growing up, my mother always said to me " i don't care what you do for work, just learn a skilled trade and then go on and do as your heart pleases". i couldnt thank her more for that. when i met my wife, as i was introduced to her parents (a little later) her parents are the type that if you dont have a formal education, then you are nothing. hopefully i have changed their ideas about this a little. i own a tree service and now starting my welding service as well. the aother day i brought home an older gmc flatbed truck. look for the post "rig truck help". my wife and her parents were scared to death that i was getting us into trouble with this truck. "its all rusted and old" i was asked why i didnt go and buy a new diesel. first off i would rather build my own, secondly, i would like my money to go other places like my new trailblazer 275 with 12 vs extreme. sorry, i get sidetracked easily.
any ways the point is, my wife was brought up in a "capitolist" household. i was brought up on a farm. if i couldnt fix it then i had to walk. i think that not getting into the trades is a luxury that parents try to afford their children. i would not be happy if my daughter picked up a wrench professionaly (unless for nhra or something like that). i did not say that i didnt want her to know how to bend wrenches or run a 5g cap and stringer pass, i just know that it is a hard life. it is a dirty life and i would want better for her.
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Thread: too few welders?
09-22-2007, 07:01 PM #41welder_one
nothing fancy, just a few hot glue guns for metal
09-22-2007, 07:37 PM #42Senior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
- New Orleans, LA
It's not all the schools fault. Back in 1997 my boss was complaining to me about getting decent helpers and the fact he couldn't keep any. I asked what he was paying them. Turns out he was paying grown men, married with kids what I was getting as a helper in 1975. It's no wonder. He didn't pay me worth a hoot either. I was offered a job as shop foreman in a shop in Mississippi for $10.00 an hour. I laughed at them. There is no point in working a job this tough requiring the level of skill it does for starvation wages.
I learned welding from my dad who owned the company (I didn't get a choice in it). I also spent a few years driving trucks, another 8 in the army (working with my mind and not my hands for the most part). I have an AAS in computer science and got my bachelors in art in 2004 (I was bored and wanted to learn something I knew nothing about). The Vo-Tech shops at the university I went to belong to the art department now.
I own half of a company now where I do almost all of the welding and my biggest problem is the guys who don't know what they are doing and doing it cheap combined with CHINA. I can't build it for that, but you don't have to take mine to someone to repair it either.
Now the schools could use some changing. Teachers need to realize that not everyone needs (or should have) a college degree. I saw so many clueless young adults fixing to graduate with no idea what the real world is like. And no skills that were marketable. I also know who the teachers are now. I went to school with them and they weren't exactly the best and brightest. Reminds me of my LT when I was getting out of the army. Yeah I can see SGT Houston eating out of a garbage can in the near future. He had a poli-sci degree (most useless thing on earth). I questioned him and found out he had no job experience whatsoever outside the army. I told him he would eat out of a garbage can before I would because I could at least drive a truck. I had a Captain with a masters in education that couldn't write a coherent sentence. It's just the mindset. I see it in my kids. They want it instantly and I can't get it across to them that it takes many years to get to where I am with my skills. They don't want to invest the time.
Oh well.Lincoln: Eagle 10,000, Weld-Pak HD, Weld-Pak 155, AC-225, LN-25 wirefeeder
Miller: Syncrowave 250DX Tigrunner
Westinghouse: 400+ amp AC
ThermalArc Handy wirefeeder
1 Harris, 3 Victor O/A rigs
Too many other power toys to list.
Do it right, do it once. And in all things ya get what ya pay for.
09-23-2007, 12:56 PM #43Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
Were On The Right Track
For myself this has been a age old topic of disscussion that results in ...PEOPLE such as myself that are not the man but instead ''WORK''for the man have to in a ''covert way'' get it to the other guys how important it is to become a better tradesman. The reason I use covert way is because like it was said EMPLOYERS are only concerend about the bottom line...their pockets their better quality of living it's all about them them them. And we should be happy that we just have a job
Well for me yes I'm happy to have a job....but not about the fact that it can be lost if somebody from a far away land comes to work for a lesser wage that dosent have the qualifications and work ethics that were paramount and needed for the job and now I'm out and he's in.
So that's why I say certs ARE VERY IMPORTANT AND EVERY WELDER SHOULD HAVE ONE or two or three.And I ain't talkin company certs.
And yeah I know it not about what you know it's about WHO and that sucks too.. well at least you cant take what i/we know.
Educate yourself in youre craft as much as possible DO NOT GET IN A COMFORT ZONE. Belive it or not that were American's fail all around.
10-31-2007, 09:18 PM #44Junior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2007
Where have all the welders gone.
I am 70 now and forced into retirement by health concerns. I owned(founded) a Structural Steel fab & ******** co. We fabbed pressure vessels to 10K psi an a multitude of other welded products. I got out of the business in 1982 due to the economy. I consider myself lucky as my friends who stayed fought an increasingly difficult battle to keep & train labor (Welders and fabricators that were worth their pay. I agree that the problem starts with the parents, the schools and continues with our goverment. All the greatly educated class brought this on by deciding that WORK was not for their kids and by extension no one elses either. It was decided that everyone should get a college education, study computers and everything would be great. Everyone fell for that line and woe to us all.
The local community college bought into that and closed its Carpentry, Automotive, Welding & Diesel mechanic classes. Only the Machinist classes were spared by demand of a couple of companies who need to replace their expensive workers with lower wage beginners ever so often. Bless them anyway. All this where logging is a big if not the biggest employer around here.
Robots may work in manufacturing, but no way will they displace a real welder. Field work, repairs and fabrication require the human mind to solve the problems that the robots cannot.
I receive a publication called "Farm Show Magazine". It tells about all kinds of things farmers are doing to repair, design, solve problems. They appear like good welders, as some obviously are, to be immensly innovative and talented.
I've said all along, A computer won'd drive the nail nor turn the bolts to keep it all together. With all this, I think we are too late to turn it around. The incentive to vote, work and change the political climate no longer exists in the younger generation as a rule.
10-31-2007, 09:20 PM #45Junior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2007
Well I see that even this forum is so politically correct that it edited out part of the title of my business for 20+ years.
You know, we fabbed the structural beams, columns and miscellaneous steel in the plant, hauled it to the job site and using cranes we lifted parts and bolted them together up to 23 stories high. Or even 1 story. It takes a lot to replace one commonly used word!
How stupid have we become.
10-31-2007, 11:30 PM #46Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2007
- gate city virgina
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
11-01-2007, 12:54 AM #47
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 $20000 in debt (visa's maxed out). 5 months back home and we're debt free. If you look at how hard it is for an apprentice financially, you'll see, It's not rocket science why there's a shortage in the industrys. our school systems have brainwashed our youth to believe that if you flunk out, there's always trade school. I remember hearing this all the time in high school. why do they rate trades as second best? shouldent they be supportive on all levels of education? so what are we all just sticks in the mud then? second rate, second best? drives me crazy ...........pencil pushin #@@%$#@# !!!!!!!!Syncro250DX Tigrunner
Dewalt Bench grinder
Mastercraft miter saw
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11-01-2007, 10:40 AM #48Junior Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2007
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.
And, if I may say so in this post, Vote for Ron Paul.
11-01-2007, 01:08 PM #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!
11-01-2007, 04:14 PM #50
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
Dewalt Bench grinder
Mastercraft miter saw
Mac air tools
Mac hand tools