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  • #46
    hi

    hi im new to this site, im 24 years old male and i work in manufacturing, Im going to welding school to become a certified combination welder, One thing i have noticed that is what i think a reason for less skilled worforce is the jobs The company i work for Tpi, They have no insurance cept for dental, so that sucks, there pay sucks, And my buddy who is a state certified welder, work in the mig/tig weld shop, and they wont even pay him certified welder pay, so why become certified if companies dont want to pay you what you deserve. also the schooling which one has to have in order to be certified is not cheap my school cost 4,000 a semester. thats my bit

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    • #47
      apprentice ..............

      I spent a couple year in a heavy duty apprenticeship, not including the 9 month pre-apprentice college course required just to enter the apprinticeship.
      the pre-apprentice was $4000 plus your books($1300) plus the required stuff for the class. so after I get out of school I find out there are no apprinticeships anywhere around where I live. so I move my wife and daughter 12 hours away. $14/h wage and $800 - $1100 rent with a wife and kid to support just didn't cut it. not to mention all the expensive tools you need to do the job and car insurence etc. etc. we even had to go to a christmas food hamper one of thoes years. and to top it off I got treated like complete crap. the guy one day actually grabed me by the back of the arm and squeezed hard and started shaking me around. I ripped my arm out of his grasp and said "grab me by the back of the arm again and see what happens" that was it I was done. with no friends or family there, my wife was ready to leave. with or without me. think I was going to stay there?................I don't think so! the only thing I got from that apprenticeship was a large crater on the top of my skull. see one day at the end of my shift, on the way out the door a guy says hey can you come over and give me a hand. well ya, for sure. so he's got a porta power maxed out trying to remove a race(ya a weld bead was already welded around the race). the boom of the excavator strait up and down. so we're banging away at it, still with the portapower on and maxed out(in the red). then BANG! my head jars forward and my chin smashes off my chest like I'm in a car accident. then blood starts to flow down my face, covering every inch. when I went to the hospital and had a bunch of med student around me taking pictures for study in class. they seemed amazed. one guy says "wow I've never seen this before. unbelievable! now i'm really worried. so anyways I took about a week off then went back to work. I thought the portapower blew apart. I found out later that a rookie left a bucket cylinder pin barely sitting in the hole then raised the boom. so when we were banging away, the 20 lbs. pin, 20 feet in the air was wiggleing it's way out then, BANG! It didn't hit me square or I'd be dead. It grazed my head, my neck taking most of the blow and still cracking my skull. Pissed me off because that wasn't even my work order, I was just giving a guy a hand on the way out the door. trying to impress the company I went back to work still in pain. I worked so hard for that ticket. I should of took more time off work, but was trying to be a big tough guy. I'm no lazy prick that's going to sit on comp for pain thats sure to go away. my wife ready to leave, a hole in my head, low wage, high living cost, a stressed, sh!t work enviorment, and a christmas at the local food hamper(ya I felt like a real man holding my child in that line!), thanks Brandt Tractor! I then decided it was time to pull out. we moved back, I went and got my class 1 and a hiab ticket. so I hauled for a couple years and put every cent towards tools and my welding gear. I didn't plan to drive for life (2-4 hr. sleep a night, every trucker here docks their log books). welding seemed the natural choice. Ive welded lots as a kid, in highschool, and in college. but I needed something new to get excited about. I was sick of arc and mig. thats when I got my blue beauty. I love tig. The possibilities are endless. It's a whole new world. so now all my energy goes into my welding prodjects. apprenticeship .............baaaaaaaa! you have to be single and have to want to live like a bum for 4 years to get that. it's worth it if your single and just starting out. outher than that BAAAAAHHHHHHH! when we came back home we were $20000 in debt (visa's maxed out). 5 months back home and we're debt free. If you look at how hard it is for an apprentice financially, you'll see, It's not rocket science why there's a shortage in the industrys. our school systems have brainwashed our youth to believe that if you flunk out, there's always trade school. I remember hearing this all the time in high school. why do they rate trades as second best? shouldent they be supportive on all levels of education? so what are we all just sticks in the mud then? second rate, second best? drives me crazy ...........pencil pushin #@@%$#@# !!!!!!!!
      Last edited by Dustyhaze75; 02-07-2008, 04:51 PM.
      Syncro250DX Tigrunner
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      • #48
        Morning in America- all over again

        The genius in Americas meteoric rise and latent strength lay in trusting the common man to arrange his own affairs and to keep the fruits of his labor.

        Jonh Taylor Gatto's writings on the history of education outline American decline.

        Life, Liberty, Property; no Sovereign but the Constitution; Due Process; the Rights of Englishmen; all created a population at once wealthy and difficult to govern (as well as difficult to lead to mass market). Since common Americans were seen by the elite as too wealthy and OVERPRODUCTIVE, private fortunes(by Carnegie, Rockefeller, etc) were ponied up to help establish State-run education.

        It can be morning in America again by restoring the Founders vision(without slavery- natch). Separation of school and state would go a long way towards restoring the crafts and trades.

