View Full Version : Titanium welders and members of the aircraft industry??? Please help
02-09-2011, 10:06 PM
I am 18, my dream job is to be a titanium and aluminum welder for an aircraft company so I can commute to work without traveling all over and still have job benefits. Not a bad dram job right? Only problem is everyone around thinks that's out of reach...."those jobs are few and far between" "you don't have the experience" "nobody is hiring welders of that caliper in this economy"......i have emailed some companies but they all either want somebody with years of experience or certified......i can tig weld stainless and aluminum already (i even taught myself to weld cans together....matter I tought my self to tig initially). I have also been on a professional stainless piping job. CAN you guys please tell me wat steps I should take to score my dream job? Wat happened to american companies hiring aspiring young men to learn on the job?
02-10-2011, 02:48 AM
Not exactly sure what you mean by "aircraft welder", as very little if any welding is done, at least on commercial aircraft. I work for a rather well known commercial aircraft manufacturer and the only welders on site are in 'tooling'. I can't speak for general aviation.
But I can tell you at a bare minimum, they are going to want certifications. Experience can be proven, but most places won't even talk to someone without at least some paper. I would go talk to a counsler a one of your local vo-tech schools, and see what kind of guidance they can offer.
As far as people telling you something is out of reach, DON'T listen to them. ANYthing is within reach, it's just a matter how much effort you wanna put into getting it. Well, except for men having babies....
02-10-2011, 07:32 AM
Most welding on aircraft is done on engine parts. It is not done at the assembly plant where you see the whole aircraft being assembled. It is in most cases not even done at the turbine engine plant. It is done by contract vendors who supply the engine part plants. I spent 8 years in the aerospace industry as a welding engineer so I speak from experience. I hate to pop your bubble but it is no more glamarous than making parts for a washing machine. As the saying goes "parts is parts". You could try the Air Force or Navy though. They train people to be repair welders who work with the engine mechanics on the flight line. A better possiblilty might be nuclear weldor in my opinion. More career advancement and better pay to boot.
02-10-2011, 09:48 AM
I might add that if you are just looking for a clean room type welding job (air conditioning, music, and white tile floors), then aircraft parts welding might be the ticket. But where I worked, our lowest paid weldor ran an automated orbital welding rig for $9 an hour and put out 1,000 turbine engine electrodes a shift. The other weldors who worked on tube parts started at $12-$15 an hour and put out hundreds of welds a day in some cases - over and over again.
Space is different than aircraft. The work is custom and involves more welding. But, projects are scarce. Most work in California where there is an extreme high cost of living. It would really restrict your lifestyle compared to other parts of the country because the typical pay does not make up for it. The work is at the rocket engine builders and people who build satellites. I have seen the space shuttle fuel tank welding operation because I went there for a job interview back in 1983. It is all automated; computer controlled GTAW (TIG) welding of aluminum sheet metal.
There is not much titanium or aluminum welding in aerospace. Aircraft structures are riveted with the exception of limited friction stir welding on some wings - which is an automated CNC machine type process. There is some limited titanium and aluminum welding on fuel tank parts for rockets and satellites.
If you want to do aircraft you would be mostly limited to GTAW (TIG) on stainless, Inconel, and Hastelloy tubing with the exception of limited aluminum electronics enclosure boxes. Most of the titanium on a modern jet is in the turbine blades. It is not typically welded. When it cracks in service there is a repair process which involves brazing which may be done with a laser welding system in some cases.
02-10-2011, 11:10 AM
Wow I'm surprised that there is like welding done in the aircraft industry. Its kind of a disappointment really. Ill you guys why I was attracted to it in the first place. I've been trying to get into thethe local pipefitting union this pay year but they act as if they could care less. In fact just to get them to talk with me I had to get a member who is mutual friend to pull strings abs then send a series of emails that included pics of razor blades and soda cabs I welded together. But I was apparently too late in the application process to be an apprentice. From there they said I could either practice to pass a test and go straight to journeyman or wait until they take apprentices again so that's what I've been doing. After awhile I ran out of money to travel to the school (2hr commute one way) abs had to take a subcontract job in deleware doing a stainless piping job. But I didn't like the traveling away to work. So that's why I'm looking for a fab job that pays well that I can commute to and that I can take pride in doing.
02-10-2011, 12:07 PM
Military jets have a lot of titanium and there is a lot of places out there welding it. I never would have thought that I had someone's dream job though.
02-10-2011, 12:35 PM
Haha well you do....I'll trade with you :)
02-10-2011, 01:08 PM
You may have taught yourself to TIG weld aluminum cans together but welding is not just the actual running of a bead. It is knowing when to weld or to refuse to weld a part. It is knowing what can be welded, and what cannot be welded. Sometimes it is knowing HOW to weld something together. What comes first the inside or the outside. How much welding is too much welding and so forth. The order of the welds.
Many shops may have you doing other things as well too.
In the Marine industry there are a few shops that do repairs and make stainless custom railings and other parts for boats. That is another place TIG welders will have work.
