View Full Version : thinking of apprenticing with boilermakers
03-17-2009, 05:56 PM
any advise or warnings? would be a great help. any war stories thanks alot!
03-17-2009, 06:07 PM
Is this a union group that you would be apprenticing for?
If so, try to get in with the group of senior union welding members! Their be able to teach you the best! plus they know all the appropriate points of contact for possible job opening, as well as the ins and outs of being a union member. Remember show initiative and strong willingness to learn.
03-17-2009, 06:09 PM
it would be with the union. going to talk to them in the morning. again advise would be great!
03-17-2009, 06:25 PM
Its a good trade. I am in the Ironworkers Union but have worked about 5,000 hours with the Boilermakers over the years. You will learn a lot about welding. Lots of tube welding and open root plate welding. Find out when their next Common Arc test is nad get yourself ready to take the 6G test for boiler tube. Thats a heli arc root and 7018 fill and cap. Also the boilermakers union covers a lot more than just industrial boilers. They also cover tank erection. Most of the tank work is performed by guys the boilermakers call 'tankies" who have whats called an NTL book. The first link is the NTL(National Transient Lodge) website. There is also a link for the common arc testing on that page. the other one is a overview of the apprenticeship and what you will be learning. If you have any questions shoot me a PM bro.
03-17-2009, 06:41 PM
Nice links those should help him alot
You're in Tulsa and your not considering the pipeliners, LU 798?
03-19-2009, 09:24 AM
The boilermakers offer excellent training and benefits. I went through 3 of the 4 years of apprenticship training classes )2 weeks each) and thought they were great. An off work accident with a broken ankle caused me to miss the 4th year class and was thus removed from the program.
A few years later I was allowed back in if I paid for a "Book" at $250.00 and got my common arc certs back up. Drove to Kentucky and Did 6G carbon and Inconel. Worked a one month job local to the house with some great people and got a gig working from my home office for myself,
Paid dues for 6 mos without working for the BM's then stopped paying the 40 a month. Got notice I was out. After calling the BA found out it would cost me 500 to get back in. Haven't paid it yet but am considering it.
Here are some things I remember
1) Organized Labor as a whole does not care how hard you work or how good you are on many jobs. Everyone is treated close to equal except for typical cliques that form etc.
2) Working hard and efficiently will get you noticed quickly. However that attention is often negative. After welding some superheater tubes in the penthouse one night with a partner, I was told to slow down. I explained that I just worked at a steady pace and wasn't into changing my work ethic. The next night I was put in the penthouse working alone. Since the night before we were sharing a tig rig, things didn't slow down much as I just used a mirror to weld the backside of each tube. The production went down but not 50% . Warned again, came in the next night and leads had been pulled along with air hoses etc. But was told to get setup and weld. I did and the following day I broke my ankle off work. After coming to the jobsite to get my stuff, I was unable to get anyone to bring me my toolbag, hood, or coat that I left in the gangbox.
3) The level of knowledge related to boiler repair in the unions far exceeds what I have seen in the non union side however knowing IT and not DOING ANYTHING is not of much value.
4) The welding skill seems about the same. The commonarc program is nice but its interesting to watch a bunch of inspectors rely on what other inspectors have accepted or rejected before making the decisions. Though MANY contractors may be there and test you , often times a few are the 1st to look at your coupon and the remainder just follow suit. On a non union job a guy can be run off if he can't perform. Union jobs would be much harder unless the guy is there on permit.
5) The pay and benefit package is unmatched in my experience. I worked nearly 20 years Non Union and nobody (including myself) put a dime away for me. However after just a short stint in the BM's that consisted of the equivelent of 4 or 5 years work I received a notice to cash out or roll over my pension for 5K. Kinda nice.
6) Unions make money off of your back. No different than the companies. Difference is the unions look out for their own. The organization is run by people proud of the trade and that respect the work that is done. Some of this people do make some 200K salaries though and union members pay them.There is public information for unions that can be viewed at http://www.unionfacts.com/unions/unionProfile.cfm?id=74 if you are interested in the public information. Understand that this is an ANTI Union site however it does refer to sources for some of the profit information.
I would suggest a person get in the union but understand that there are issues you may have to deal with in the future. Moral, Ethical, professional.
Wish all the boilermakers out there shared some of the same ethics you do, Gerald. All the guys who taught me to weld pipe were lumped into that group of great, knowledgeable guys from whom I learned just about everything I know. Unfortunately, it seems that is really dependent on the region nowadays. Even more so for the fitters. The guys coming out of the gulf area are top notch. Those up north are astonishingly terrible. In Oklahoma, I wouldn't hesitate to get in with the BM's.
vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.