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  • Need some advice

    I'm an entry level welder looking for some advice from some more experienced welders. I graduated from college early last summer with a certificate in advanced welding processes and have thus been unsuccessful in my search for a job. Just this month alone, I have put in eight applications with various companies in multiple states, only to be over-looked because I don't have the desired work experience.

    I know I need a job to gain experience and experience to get a job, thus the vicious circle goes round and round. I've realized that my best option might be to be a welder helper for a couple of years to gain knowledge and experience, but don't know how/where to start.

    Anyone with any advice, I would GREATLY appreciate it! Thanks

  • #2
    I highly recommend inquiring at your nearest steamfitter's union about apprenticeship possibilities, if accepted into the program and you're worth your salt, you will have the oppurtunity for further industry related education and gain the work experience while being paid.

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    • #3
      Young welders

      I was right in your spot a year ago! I had just graduated with a degree in welding technology, and off to find a job. At 22 years old most shop owners looked and me, laughed, and said that I was not what they were looking for. I did get a lucky hit at the TEREX Company, (Simplicity TEREX). The day I had my interview, there were 3 other welders competing for the job, all over the age of 40! After the weld test they excused every one, and told that they would call with a decision. On my way out the door, they caught me and told me it was mine. The said that they were taking a “Risk” with me being inexperienced, but were looking for some new talent. They did value my education as some experience, and saw my potential to succeeded in there company. Needless to say 6 monthts later the company was going under due to the bad economy and laid off 60 of the 80 employees. I being at the bottom of the chain was the first to go. But it did get me in the door for experience for my next job. Well no jobs in Michigan, so I have now started my own company! Working 50 hours a week now welding and gaining more experience. You just need to find a company that values you as a person and can see that you will be a good worker for them. Good luck to you! As young welders we have to constantly prove ourselves! Now I am making things that people look at and say, “There is no way you could make that…you are only 23”. I look at them and smile!
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      • #4
        ahhh!

        im in the exact same position. exact made a little fib and said i had about 6months works experience. I knew i could do the work so i didnt sweat it and the companies I used were some an older friend of mine worked for that are now out of bussiness So all it well.. I got the job and have been kickin *** since. a little white lie never hurt anyone if you have the skill

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Devil_Dog View Post
          im in the exact same position. exact made a little fib and said i had about 6months works experience. I knew i could do the work so i didnt sweat it and the companies I used were some an older friend of mine worked for that are now out of bussiness So all it well.. I got the job and have been kickin *** since. a little white lie never hurt anyone if you have the skill
          Shame on you!!!!

          I did about the same thing when I was 18.
          They asked if I could mig weld and I said yes. (I had never even SEEN one)
          So they took me back for my weld test. While the owner was fooling around with the machine (some kind of Miller) I watched intently!
          Then he handed it to me and I laid 'er down like a pro. I was in!
          There was a bunch of other welders btw so they knew what to look for. I don't like liers myself but I had to go for it or forget it.
          Then they put me on the road crew after that and I was "the" welder...just like that. That was stick.
          Long story short, jobs are about a lot more than just burning rod and I managed to get myself fired after a few months. I could not have cared less.
          I was going into the Army in about a month and was engaged plus I had 3 big block cars. Never in my life have I been out of something to do.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
            Shame on you!!!!
            **** man i gotta do what I gotta do. A wife and son with another in the oven doesnt feed itself I know I can do the job so its not that big of a deal

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jessehornberger View Post
              As young welders we have to constantly prove ourselves!

              Pisssssssssst, let you in on a little secrete, you’ll be doing that the rest of your career!
              Caution!
              These are "my" views based only on “my” experiences in “my” little bitty world.

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              • #8
                When you know you can

                Back when i was still in welding school,one my teachers offered me this little job he didnt want to do.I went in there knowing what i could and couldnt do,looked at what they wanted,took a deep breath,pulled the bricks out of my shorts and realised i would kick myself if i turned it down.Within 20 min of talking,the project manager was teaming my up with the 2 plant mechanics and offered me $45/hr with everything supplied but my protective gear.Then he mentionned it's a $2.2 million project and said dont worry,the weaving loom the goes on that foundation wont be here for another week or so.The plant is open 24/7 and you can do it at night.Nervous or not i took the job and was done in 36 hrs.36 hrs of pure uninterrupted welding/work/fun.