But you need to go to a welding school first. By showing at least some paperwork the employer trusts that you will be able to make welds that are not going to fail.
And working in a shop with other people you will learn from others. You need to hear their stories and all the information that will help you.
I was a TIG production welder for 14 years working with stainless steel in the marine industry and chromoly steel for the aircraft industry. BTW there is no Certification for TIG.
But if you go to get a job they will test you to see your ability and technical skill for TIG welding. But you still need to know what makes a sound weld.
The most important thing to do right now is to take welding classes and get some certifications so you have some paper to show the prospective employer that you can be trusted. That you know what makes a sound weld.
Put yourself in the Employers shoes for a second.
Pretend that you know nothing about welding and you own a company that makes products that peoples lives depend on.
A young man shows up and asks for a job and says he can weld. But he has no papers from any institution saying he can weld. Would you take a chance to hire that person knowing you can be sued if some welded part fails???
See what I mean.
Get the paper FIRST and you will be on your way.
I know it may seem stupid to you, but trust me . It is the fastest way to go forward.
Also... Pipe welders do TIG root passes on pipelines.
02-10-2011, 01:22 PM
I knew 2 different fellas that welded worn turbine buckets (re-manufacture). That's all they did all day...
Both moved on to other things in time, you don't want that job.
02-10-2011, 01:42 PM
Mr. Donald Branscom,
Could you suggest any schools? I was surprised when you said that there are no TIG certifications....the pipefitters union offers several tig certs from fusion welding sch 10 ss to sch 120 seamless....I'm only 18 so its safe to say that I am ignorant to alot even if I'm trying everything I can to learn as much as I can. So could you please tell me wats certs I could get to help me out and how I could go about getting those certifications? I would really appreciate it.
02-10-2011, 01:43 PM
It has its perks. How many welders have desk chairs and air conditioning. It's almost always stable work even in this economy. The pay is pretty good for being in a shop. If you are in southern Ohio and can run a good bead I would probably hire you. We are always looking for welders.
02-10-2011, 01:46 PM
I forgot about the titanium in military jets. Lots of sheet metal in combuster cans and afterburners that gets welded. It can be tedious to say the least. And there are also some engine casings made from titanium that are electron beam welded with defect grindouts that are GTAW repair welded.
There is nothing special about aerospace welding other than the idea that one can say "wow - I touched a part that goes on an airplane...!!!!"
02-10-2011, 01:48 PM
I'm not in ohio I'm afraid.....more like georgia...but as soon as I get up on my feet and feel like I'm ready I will be more than happy to relocate. Pm me bc I will always take business contacts for future reference.......or email firstname.lastname@example.org
02-10-2011, 02:40 PM
I don't know where you are at in Georgia, but have you tried these links yet?
There are tons more. Just Google Georgia Aerospace if you have not yet already.
The route in could start with your local community college. Take some official for credit courses in GTAW welding. Set a goal of at least earning a certificate in welding technology if not an AS in welding technology if you have your heart set on it.
02-10-2011, 03:31 PM
You need to run a more targeted search,
I found this one by inputting *aircraft weld FAA repair station Georgia* into Google. Granted it is repair and maintenance work, that is where most of the work is in my opinion.
02-10-2011, 05:33 PM
It just so happens that I went back to my highschool today (i coach the FFA welding team) and I walked in on a guy from tulsa welding school (my old welding teacher had him their talking to his current students)....apparently my teacher had given him and earfull about me abs he invited my to some type of meeting they are hosting for current applicants not more than 20 miles from my home....he said that I would be able to talk to their head instructor for all my questions so I think I will def be there this sat and see where it goes. Anyone know about tulsa welding school or maybe went to the school and could maybe give me some of their opinions about it?
sky hy ironman
02-10-2011, 07:37 PM
Well T 18, lots of info from the W.W. folks in the know. Good info for all. Think about the Air Force Reserve, talk to a recruiter about the education you could get. Get paid to learn without the school of hard knocks to collect scars from. Credits for a degree .... right? The food industry is definately an option for you. Having the ability to create to welds to pass their standards is not attainable by everybody. Knock on doors to let them know that you are a clean cut welder that speaks english ready to make yorself known. You never know when they may contact you. I've been hired part-time by a few outfits over the years when they were not even looking to hire. The hardest TIG I have done is welding up "flexible" hose. 0.24" S.S. corrugated pipe to straight pipe "nipples". Cap one end & fit other end for air hose to test for leaks at 5 psi. Pass that, then weld the S.S. braided hose to the first weld at 5 (five) amps, strand by strand. A 2" pipe takes 40 (fourty) minutes to do one end. Do you have the discipline to accomplish this?? This place welded up to 12" pipe. A long time concentrating on this type of welding!! Get done with your weld then test at 220 psi for 20 minutes. You better pass or they will look for somebody who can. Good luck to ya. Sky Hy out. :drinkup:
02-10-2011, 10:57 PM
Thanks for the links obewan
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