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Thread: Can I or Should I try to join the club?

  1. #1
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    Can I or Should I try to join the club?

    First off, I am a recent HS graduate enrolled at a 4-year university where I plan to major in economics and am also working part time (i'm a line cook ). Meanwhile I have always known welding to be a useful skill to have and have kept it in the back of my mind. A very close friend is also beginning to go to community college for welding, which makes me think more and more about trying to do the same. Thing is i'm not trying to make a choice between one or the other (econ vs weld) but would like to do both, my reasoning is that welding gives a skill allowing me to support myself while perhaps finishing my other degree, looking for a job in that field (econ), or maybe to weld my way through grad school. Who knows I may enjoy it and want to keep at it at least on the side. I also have pretty good support from my parents I'm not doing this to escape a pile of college debt rather I am interested in gaining skills in welding (which I have no prior experience so I am aware it may turn out to not be for me, but I'm willing to try and figure that out).

    The question is, going to school 5 days a week are there any certified training programs that can work around that schedule (ex: 1-2 classes per week, weekend classes, or summer classes, apprenticeship etc.) and if so would I gain any certification where I could find work and still finish finish in around 4 years (before or around the same time as receiving a Bachelor's?

    Perhaps a better question would be is getting a degree while chasing a welding certificate something I CAN do? Or will the workload(studying, etc) be too much to handle? and If it is workable will it be worth the time and training even if I don't plan for it to be my only career?

    I really appreciate anyone who take the time to read and consider my situation all feedback is welcome, I think its a very good idea to have more than one viable career option for the uncertain future and I think welding is a very good one.

  2. #2
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    Re: Can I or Should I try to join the club?

    Yes,yes and yes... Welding is a skill that can make or save you money the rest of your life and it's fun. Most technical collages and trade schools offer programs for all levels of welding. I would start with arc welding classes myself, 4 years is much more time than you will need to get certified in almost any welding field you want to learn, normally it's around 10-14 months depending on what you want to learn. (I might be wrong about training time now, it's been a while) also most tech schools offer night classes!

    Hope this helps a little
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  3. #3
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    Re: Can I or Should I try to join the club?

    Quote Originally Posted by luke201080 View Post
    First off, I am a recent HS graduate enrolled at a 4-year university where I plan to major in economics and am also working part time (i'm a line cook ). Meanwhile I have always known welding to be a useful skill to have and have kept it in the back of my mind. A very close friend is also beginning to go to community college for welding, which makes me think more and more about trying to do the same. Thing is i'm not trying to make a choice between one or the other (econ vs weld) but would like to do both, my reasoning is that welding gives a skill allowing me to support myself while perhaps finishing my other degree, looking for a job in that field (econ), or maybe to weld my way through grad school. Who knows I may enjoy it and want to keep at it at least on the side. I also have pretty good support from my parents I'm not doing this to escape a pile of college debt rather I am interested in gaining skills in welding (which I have no prior experience so I am aware it may turn out to not be for me, but I'm willing to try and figure that out).

    The question is, going to school 5 days a week are there any certified training programs that can work around that schedule (ex: 1-2 classes per week, weekend classes, or summer classes, apprenticeship etc.) and if so would I gain any certification where I could find work and still finish finish in around 4 years (before or around the same time as receiving a Bachelor's?

    Perhaps a better question would be is getting a degree while chasing a welding certificate something I CAN do? Or will the workload(studying, etc) be too much to handle? and If it is workable will it be worth the time and training even if I don't plan for it to be my only career?

    I really appreciate anyone who take the time to read and consider my situation all feedback is welcome, I think its a very good idea to have more than one viable career option for the uncertain future and I think welding is a very good one.
    Are there any shop classes in your University? You could kill 2 birds with one stone and get the college credit. But be careful of "for profit" welder-mills. They promise the moon and deliver mud at a high price. Just because you have a cert, it does not mean you can hack it in the real world.

    Word to the wise, after you take some basic welding training, it takes 4 years go become seasoned and competent enough to make any decent money at welding. Showing up early, working late when needed are part of the dues paid to learn. Lots of ladies are getting into the field and they do well in the factory environment, as opposed to the guys which gravitate to field work, and can't deal with the family drama. You gotta be real good to compete on the factory floor and justify the investment in training. If say $15 an hour is to your liking while doing school, go for it.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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  4. #4
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    Re: Can I or Should I try to join the club?

    If you know a blue collar trade you'll never go hungry - in my opinion.
    Welding, construction, mechanic work have saved my bank account many times over the years.

    In big cities there are many boring night shift welding jobs to help you make enough to stay in school (fairly low pay though).
    Dave J.

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  5. #5
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    Re: Can I or Should I try to join the club?

    Do you have needs and desire to build stuff for yourself? I am a computer engineer by trade, but have real needs for fabrication skills to feed my off-road addiction (i.e. Jeepís ). Learning to weld and then actually using that skill to build something you get enjoyment out of is the champagne of life.

  6. #6
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    Re: Can I or Should I try to join the club?