        I apprenticed under the American Master Blacksmiths- Francis Whitaker and Alex Weygers. I have run my own forge for 36 years. I use Miller welders when I do not forge-weld.

        Godspeed, DownHand

        And, if I may say so in this post, Vote for Ron Paul.

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        • #49
          Parent(s) are the key

          Yeah, yeah I'm gonna throw in my opinion. I have been a welding and metal fabrication instructor since 1994. In that time I have placed 158 kids in the welding industry in the Kansas City metro area. Wages have been on the increase every year, minimum placement last year was $10.46 pr hour to maximum placement of $17.75 pr hour (3 students @ that wage). The problem is that I as a teacher see these kids 15 hours per week and that is about 10 hours a week more than their parents see them. I also have a son at home who is a senior in high school and fortunately I see him 10 - 12 hours a week but, 3 hours is Friday night while he is playing football.

          My whole point is that as soon as I got into education I kept hearing that the system was bad. People pointing fingers at instructors and schools. Then the general belief came around that it is the school counselors fault. So I went to a local AWS meeting with our school counselor and the group started saying that the counselors were at fault in not getting kids placed right. My counselor stood up and identified herself, she then asked the 75 members that were there how many had children, approximately 60 hands went up. She then asked how many wanted their children to go to college and approximately 50 hands went up. Then she asked how many wanted their children to be welders.....drum roll please, ..... 2 hands went up....at an AWS meeting! So it starts at HOME people, and we as welders are NOT doing our job in educating the general public about OUR careers! Period.

          My old pops used to tell me "when ya' start pointin' fingers at someone, look down at yer hand 'cause three o' them fingers is pointin' back at ya'". No one can help our craft(s) survive except us!

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          • #50
            apprentice ................

            so the teachers are blaming the parents, parents are blaming the teachers and the students blaming everybody and anybody. the fact is, I the apprentice was forced to stand at the local christmas food hamper, trying to give my kid something of a christmas. believe me, there's a problem! too much energey goes into who's to blame and not enough energey goes into the problem. if everything were peachy, we wouldn't be having this conversation.
            people talk about who's to blame more than they talk about the problems we face today. have you ever had to bite your pride and stand in a food hamper line with your kid for christmas? It makes you collapse on the inside. then you go back to work and hear how wonderful Joe blows trip to hawaii was. makes me sick!
            believe me, I tryed to stick it out but it was financially impossible with the high cost of city living and a family. the only thing I am sure of is there's a big problem, and I don't want anything to do with it.
            Syncro250DX Tigrunner
            Victor set
            Elite auto-helmet
            Dewalt Bench grinder
            Mastercraft miter saw
            Mac air tools
            Mac hand tools
            Toothbrush
            pencil
            toilet paper

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            • #51
              You all will probably disagree

              Go stand in front of the mirror!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What do you see?? Thats right, the problem with our children is staring right back at you. Everybody wants to blame, the govt, employeers, cheap labor, school teachers and so on. The problem starts at home. Why would a parent "not" want their children to work hard. I want my children to be more succesful than me but I dont care if they work hard doing it. We need to stop babying children and raise them in the way the should go. If they need a spanking, do it. Problem solved, no wasted time out chair.
              So my suggestion is grow some.....take charge of your childrens life while they are young and raise them, as it is YOUR responsibilty. If you wait untill they are 10 to give them responsibility its too late, Give them responsibilties and rewards for doing great, not an allowance.
              I'm blessed to have 2 boys 22 and 17,they both work their butts off. One is in business with my wife [went to a community college to learn business manegement/accounting] and is now married and building a house. YES building his own house. I mean driving nails. My youngest is almost through flight lessons [30 hrs, you have to have 40]he started when he was 16. He's in senior year of high school and goes to school and works average of 30 hrs a week. He has paid for every lesson himself about $130 each time or about $4000. Both boys bought their own pickups. Both have had paying part time jobs since they were 14, not counting working for me and I didn't pay them to cut the grass. If they helped me on a paying job, they got paid, stuff around home is expected.
              I hope I dont come across as bragging because I'm not, I'm blessed. I am not a perfect parent either, But they would not be the way they are if I had not had a hand in it.
              So to end my rant, I leave you with this, Lots of young parents or will be parents on here. DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR KIDS. If they turn out lazy or unskilled its your fault!

              OK getting off soap box
              Last edited by HMW; 11-01-2007, 04:20 PM. Reason: spelling/typing
              Scott
              HMW [Heavy Metal welding]

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              • #52
                phatboy97,

                I agree with you that it all starts at home( on a lot of fronts) but until the wages start increasing to a point where a person can earn a decent living and support a family then dont be surprised that parents are not willing to steer there kids into skilled trades. I would support my kids in whatever decision they make on there career paths that they want to take but I honestly would only steer them into welding as a hobby and not as a means of support. If it was not for owning my own company and I had to rely on welding as my only means of support my living standards today would be drastically different. The skill level I require of the Aircraft/Aerospace tig welders that I hire are very high and they are well compensated accordingly for there services. But that does not seem to be the case in most other industries. Why we are at where we are at with wages is worthy of its own thread.

