New welding college grad needs advice
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  1. #1
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    New welding college grad needs advice

    As a fireman, I pulled his single dad DOA from under a tractor, still haven't told him. I've been watching his growth since, helping get him through Eagle Scout, now he's 19,done with an AS degree in welding. He has a lot of plasma table and computer experience, including solid works. He is best at TIG and MIG. He does stick, but probably not ready for a 6G test. He is asking me about union which I have no experience with. He lives in N CA if anyone has leads I can give him. He graduated with two certs, not sure for what. Clean record, no drugs or drinking. He's been raised by very involved grandparents.
    Last edited by blackbart; 05-17-2017 at 11:37 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    Sorry, rather confused. Your asking for leads and title says advise. If it's anything like the technical world people want to see his work. Proof he can actually weld. Since I am a hobbiest I don't have much experience getting welding jobs

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  3. #3

    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    Most welding employers require a welding test, just to see how the person does, and if the welds will hold. They do bend tests, X-ray and so on. He probably has his structural certification. There are certifications for mig, Tig, pipe, aluminum.
    I hope he does well. Been welding no for 26 years. My favorite is Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), also known as manual metal arc welding (MMA or MMAW), flux shielded arc welding or informally as stick welding, is a manual arc welding process that uses a consumable electrode covered with a flux to lay the weld.
    Paul Butler
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  4. #4
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    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    Well he's asking about unions which I have no experience in, however he lives near Oroville, so there may be plenty of work on the spillway. As far as leads, if anyone in that area (Sac, Chico, Yuba county) knows anyone who's looking for a young man with a lot of potential, I'm just putting it out there. I've sent him to some of the local shops I work with. Probably union advise is what he needs most. I have no idea where to steer him there.

  5. #5
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    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    If he doesn't mind traveling for a bit, there is plenty of money to be made in the field. I'm not that experienced with unions, but I'm currently trying to get into one in Illinois. My buddy in that union said I can just go find work in the area, and get recruited into the union. I've been welding for over 10 years with the last 4-5 doing industrial shutdown and turn around work, so I have the experience to jump right in after passing their tests. Starting from no experience may require some apprenticing, which could be a long process. A lot of the companies doing contract work say they want a certain amount of experience, but it all comes down to the test. It would be best for him to bone up on his stick welding to at least pass a combo test, with a tig root and hot pass and 7018 fill and cap. That's pretty much the standard in the pipe welding industry. He might be good at mig, but there is no money in that. He'd be lucky to get $15/hr in a shop doing that. I see a lot of new welders looking to get into a shop, but might not know about the shutdown world of welding. He'd make double to quadruple what he'd make in a shop. He could get some experience doing that, making a lot of money, and then pretty much be a shoe-in for getting into a union.

  6. #6
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    Re: New welding college grad needs advice


    blackbart


    If: I read - between-your-lines correctly - kudos for your avuncular oversight.

    From six to twenty - I was raised by 'very involved grandparents' - and entered the
    work-force at 19 . . . employment and progression was easier then . . .

    Your pupil has superior credentials for his age - but he has to start somewhere.
    I am distant from your region - so I cannot recommend a direct employer.

    My best recommendation: he accepts a job that employs a large welding-force, and
    does diverse work [regardless of the time he has to grind before allowed to weld].

    OJT is the fastest learning curve . . . but this is the hook . . .
    He has to continue his Solid Works training all the time he welds.

    My oldest design/construction associate [from the 6th grade>] just dropped 25,000$
    on Solid Works and expects to spend twice-more on support before his job is done.

    The reason I weld today, is because I followed his lead [next semester] via a State
    University Vo/Tech Welding program [eons ago].

    'My associate' began as a line-welder - and is now a lead engineer for EDF.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Électricité_de_France

    ^ ^ ^ for your covenant . . .


