There is no clear cut way to becoming a blacksmith in this day and age. There are no apprenticeship programs or university degrees in blacksmithing. But if you are determined to become a blacksmith, there are ways you can learn the trade.
Blacksmithing, once a common occupation, is no longer a necessary trade due to modern machines and technology that can much more quickly and easily make the tools and other metal work that blacksmith made in the past.
As there is no formal education system for blacksmithing, you will need to forge your own path on the road to becoming a blacksmith. Some blacksmiths will take on an apprentice, but you will need to do the work to find one who will. You will need to network and make calls, and ask around. Some blacksmiths don’t like to have an apprentice. It can be a liability to have an unskilled apprentice underfoot. A blacksmith’s shop is a dangerous place, with expensive tools and equipment.
Tips for Becoming A Blacksmith
If you are serious about becoming a blacksmith, you should have some skill in metal working. You can take a courses in welding and metal working at your local college. You should have some form of industrial safety training, and these courses teach safety measures for working with hot metal, and you will learn how to use metal working equipment properly. Taking these courses may also help in finding an apprenticeship faster, as any blacksmith you approach will take you a little more seriously, plus he will know you will be less of a hazard in his shop if he decides to take you on as an apprentice.
The Artist Blacksmith Association of North America, or ABANA, is an excellent resource for those trying to enter the world of blacksmithing. Go to their website and find a local affiliate group, (or the nearest one to you that you can find), and attend meetings. You will be able to gain important knowledge on blacksmithing opportunities, and meet professional and amateur blacksmiths. Networking is important for many career choices, but in blacksmithing, it is almost a necessity.
There is much to be learned from books, blacksmithing publications and websites. Much of your training will come from classes and workshops run by other blacksmiths. You will have to do your research, as these are hard to find.
In the world of blacksmithing, you have to dig for opportunities. They certainly won’t come to you. You must be diligent and persistent, and do a lot of research to find your way to becoming a professional.