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What can a bachelor's degree do for a welder?

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  • #31
    I'm not a welder, or an engineer, but I do come from a profession that requires a degree--and then some. Ask yourself this simple question: Where do I want to be 5 years from now? Do you want to design the rocket, build it, or fly it? If you want to design it, you have to know how it is built and how it is flown. The right engineering degree will give you a 360 degree horizon. Manufacturing engineers command premium salaries. English majors--not so. You're having a great time learning the welding trade but in the years to come, you may see things differently. That's when that 360 degree thing comes into play. None-the-less, you'll likely always be welder at heart and when things turn to crap, you can sneak down to the shop, lay down a killer bead, and all will be well! Works for me.
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    • #32
      My. $.02 worth.... ANYTIME you have the chance to add ANY degree, certificate, or license to your "resume", DO SO, especially if it can be done at little or no cost. One NEVER knows when life, the economy or the job market will make some weird, unexpected turn and one of those degrees, certificates or licenses will come in handy.

      One day during a conversation with my wife, I expressed the opinion that we had always been lucky when it came to jobs, income, etc. She said, "If we have been lucky, it is because you MADE YOUR OWN LUCK when you took advantage of every chance to add to your resume. Luck does not just "happen" usually and when opportunity knocks, you had best be ready to open the door, because it only knocks ONCE."

      One more consideration....When an employer is looking at candidates for a job...ALMOST ANY JOB...and has narrowed it down to, say, 2 pretty much identically qualified guys except that one has a degree (pretty much ANY degree, but better if it actually applies to the job at hand) and the other has no degree, 95% of the time the one with the degree will get the job.

      I figure that is as good a way of looking at life as any and should stand a person in good stead. On the other hand, my philosophy has been learned from watchng my dogs: If you can't eat it or screw it, PISS ON IT!!
      Last edited by dondlhmn; 12-14-2010, 11:37 AM.
      Don J
      Reno, NV

      Never pick a fight with an old guy. Old guys are too smart to fight and get hurt. They'll just kill you and get it over with.


      • #33
        Look at todays economy....theres no job that is secure so the more you know and the more you can do, the better off ya are.
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        • #34
          I will say this, if you do the engineering think expect to be committed, its no cake walk. It takes long hours studying, its not like a lot of degrees were you can get by just showing up for class once an awhile. I may offend some by saying that, but general education course are a joke compared to the engineering courses. I'm currently a junior in Mechanical Engineering at North Dakota State. I have co-oped for Bobcat in the mini X division, and currently work as an intern at the Case New Holland 4wd tractor plant. I would say make sure you find internships when you are in school or getting a job when you get out will be tough.
          Millermatic 252

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          • #35
            1. I have a BS in Mechanical Engineering and I work at a Nuclear Power Plant as a "Welding Engineer". I started right out of college and the only real experience I had with anything welding related was very minimal. I took a load of Nuclear Engineering classes but that was to just make me more attractive to that side of the industry. I can use my degree for more traditional ME work, but the job market and security is very sound where I am at. I deal with mostly union welders, your basic fitters, boilermakers, millwrights and IW. They all make pretty good wages however if I were to look at someone my age and compare income it’s not an apples to apples comparison. They problem make slightly less than me on a basic rate but I don’t get the OT pay that they do. My OT is Straight Time because I am considered a professional. On a month to month basis they probably pull in more than me. However there jobs are not guaranteed and they move around alot...which isn’t always a bad thing.

            However, there are outside factors that are nice that you sometimes glance over. For one I don’t have a baby sitter over me 24/7 like they do. I know my work load and I work it out. I don’t have to be here at this time (mostly) or show up to work at this time. There are obviously obligations that must be met, but overall I'm on my own schedule doing my own thing. Plus given my role I have a fair amount of "perks". They paid for my CWI, I have gone though the Hobart School of Welding and I can weld half decently myself. I have a few side projects because of this that are not too bad for supplemental income. I can move around in the company and if I so chose I can find a career path to make the "big dollars". I can tell you this there is plenty of opportunity to make good solid cash flow with a degree than without. I have seen pay scales and what everyone gets paid(in house union wise). The best gig is the in-house union people. They make good solid wages plus get OT and get a fair amount of the benefits I get like bonuses and such. They are king of the hill in terms of non degreed people. They easily can make 80-120K a year depending upon what they do without working allot of OT. There was a fitter from Alabama that is in a supervisor role. He works three outages a year and makes like 120K but he works for that money. He maybe on night shift for 12 hours a day 6-7 days a week for a month or two.. those guys make that kinda money and work one outage and some mandatory OT here and there…but they are off for all of summer.
            Last edited by Spectre32; 12-16-2010, 08:26 AM.


            • #36
              [QUOTE=smatsushima1;253589]Thanks for everything guys. I don't need any more replies, as I have more than enough answers to keep me going for years. I appreciate all the help.[/QUOTE

              Anybody else wondering if he is a serious grownup . . . ?


              • #37
                early on he said the more input the better. Now he changes his tune.

                I think he was looking for validation.


                • #38
                  Originally posted by smatsushima1 View Post
                  I'm an aspiring welder who will have an associate's degree within a year. Should I go the extra mile and get a bachelor's degree along with this?
                  More education is better. Get the degree, its only 2 more years, which i promise you is nothing in the grand scheme. Later in your life that 2 years will take 5 or more if you ever decide to go back for your degree like I did. Just get it... trust someone who made the wrong choice...


                  • #39
                    Degree for Welders

                    Dont understand how someone can come out of school and be called a welder. Just cause you get a paper that says you can weld doesnt mean you can weld. As long as you weld for a overseas company. You will keep me employed. Wont be the first time I repair "the best price"
                    Piss Poor Planning Produces Poor Performance
                    Tungsten, Torch, And Talent