    I'm looking to see what my University offers but I dont think they have a strong program but i believe a community college nearby does. I'm going to start looking for a good location to get training but i wasn't sure if something like a night class or weekend class was available, most of my concern is going to be around scheduling and figuring weather ill have time to commit in order to gain the skill needed for apprenticeship/employement in the future. At the moment I live in a small house without much land so there are not many tasks or repairs requiring much skill, i wouldn't call myself a handyman because I haven't had enough experience although i lean towards DIY. I think if I try and am not overloaded with my schedule i think i have the chops for it. thanks for the quick responses i had just found this forum today.

  7. #7
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    Re: Can I or Should I try to join the club?

    Where are you located?
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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    Re: Can I or Should I try to join the club?

    northwest ohio

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    Re: Can I or Should I try to join the club?

    Quote Originally Posted by luke201080 View Post
    northwest ohio
    If you were close by you would be welcome to drop by and see what we do, and I would teach you how to fire up a tig and tack weld. I teach engineering students from the local University to tig weld their steel bridge for competition in the evenings coming October.
    Last edited by shovelon; 08-19-2014 at 03:37 PM.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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  10. #10
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    Re: Can I or Should I try to join the club?

    are you in state?

  11. #11
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    Re: Can I or Should I try to join the club?

    Quote Originally Posted by luke201080 View Post
    are you in state?
    Not yours.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
    MillerDynasty700DX,Dynasty350DX4ea,Dynasty200DX,Li ncolnSW200-2ea.,MillerMatic350P,MillerMatic200w/spoolgun,MKCobraMig260,Lincoln SP-170T,PlasmaCam/Hypertherm1250,HFProTig2ea,MigMax1ea.

  12. #12
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    Re: Can I or Should I try to join the club?

    Welcome. If you look at most folks' posts, (upper right side) you will see a "location" listed. Complete that part of your registration profile and we will all know where each other is.
    Jerry
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  13. #13
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    Re: Can I or Should I try to join the club?

    Im guessing you are just starting your 4 year degree this semester? Wait a semester and see how you feel about school and working part time and then make the decision if you want to take on the load of welding class... But like others have said, dont plan on getting a cert. and getting a big money job... Welding is a career also, and time and effort has to be put in to get that out of it, much like what you are doing with econ... you are right that welding is a good thing to know... Most don't, and most dont know where to go when they need something welded.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Can I or Should I try to join the club?

    thanks for the responses, I really appreciated hearing from people who are really involved in welding. im going to be looking around for best training option during this semester as it does seem like an option. so would it actually be worth it then if it isn't for a full career maybe just to work at for a few years? so that way i know something employable that i can do during and maybe after school that has more opportunities and better pay than anything that doesn't require prior training.
    how much time in class is needed before i would be considered for anything like an apprenticeship?

  15. #15
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    Re: Can I or Should I try to join the club?

    As a fellow econ major, from a wee while ago, make sure you have a known career before you go after that degree. I did Econ because it was easy for me. The only problem with that is that when you graduate, you have been preparing to be an economist, and frankly, the job prospects didn't look like any fun.
    If your friend is going to your same community college, then just sign up for a class or two, and see how you like it.

  16. #16
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    Re: Can I or Should I try to join the club?

    I find most office jobs you would get with an econ degree boring
    I find doing production welding work also boring you might get right out of welding school.

    I'd switch to an entrepreneuer/business degree and start up your own welding business, best of both worlds, little bit of white and blue collar together, keeps the body and mind active IMHO.

    but if you really take my advice, find out what business you like, apply for a job in a similar business and learn from doing. For example if you want to weld up aluminum signs, find a sign shop.
    work on cars? find a part time auto job
    work on boats, find a marina boat repair place.

  17. #17
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    Re: Can I or Should I try to join the club?

    I weld as a hobby, It is a method to satisfy some of my creative urges.
    I offer three choices: Good, Fast, & Cheap. You may pick two.

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  18. #18
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    Re: Can I or Should I try to join the club?

    Dude…I really have to disagree with you.
    You really have one choice in welding; “you do it right” and never cut corners. You should also invest in good tools and learn how to use them.
    “Fast and Cheap” are parked just outside your big-box hardware stores.

  19. #19
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    Re: Can I or Should I try to join the club?

    So how about this ,take engineering classes ,learn to weld at night and when you graduate become a certified welding engineer,welding inspector, instructor.All three require #years experience plus education. win across the board
    Last edited by gxbxc; 08-20-2014 at 07:29 PM.

  20. #20
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    Re: Can I or Should I try to join the club?

    I don't know if it is too late to reply on this but I am literally doing exactly what you are talking about. I was in school as business major and got so bored with it that I had to pursue something I liked. I decided on mechanical engineering and I am now in my junior year. I was terrified at the workload at first but it is doable. I decided a year ago that I wanted to get an associates in welding so I applied and visited every tech school/junior college around. I did not have to take any general education courses for the welding degree because I had already done them for the engineering degree. It ended up going super fast and this is my last semester of welding school. I also work about 25 hours a week which is just enough to support myself. I work everyday, go to school everyday, and weld 3 nights a week.

    Sorry for such a long winded post but you can do it if you really want to man. You just have to manage your time well and study when you're bored. Lol good luck to you. Any questions just ask.


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