    Opus

  7. #7
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    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    My best friend that I grew up with since the 4th grade. He was an instructor for Operating Engineers Local 3 apprenticeship school in South East Sacramento. The local has more work than people, they need people now! Wonder if this kid would like to be trained as a heavy equipment mechanic? They do a lot of welding, and wrenching.
    Don’t pay any attention to me
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  8. #8
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    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    What are the names of the welder unions? I see Iron Workers doing a lot of rebar. Is there another union name for structural or pipeline?

  9. #9
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    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    All of the building trades have welders. Some trades welders only weld, most trades you have to be able to do other things as well, to stay employed!
    Don’t pay any attention to me
    I’m just a hobbyist!

    Carl

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  10. #10
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    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    798 union out of Texas is a big union hall.
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  11. #11
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    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    Does the N CA union have names, or are they all localized number?

  12. #12
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    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    Quote Originally Posted by blackbart View Post
    Does the N CA union have names, or are they all localized number?
    There is the Carpenter local ???. There Sheet Metal Workers Local ???. There is Iron Workers Local ??? There is Operating Engineers Local ???. There is Boiler Makers Local ???. There is Pipe Fitters Local ???. There is Elections Local ???. There is Pile Drivers Local ???. ETC, ETC, ETC.
    Don’t pay any attention to me
    I’m just a hobbyist!

    Carl

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  13. #13
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    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    Thanks CEP. I've run a shop for over 40 years, but still have zero experience when it comes to unions and which one does what. I would imagine his certs are structural, I'll ask him.

  14. #14

    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    In the bay area there are 2 Ironworker locals, 378 in Oakland (actually Benecia), I 'think" 377 in SF.
    The Piledrivers are local 34, UA local 342 is in Concord.
    All of those do a LOT of welding, and being in the seismic zone they are, qual's/testing/inspection is fairly serious.
    I've worked with all of those mentioned except the SF Ironworkers, they all have a significant number of hands that do nothing but weld. Also hands that weld some and do other trade stuff as well.
    The Piledrivers and the Pipefitters have fairly large areas they cover, not just in the city, so work opportunities can be out in the sticks at times.
    The bay area has large amounts of work in the refineries and of course the ports/docks.
    His best bet is to contact them personally and ask about becoming an apprentice. An apprentice will be required to learn the range of work performed by that craft, and will not likely be welding much early on.


    I'll edit to add: in NoCal, the vast majority of structural welding will be done with 232 wire. In the UA (pipe trades) you'll still find a lot of stick and tig work being done in the field.
    The UA apprenticeship is 5 years, they require good math skills and some pretty extensive testing to get in. It's the harshest apprenticeship in the building trades (by far) in my opinion.
    The other trades are a 4 year program. I left out the Millwrights (local 102).
    If he goes with one of the building trades, he's best to get a fair understanding of just what work that trade does, before making a decision.
    Several other trades weld of course, but those mentioned in my opinion will have a lot more pure welding than the others.
    Last edited by JTMcC; 05-19-2017 at 05:40 PM.

  15. #15
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    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    Quote Originally Posted by CEP View Post
    My best friend that I grew up with since the 4th grade. He was an instructor for Operating Engineers Local 3 apprenticeship school in South East Sacramento. The local has more work than people, they need people now! Wonder if this kid would like to be trained as a heavy equipment mechanic? They do a lot of welding, and wrenching.
    My dad was a local 3 for a yr before got retransfer back to ny
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  16. #16
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    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    try looking to see if any of the cities or municipalities in your area have job openings for welders. california has lots of prisons and they all use welders.
    i.u.o.e. # 15
    queens, ny and sunny fla

  17. #17

    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    The 798 hall is in Tulsa OK, not texas.

  18. #18
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    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    If I was in California, I'd try to pursue NASA or the aerospace companies.

