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  • #16
    western KY

    Originally posted by aametalmaster View Post
    Pretty much the same here. Top rates in a shop is 20 bucks and you need to have a bunch of skills to get that. I mean fitting and welding with more on the fitting. There are kids coming right of vo tech and welding schools that start for about 12 bucks and most of them only last weeks and can't cut the early wake up alarm. The sad part is most owe 12 grand to the school with the promise of good pay and the pay isn't great unless the kid has great skills. Granted the road guys make more but i don't want to speak for them as i only see what goes on in the shop. My buddy is an HR guy at a local trailer shop and he sees about 150 new guys a year. Most leave for whatever reason and some can't pass a pee test. We hired a guy last Monday and he is gone already...Bob
    Here in West KY factories pay 13.00 and change and use temp agencies a lot.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by kevin View Post
      it seems like the world of welding really took a turn in the 2008 financial collapse. dont get me wrong, things have been falling apart way before this, but this down turn pushed it over the top. fabrication has been out sourced, what fabrication that is left may well be robotic welding, a horse of a different color. i am in new hampshire, the live free or die state, where industry was always welcomed, there are many welding jobs. just about all of them are for tig work. if you are good at tig, you are in a god position, but if you have mastered stick and flux core, i would suggest following the oil and gas dollars, also the ship yards. most ads for mig welders are no experience needed jobs, its tough out there, i have a friend who has a mountain of certs, he has done well in the nuclear industry, you need to be really good with tig for this. if i had to do it all over again, knowing what i know now, i would work in the best of ship yards, the bigger yards, i wont name names, i have been out of that area for too long of a time to speak accuratly about them now. good luck and keep us posted
      Here in West KY factories pay 13.00 and change and use temp agencies a lot.

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      • #18
        pay rate

        Originally posted by aametalmaster View Post
        Pretty much the same here. Top rates in a shop is 20 bucks and you need to have a bunch of skills to get that. I mean fitting and welding with more on the fitting. There are kids coming right of vo tech and welding schools that start for about 12 bucks and most of them only last weeks and can't cut the early wake up alarm. The sad part is most owe 12 grand to the school with the promise of good pay and the pay isn't great unless the kid has great skills. Granted the road guys make more but i don't want to speak for them as i only see what goes on in the shop. My buddy is an HR guy at a local trailer shop and he sees about 150 new guys a year. Most leave for whatever reason and some can't pass a pee test. We hired a guy last Monday and he is gone already...Bob
        western KY temp agencies have taken over; 13.00 and change and big turn over.

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        • #19
          sorry for the repeats. the beeding heart virus is kiling my computer....

          Originally posted by coxey2 View Post
          western KY temp agencies have taken over; 13.00 and change and big turn over.
          Sorry for the reposts. virus...

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          • #20
            Being able to pass the drug screen, most important if you want to make decent money. I earn 2-3 times the income of those who can't pass. Customers demand safe companies these days. Drug and alcohol screening is one tool they use to accomplish this. I know, everyone has an opinion on drug screens and relevance, blah blah blah, but reality says that safe workers are sober workers. So my advice for someone interested in a welding career is: Learn more than you need to know for the job, it can lead to a promotion later; show up to work able to pass a drug and alcohol screen--early; work hard; never stop educating yourself- read books, watch videos, practice on your own time.

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            • #21

              Originally posted by dylan558 View Post
              I'm thinking about going to welding school. So you guys think there's a demand for welders in today's work force?
              Plenty of demand, just need to find the right fit for you. You can work for local companies producing crap mig welded stuff, and sit in a booth all day welding it, or go to work for an iron company welding buildings together, or a pipeline company, likely as a helper for a year. It all depends on what you enjoy welding. I hired an fairly unskilled guy 2 years ago. He shows up every day, the training has taken a long time, but now he can cut, weld, bend, forge, and finish most of the custom ironwork that i do. I can leave him in the shop working while i go on sales calls, and come back to finished products. If he had started out more skilled it would have taken less time, but he seems to enjoy what I do. Moral of the story, find out what brach of welding you enjoy, and pursue that. Show up every day on time, and be able to pass a pee test if needed.

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              • #22
                There are tens of thousands of welding jobs available today.
                "Welders" can always go to work.
                The big, big problem is, do you wanna work for walmart wages in a trailer manufacturing sweatshop?

                The term "welder" varies from "I have a job but can't feed my kids so my Wife/Chic has to work long hours and my kids are being raised by minimum wage day care drones........to, I work half the year, have good health insurance, good life insurance, my retirement is secure and my Lovely Bride spends her day caring for the smart and beautiful rugrats we've produced.
                The former is easy, the latter takes quite a bit of planning and effort, above what the average cat is willing to do. Productivity per hour is the big key.

                So, don't overextend that welder tag. Most of it is not so good, some of it is OK, a small portion is supergroovy.
                Drive, determination and learnability, able to practice hard stuff for hours on end, willing to hammer out the long hard.....that's where the financial security lives.
                At least 95% of the workforce doesn't have, or want that. They get to live with the hourly wage they get. Knowledge (not what they learn you in school) and hard won skill.

                So long winded aside, there are welder incomes and then there are welder incomes. Ballance that with lifestyle preferences and just take your pick.
                Everbody starts somewhere, where you end up is all on you.
                But low and mid range welder employees are just stuck with what is offered.

                A young man wanting to work as an employee, with an interest in welding, will make much more money, work in a safer environment and secure a retirement most bestest by pursuing an apprenticeship in a building trade be it Iron Workers, Steamfitters, Millwrights, etc, which ever one does the work that tickles you.
                A LOT of training required and a lot of production required but the pay is there long term and you'll get to work on large and interesting projects.
                I don't see many well paying opportunities these days for people who'd rather be 9-5 and be home at 4pm every night for the next 40 years.