                My 2 cents.



                Regards,


                Scott

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                • #53
                  Probulsion

                  Thats a good one, start a thread on why skilled labor wages are not very good
                  Scott
                  HMW [Heavy Metal welding]

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                  • #54
                    apprentice wages

                    sorry for the rant, the subject just hit a nerve with me. Hope I didn't offend anyone. when I was working as an apprentice about 75 - 80% of the work load was done by the rookies getting $14/h. the apprentice! the shop would then charge the costomer full shop rate. how does this work? good enough to work on the big money jobs but not good enough to get even a survivable wage. someone is collecting and sitting high on the hog. ya good system.
                    Syncro250DX Tigrunner
                    Victor set
                    Elite auto-helmet
                    Dewalt Bench grinder
                    Mastercraft miter saw
                    Mac air tools
                    Mac hand tools
                    Toothbrush
                    pencil
                    toilet paper

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                    • #55
                      Maybe my story would help you to understand why there are too few welders.
                      I attended a 2 year welding course at a votech in my hometown in 1993. Many metal fabrication companies were hiring at that time. I never had a problem finding a job. About 2001, outsourceing became very popular among employers. Our government was giving huge tax incentives to American companies who sent their work overseas. My current employer, desperate to compete against the dirt cheap labor, decided quantity was more important than quality; get the product to the customer faster than the Chinese could ship it. Then paycuts and layoffs. The only way I could find another welding job was to work for a temporary employment agency:low pay, no benefits. You could only work for 3 months and then you were sent away because no employer could afford to hire permanent employees. I then decided it was useless to fight the government, so I returned to school and learned to be a diesel mechanic. After 2 more years of investing in school for a job I assumed was secure(after all, you can't send a Mack truck over to China to be worked on!) I now live in fear that I will lose this one as well thanks to our governments new NAFTA highway which allows trucks from Mexico to travel all throughout the US. No need for American trucking fleets when Mexican fleets can be hired to bring goods to any place in America cheaper. No need for American repair technicians when Mexican trucks DO NOT have to abide by Federal Department of Transpertation standards for safety. What can you do? If employers can't send the work to China, they bring Mexico here. Our government wants cheap labor for the corporations, not Americans who will demand to be paid fairly for labor. I don't blame anyone for not wanting to be a welder anymore! I should have gone to school to be a greedy CEO.

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                      • #56
                        mem21495

                        Being a mechanic all my life I would have to agree with you . It does seem Amercian companys are killing the industry and its not from the cost of labor. Its the greed of the CEOs and board of directors. I've been fortunate to have never been layed off and have worked as Technician/welder for 25+ years. Only worked 3 different places not counting the USMC or family. 2 were fleets, been at this one 19 years. Stick in there though, diesels arent going away. I dont know what work you do on them but the diagnostic work is best pay, and will be in the future. Maybe you already know how, but if you dont, learn the test equipment. In my area, light duty mechanics make more than heavy truck mechanics, go figure. Might want to look into light duty diesel work, pickups etc.....good luck
                        Scott
                        HMW [Heavy Metal welding]

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                        • #57
                          what kids r lacking is a work ethic

                          honestly it has alot to do with how the kids are braught up now a days because to be honest im 17 trying to become the best welder i can and ive done all every welding class the school has to offer nd i feel like ive learned more in there than any other of my class with the exception of few classes but alot of kids lack a work ethic for example the other day in welding class i was working on a project and im the smallest guy in the class and you have all these people just standing around and its like less staring and more work .
                          Then again i grew up as a kid to a blue collar worker but at least i know everything i have it'll be because ive worked towards it unlikes alot of other kids whos teachers tell oh its ok billy i'll pass you and basically dumb the class down. I belive its mainly dependant on the teachers and the parents because they help determine the outcome of the student.

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                          • #58
                            A lot depends on what area you are from as to whether its the company being greedy or the workers. I see it from both sides of the fence. Hershey Foods are moving some of their operations, why pay a worker $27 an hour to watch candy bars go down the line. At my place of employment, a few guys are trying to get the union in, these same guys refuse to get dirty, they wont bend over to pick something up, they wont lift over 20lb, they will not work 1 minute past time without overtime, the list goes on. In my mind, unions are ruining this country, sure they were needed back in the early days but those days are past. I see it with greedy CEO's also, tyhinking they should be paid more they they deserve, after a while, the company is not bringing in the profits and bang.

                            So I blame most of this on the parents. This shows how the person was brought up. They were given everything until they had to go out and work. Now they want it all again. Children need to get out at an early age, start working on a farm, do dishes in a restaurant, work for minimum wage or less. They will appreciate their belongings a little more. I started at 12 delivering newspapers, 14 baling hay, washing dishes at 15, sweeping floors at 18, foundry work at 21, been an Inspector for 30 years, welder for 5, 20 or more certificates under my belt. Do I make big money ? No but I am happy and I can retire with a pension.
                            Ken

                            What else is there besides welding and riding. Besides that

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