  19. #19
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    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    If your young friend had been asking around while in school he might have been able to find some career paths. All welding schools I have been in have upgraders coming in to test out for higher tickets. Those are the people to share lunch or coffee with and brainstorm. They know the local employers and which are, trying to be pleasant....very bad experiences and to be avoided. The smart students who are wise have already prospects lined up and often have worked as laborer for the shops they are intending to join during Summer break. The stupid ones go on holidays each summer and whine about how much their student loan is.
    Many larger contractors and shops that are union are able to hire from the street with the new hire joining the union. Unions that have their own union hiring hall are more difficult to join. Easier to join a union if you have some general experience and a few tickets to back you up.
    People who make the big dollars out of town make it on the great wages as well as living out allowances. The drawback is the majority have problematic family situations ranging from multiple divorces to strained families where the kids hardly know the Dad. If you are inclined this way save your future family grief and do it while you are young and single.

  20. #20
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    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    When I got out of school, I was swiped up really fast. In fact, the last two weeks of lab, I was at worked instead. I was the only one in the program that had any interest in CNC Plasma, out of three classes. From what I understand, no other student still has expressed such interest in the CNC Plasma since I graduated. I went in after being an auto mechanic for many years, so I saw it as a way to make parts.

    I made great money in CNC Plasma. But for two years after school, I hardly welded, so my skill suffered. Once I got into Auto Fabrication (which is what I wanted to be in), it was like riding a bicycle. I was doing hood time with every piece of scrap I could get my hands on. I still haven't made as much as I did running a CNC Plasma in a manufacturing environment.
    RGL Motorsports #129
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  21. #21

    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    Ca certainly does have a large prison industry, but I've never seen one that had welders as employees, maybe they do exist.
    In the central valley, all of the welding I've seen is contracted out, usually to the companies that use some real workers and some inmate labor. The welders typically work alone, without inmate labor.
    They mostly come out of the Carpenters hall.

  22. #22
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    Re: New welding college grad needs advice


    blackbart . . .


    Gustav129 work history is sage and pertinent . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Gustav129 View Post
    When I got out of school, I was swiped up really fast. In fact, the last two weeks of lab, I was
    at worked instead. I was the only one in the program that had any interest in CNC Plasma . . .

    I made great money in CNC Plasma, I hardly welded, so my skill suffered . . . Once I got into
    Auto Fabrication . . . it was like riding a bicycle.

    I still haven't made as much as I did running a CNC Plasma in a manufacturing environment.
    b/b

    If your pupil has CAD/Solid Works experience - Gustav129 testimonial demonstrates
    the options - if both skill [welding/drafting] are developed concurrently.

    It is easier - to rebound welding skills - than CAD skills . . . maintain his studies . . .


    Opus

  23. #23
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    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    Does not need to be in a union. The biggest benefit of the union is the apprenticeship program. If the can get the apprenticeship program they will pay for the education to progress to journeyman level skill. While waiting for this opportunity take a job in a shop with a large work force and "put in his time". If he is a good employee and has a good work ethic he will progress. Maybe not as fast as everyone wants but it will happen.

  24. #24
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    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    Quote Originally Posted by akpolaris View Post
    Does not need to be in a union.
    In my line of work here on the west coast. You have to be union. On the derricks driving pile. The pile driver crew has a foreman, and two helpers. The Operating Engineers Union has a crane operator, and a deck engineer. When you build bridges, container ship docks, and ferry docks. It is all union!
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    Don’t pay any attention to me
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  25. #25
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    Re: New welding college grad needs advice

    Quote Originally Posted by 12345678910 View Post
    If I was in California, I'd try to pursue NASA or the aerospace companies.
    NASA and aerospace is drying up in California. They are really looking for complete fabrications and there are places all over the nation able to outbid California shops including mine. I got a small component to make for JPL but only because I could do it on short lead. All of the materials were brought in from the east coast. PIA.
    I studied Welding technology same as the kid. SoCal was a hotbed of aerospace activity. Those days a long gone. I turned down an opportunity to work my way into Rocketdyne welding engine components and started a business instead. What a stupid move that was. If I did it again I would either work for someone or go union and earn my CWI like some others here. A couple of my lady weldors that I had employed went on to glamorous QA careers. Both with an AA or AS in welding technology.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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