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New to the welding game.

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  • New to the welding game.

    I have been welding in college for about 2 years now. Prior to going back to school at 28 I figured that welding being a great hands and in demand from what I have heard I feel completely lost, worried and disappointed.

    I am one class away from being done while school and as of now I have put in approx. 50 apps/resumes hand one phone interview and lots of let downs in the last six months.

    I look daily, and apply for anything. I live in Michigan which seems as if it's industry market is becoming like bigfoot. You hear about it but is rarely seen.

    I am looking at moving if the job was worth it. But I really am looking for any opportunity to get into the field more. Again like I said I am scared that I made a wrong choice and wasted thousands of dollars.

    Any help or advice would be helpful. Thanks...

  • #2
    New to the welding game.

    I just finished up some classes a couple months ago...just something I wanted to do ...and in the process of going out on my own...but from what I've heard welders are in high demand...but with no experience you'll prob be starting at the bottom ...factories down by me have been hiring welders with limited experience they have to pass "there" weld tests.... Just keep plugging away at it...go to a fab shop...I've even volunteered to work for free on Saturdays at a couple fab shops just to get time under the hood

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    • #3
      New to the welding game.

      Jobs down in the gulf coast region and s. Florida. I know that's a haul but I've had family move back frm Michigan because work is hard to find there. Have you checked in Minn, Wis, the Dakotas??? Heard there are a good amount of work there too. Just keep your head down and be persistent. You'll make it.

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      • #4
        Lots of similarities, only I am 53 and have until next summer to be done with school. If you want to weld pipe the Dakotas are in need of welders. I see quite a few of $9-10 per hr jobs listed up here by Traverse City.

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        • #5
          school of hard knocks is where you get the experience thats what people are looking for start at the bottom work your way to the top thats the way togo

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          • #6
            Yea that's got to be a bummer of a feeling. But I think that's the case with a lot of grads in a wide range jobs right now.

            With a couple of years of schooling under your belt now you can jump in careers that maybe a bit outside your major. Like the guys say tho, just find something related to get some hood time if your dead set on welding.

            I look at posting related to welder's and find a ton where welding is just a small requirement of the larger position being applied for. So having that ability can help you land other jobs.

            My advise is to get in a field that can't be outsourced. Sewer systems, highway, bridges, rail systems. Infrastructure related to welding is where I would look. Utilities, power, water and gas related.

            Get in at ground level and just maybe one day you can show your welding skills there.

            Something like a Maintenance man at apartments. Welders can fix things and solve problems outside of running a bead.

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            • #7
              I have been hearing for my whole career about the shortage of trade workers including welders. I have also not seen it happen. Sure there are areas of the country where welders are in demand but overall they are not. By me in NJ the majority of welding jobs pay what they did 15 yrs. ago & the number of welding jobs has decreased dramatically. Almost no room for advancement either. The jobs listed that I see you could not live on what they pay.

              My advice would be to search out where welders are in demand & move there. Keep in mind that you may have to do this more than once in your career. Shipyards, oil patch areas, etc.

              Any schooling is a good thing so congrats on learning something.

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              • #8
                i totally agree with mmw, here in nh, i see these ad for welders, must be able to stick, mig and tig, all positions, lift 50 lbs, stand on your feet 8 hours a day, must read prints, have your own equipment, starting pay, 12 an hour. since the 2008 money disaster, the welding world has changed dramatically, loose the human weldor, bring in a robot. there arent that many industrial types of operation in this country like it was, say 15 years ago

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                • #9
                  New to the welding game.

                  Check out. South Plains College. Welding tech Dept

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                  • #10
                    I am 58 and am about 8 months into a one year course in Pensacola, FL. I am really taking the course for my own benefit using a VA program. We have 2 guys taking pipe tests tomorrow. If they pass, they go to work tomorrow. In the past several months we have had 6 students go to work making as much as $32/hr right out of school. Down here that is good money.... Especially for a 21 year old in his first job!! The company that has hired most of them has basically stated that if you can pass their tests you have a job. They are really looking only for pipe welders. They have been real good about keeping all these guys employed even it it means moving them to a different job when the one they were hired for slows down. I think it really boils down to being in the right area of the country. I have 2 guys from MI in my class. They came down here for work.

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                    • #11
                      so very true, the right place at the right time

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                      • #12
                        Well, one of my classmates passed his welding tests today and went to work. The other blew out the root on the 5" pipe he had to TIG all the way. He said he knew it as soon as he did it and he flunked the visual inspection. It was the first time either had tested for a job and I'm pretty sure nerves had a lot to do with it. They told him he can come back in 30 days and try again.

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