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Thread: Schooling Questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Schooling Questions

    I am wondering how schooling went for other welders and for how long did you have to go to school for. I am currently taking a two year specialized welding class. I noticed that there was a one year welding class. I would like a little incite about the difference about the two. Like how different the schooling is, what do you do different after completing a two year over a one year. I had a fun time welding in my high school class, but that was two or three years ago. Will the schooling help me get back into welding? I also would like to know if in school they give you the resources to be the best welder you can be. I know that welding comes threw experience, but will I get enough experience in school to get me a good first job and good salary. This was the first place in mind for me to ask questions to welders that have experience other then going out and trying to find someone to talk to.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Re: Schooling Questions

    Welding school is good but I think starting out as a welders helper then moving up to a welders position is better.
    Lincoln pro core 125
    14''chop saw
    7 inch grinder,2-4.5 inch grinders,electric die grinder.
    Half inch drill
    And alot of hand tools

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Re: Schooling Questions

    It kinda depends. There is a lot of different types/processes/applications in the very broad field of welding. Some pay very low, and some can pay +100k a year. There is structural welding for Iron workers that erect the skeleton of buildings $23-$35 an hour, manufacturing welding which can be low paying mig welding $10-16 an hour (no code, very little quality) or structural manufacturing for vessels/heavy equipment/ $16-$25 an hour. Pipe welding, steam/fuel/hydro $27-$35.

    And then fab shops that do custom work like cars, choppers, art, can vary greatly on pay.

    I am a Steamfitter (also called pipefitter). And because of my skill I usually just weld, fit, fab pipe. It is installed in hospitals, power plants, commercial buildings. There are many guys I work with that don't weld but do all the other work of installing the systems.

    Now I learned through experience by being an apprentice for 5 years, so I went to work every day getting paid while learning hands on, then taking night classes at my union hall that put me in a booth learning to weld.

    A lot of the welding schools really push to train their students to learn the test, pass it, and that's all. Booth training is needed but it happens in ideal circumstances. Perfectly beveled edges, A/C, brand new machines.

    A good story, I was assigned a new apprentice that graduated from the Tulsa school of welding. He had their pipe certs. And he was started as a 3rd year apprentice at $22.41. His first day on the job he kept bragging about being a top notch welder, I gently told him to maybe not talk himself up to much, it could ruffle some feathers. Well after teaching him what a Gangbox was, then a hammer drill, showing him how to torque down a flange, all very simple things (but I always remembered he was young and new, patience) I finally said hey we need to weld up some joints. I showed him the tie in, a kinda comfortable 5g joint probably 3 ft from the ground. We he couldn't figure out how to start the generator welder, (in school he only used inverters, I think Miller XMT's) so I started the welder, put it at a good heat and let him go at it.

    Well it didn't come out so great, as a matter of fact it leaked when we hydro tested it. After about a year he was a million times more comfortable, and learned a lot.

    The moral of the story, yes school teaches good fundamentals, but when you go to be hired for a hands on job, your experience is worth a lot more and you won't be as embarrassed when you need to ask for help.
    Local 83

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