

Welding certification for the 3F position generally qualifies a welder to weld in the flat (1F), horizontal (2F), and vertical (3F) positions. However, the exact qualification range may vary depending on the specific certification program or standards body, like the American Welding Society (AWS).

In my experience, achieving certification in 3F welding was a game-changer. It opened up many new job opportunities, including advanced civil engineer jobs that required a broad set of welding skills.


The 3F welding position brings numerous advantages. One of the main benefits is its versatility. It’s suitable for various applications, from structural steelwork to pipe and plate welding.

In addition, 3F welding provides better visibility and accessibility to the weld joint, allowing the welder to control the weld pool more effectively. It’s been a boon in my career, enabling me to tackle a wider range of welding projects confidently.


Like every technique, 3F welding also comes with its challenges. As I mentioned earlier, the main difficulty is managing gravity. In the vertical position, molten metal tends to flow downwards, so the welder must be skilled enough to control the speed and direction of the weld.

Another challenge is the need for more intense concentration due to the precision and steadiness required. However, these challenges can be overcome with practice, just as I did over time.

3G vs 3F Welding Positions

The main difference between the 3G and 3F welding positions lies in the type of weld and direction of welding. While 3F involves fillet welds and the welder moves in an uphill direction, the 3G position involves groove welds, and the welding can be performed either uphill or downhill.

While working as a welder, I often switched between these two positions based on the project’s requirements. Both positions have unique uses and challenges, but understanding when to use each has been crucial in my career.


Overall, mastering the 3F welding position has been an important part of my journey as a professional welder. It’s a technique that requires skill, practice, and patience, but the benefits, such as increased versatility and job opportunities, make it worthwhile.

If you aspire to elevate your welding skills or seek more varied civil engineer jobs, learning and getting certified in the 3F welding position is a fantastic step. Just remember, like all skills, it takes time and practice to perfect – but once you do, it’s a game-changer in your welding career.