                You'll be facing unknowns all your career and will need to work out permutation and combinations every day.Every job and/or work place is different.If it's not the work,it's the people you work with/for you need to learn.If you dont go for it somebody else will and make money that could and should be yours.

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                Last edited by Frank Motoweld; 11-08-2009, 06:50 AM.
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                • #9
                  nice to see the young guys starting out

                  this post made me smile, its refreshing to listen to our trades successors. welding is a very rewarding trade, you actually do or create something, what a blessing that there are the young kids willing to do what we did, this country is in trouble unless we start being a leader in manufacturing again, without our craftsman that will never happen, most of the trades are suffering, farther time is taking away all of the knowledge and skills that built our country, work hard be honest be polite success will be yours. good luck with your cariers kevin

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dmatthews View Post
                    I know I need a job to gain experience and experience to get a job, thus the vicious circle goes round and round. I've realized that my best option might be to be a welder helper for a couple of years to gain knowledge and experience, but don't know how/where to start.

                    Anyone with any advice, I would GREATLY appreciate it! Thanks
                    You're not going to like this but....
                    This happens in just about every field when there are more
                    qualified workers than there are jobs. I'm sure that any of the
                    guys here who've been working for 20+ years have seen
                    it.

                    The only advice I can really give is not to give up.
                    Things will turn around eventually (and if they don't
                    we'll all have much bigger problems...). In the mean time
                    keep trying, kep your skills up to date, keep aware of what's
                    going on in the field (new techniques, processes, technologies,
                    whatever)...

                    Think about the employers a year or two
                    down the road, and two guys go in for a job, one says
                    "times were tough, no work, so i played video games in my
                    mom's basement", and the said "no welding jobs, but i flipped
                    burgers to put some food on the table, and it paid for me
                    to take a course in welding machine repair & maintenance"
                    which of those two guys would you hire?

                    good luck
                    frank

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                    • #11
                      DMatthews, I sent you a pm, check it out.

                      Wheelchair

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                      • #12
                        I too am only 23 and have been working in fabrication for a little over a year now. I knew for a fact I couldn't go in and find a job welding without any actual experience besides some torch and stick welding in school. So what I did was went to my local staffing agency and had them try and find me a job helping a welder(pretty much to be the welders *****). Within three days they had called me back to send me in for an interview with a company. Showed up at the interview and honestly told them my welding experience(no white lies). I have noticed it really helps to be completely honest and tell them you are more than willing and would love to learn new things. Show them that you believe experience is everything and that your willing to work hard to get that experience. So anyway, I placed a few fillets for him and was asked how soon I could start. My first day I prepped all the stuff that had been built for paint. Second day he gave me the welder and let me build something. Have been welding ever since, besides a few weeks here and there of running a press brake, plasma table, or laser table. Always be open to learning new things. It has helped me a lot with keeping my job knowing how to run all them machines. They had laid off my entire night shift besides me because i knew them.
                        Last edited by Jeep80CJ7; 11-08-2009, 09:48 PM.

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                        • #13
                          There is a lot of stuff welding related that needs to be done. A lot of welders that are laid off are just that..welders.
                          I call them stunt welders All they wanna do is burn rod, but when it comes to making something they are lost.
                          My point is learn every machine in the shop.

                          www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
                          Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                          MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                          Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                          Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                          Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                          Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                          Miller WC-115-A
                          Miller Spectrum 300
                          Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                          Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Devil_Dog View Post
                            im in the exact same position. exact made a little fib and said i had about 6months works experience. I knew i could do the work so i didnt sweat it and the companies I used were some an older friend of mine worked for that are now out of bussiness So all it well.. I got the job and have been kickin *** since. a little white lie never hurt anyone if you have the skill
                            A lie to become a productive member of society I can live with.
                            The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. Thomas Jefferson

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                            • #15
                              I'm in the same boat, I graduated from welding school in the spring, and I have been looking for a job since. I haven't found anything, so I went back to school for advanced welding and basic machine tool. I have been keeping busy in my garage, and I recently got a job doing a wrought iron fence.
                              Keep looking for that job, and maybe in the meantime you can find some small odd welding jobs.
                              Good luck!

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