                A small business owner with moderate skills can make a good living almost anywhere, assuming decent buisness/people skills (anybody can get that, I've proved it : )) and a relatively good buisness climate which we don't even begin to have right now. The thing there (run of the mill local welding work) is that every cat who's graduated from the local Community College will run up your a$$ at lower cost (+lower skill set and lower labor saving tool list). Gotta have good people skills and a good biz head to survive that. Most will drop like flies after a few months.
                Finding real high end client/payers isn't easy, the more the spec requirements the better to weed out the hacks. Again, more work than the typical is willing to do but the money lies there.
                I'll add that there are countless "business owners" who are not making enough to provide good sound (health/life/disability) insurance and good sound retirement for their families, so take what you hear with a large grain of salt. It takes quite a bit to do all of that in welding world and you have to pick your spot with care.
                Many welding owners think they are rolling in the $$$, but not. Hourly income is a poor measure of a business' worth. That's just "buying a job".

                My opinion only, based on experience and observation, discard if neccessary : )

                J
                Some days you eat the bear. And some days the bear eats you.

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                • #23
                  Wow JT, You better sit down in the recliner after that long winded statement, I was out of breath just reading it. HA HA HA.

                  Very well said however.

                  I have a Portable Welder by me ( My Competition ) and he thinks grossing a
                  $1,000.00 a week is doing good.

                  However his skill set is very low and his people skills are also very poor even though hes been doing it 20 plus years.

                  Just Like JT said, Its very important to be able to present yourself well to the customer or your boss, Its very important to have the skills required for the job and you have to be hungry and not be afraid to work long hours 7 days a week to complete a job.

                  I'm currently working at what used to be a Ford facility and we are working 7 days a week until we complete the job.

                  What employers and employees need to remember when working for companies that pay well, The customer has you there for a reason ( Because they have a Problem ) If you become another problem there's no reason to have you there.

                  The guys that make good money are the guys that show up when there told and get the job done.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by dylan558 View Post
                    I'm thinking about going to welding school. So you guys think there's a demand for welders in today's work force?
                    High demand low pay and little respect, so unless you REALLY love to weld do something else.
                    America, Clinging to our Guns and Religon since 1776.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Portable Welder View Post
                      Wow JT, You better sit down in the recliner after that long winded statement, I was out of breath just reading it. HA HA HA.

                      Very well said however.

                      I have a Portable Welder by me ( My Competition ) and he thinks grossing a
                      $1,000.00 a week is doing good.

                      However his skill set is very low and his people skills are also very poor even though hes been doing it 20 plus years.

                      Just Like JT said, Its very important to be able to present yourself well to the customer or your boss, Its very important to have the skills required for the job and you have to be hungry and not be afraid to work long hours 7 days a week to complete a job.

                      I'm currently working at what used to be a Ford facility and we are working 7 days a week until we complete the job.

                      What employers and employees need to remember when working for companies that pay well, The customer has you there for a reason ( Because they have a Problem ) If you become another problem there's no reason to have you there.

                      The guys that make good money are the guys that show up when there told and get the job done.



                      Sorry 'bput that.

                      Since '92 I've seen well over a hundred people (we had 14 one year) put a machine in a truck and print business cards, just in my little rural county. Maybe 3 of them have lasted over 10 months. Most of them confused cash flow with personal income.

                      Our county's Community College has a pretty decent welding program, but those kids can't make a living (in this county) as a low paid welder in the jobs available.
                      They have to work in a building trade or move away.

                      J
                      Some days you eat the bear. And some days the bear eats you.

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                      • #26
                        I'm from a rural community as well and even in the bigger surrounding towns shop welders make $12 - &15 hr. And people wonder why they're are a lack of welders. Why would a guy spend 10-20 thousand dollars going to welding school and on top of that spend every free moment at home trying to better his craft when he can go to the local factories and make the same money to push a button on a stamp press. I believe that if a guy is going to make a good living as a welder they have to hit the road, but in the same hand they had better to be prepared to make that commitment to be away from there spouses and children for a period of time. It's tough no matter which direction a person goes. And as far as repair work goes in my area ( its mainly a farming community with little construction) people are leasing or buying new equipment every year so everything is covered by warranty or doesn't need repair

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                        • #27
                          Thanks for the information! !!

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                          • #28
                            My Territory is anything within 2 hrs of my location, What helps me is that I wear many hats, I work on, build and install cranes and conveyors.

                            I work on heavy trucks - Welding and Fabrication, We are finishing mounting a crane on the back of a Log truck where we had to rebuild the broken frame.

                            We do a lot of structural welding to reinforce beams and bar joists for heating and cooling equipment.

                            We weld on heavy equipment, Where the boom or the stick on an excavator may break as well as bucket repair.

                            We do work for Door companies that need holes cut through buildings so they can install a new door and will also repair a building that get hits as the semi trucks when they pull out and take out the end of the building.

                            On apartment complexes, I will tear out and rebuild the 2nd story balcony or walk way including all new stairs and rails and concrete.

                            I will go into industrial plants and do projects that require fabrication and ********.

                            I do some process piping, restaurant stainless and tons of general welding, Tig aluminum on engines and transmissions.

                            To sum it up, If you want to make it as a general welder like I am you have to be able to do more than just be a welder, I play General contractor and take on the whole job and hire out other trades as needed and I do the portion that I know.

                            These are just a few areas that fall under the welding trade.

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