View Full Version : Any future?
08-23-2007, 05:22 AM
Would there be much of a future as a welder or something involving metal construction? I just turned 18 and I enjoy welding and learning how to build things. I was looking into being an iron worker, but have heard bad things considering physical health going downhill due to heavy lifting and such. I havent signed up for college classes yet and was looking to see if I could get a good job started and maybe work my school around that... If anyone has some ideas that would be helpful I am lost... I am in the bay area california if it helps.
08-23-2007, 08:48 AM
In the next 5 - 10 years there's going to be a major shortage of qualified/experienced welders...time for the "baby boomers" to retire !! Now's a great time to get in...get all the experience you can from them before they hang up their stingers.
Bob at WeldingMag
08-23-2007, 09:13 AM
Here are three short articles that should give you some perspective. If we need anything right now, it's welders. There's a great future in it -- just about anywhere in the United States and around the world.
08-23-2007, 09:55 AM
Having closed two manufacturing facilities in the last ten years I would strongly recommend staying away from "the manufacturing sector". Get your self into a weld apprenticeship program !! The only way to be in control of your life is by having strongly defined skills. Most welders in the manufacturing sector (trigger monkeys) have no well defined skills and are at the whim of the manufacturers themselves. By earning that Journeyman's Card you establish yourself as a professional, you choose the jobs you want to work. You have the opportunity to take advantage of further education, try telling the supervisor at the "plant" you need a semester off to to take some classes for your advancement. There's just no future in the manufacturing sector, trigger monkey's aren't compensated well, reading this board you'll find plenty of proof of that. Now is the time to act, before you acquire family...mortgage...etc. If you choose the comfort of factory later it's no big deal...at any point you can always re-cert and pick up where you were. Apprenticeships are our "college degree", even those that go to a formal college won't have the defined skills of a Journeyman Welder.
Of course that's "Just My Opinion"...lol
08-24-2007, 03:42 AM
Thanks for the articles, it defintely proves that we need welders. SO I guess I need to find some sort of an apprenticeship (no idea where to do that) and get learning. I figured I would take some other classes like machining, a welding class, and maybe a cnc class just to work on some skills. DO I need to search around and find a company looking for an apprentice welder? Is that how it works? Clearly I am not too sure.
11-12-2007, 10:36 AM
i'm in a similar boat... anyone care to outline what the step are to becoming a journyman?
Around here, anyway, there isnt a "welders union" per se- there are Union Ironworkers, Carpenters, and Pilebucks who all weld.
Generally, an apprentice is in a union- and some unions are easier to get into, and others harder.
I would look in the yellow pages, and call up the union offices of the ironworkers and ask em.
I have a somewhat different attitude towards school than many here- I have hired, over the years, 20 or so welders, and almost always look for somebody with a 2 year Community College AA degree in welding.
There may be cheezy privately run welding schools in some areas- but on the west coast, I have found that community colleges that offer 2 year degrees in welding actually teach people how to weld, as well as how to measure, cut, and run basic shop tools.
If I was you, I would consider getting the AA degree. Rather than just give you a few months of stick practice, they usually start with a semester of gas welding, several of stick welding, a few months of doing nothing but tig welding aluminum, and so on. Then, they make you take classes in blueprint reading, math, and other related subjects.
I have 2 guys right now who have taken these classes, and, while there is lots I have to teach em about tricky bending, or high end ornamental iron, I know that both can weld, very well, on any machine in the shop.
A union card is great, especially in the bay area- there is so much construction going on, there is always high paying work. Its good work for a young guy- lots of overtime, but also long hours and travel. Not so good if you have a family.
Union Ironworkers do all kinds of stuff, but they must be able to weld ugly stuff in crazy conditions- upside down, 100 feet in the air, in wind and rain and snow.
If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.
11-12-2007, 01:03 PM
While I was not in a trade union (other than Retail Clerks after HS) several of my friends were in the Sheet Metal Workers and Electrician unions. To get an apprenticeship you have to have a sponsor. They would work in the daytime and go to school at night the same time to get a degree and Journeyman card. One of my friends just locked down his retirement at at 52YO last year w/nearly full pay from the Sheet Metal Union which he had started right out of HS. Thirty years went by pretty quickly. Bought a Harley and taking a year or two off before starting on another career where he doesn't have to work so hard.
11-12-2007, 05:31 PM
Look around you...
Everything in the world has something welded within eyesight...
OK OK..If your in house maybe not so much..:dizzy:
Yeah there is a future in it..
11-12-2007, 07:48 PM
We have a desparate shortage of welders & fabrication people in the oil industry. It looks like world demand will be steady or growing for the forseeable future.
11-14-2007, 11:56 AM
thanks guys... i think i will be looking into this profession more seriously. i'm taking my first welding class (basics in MIG, TIG, and Stick) next semester and i'm intersted to see how i do. i think i'll be fine, but there's only one way to find out.
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