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  • Career Change Question

    Hello everyone-

    Since this is my first post, I will try to give everyone a brief synopsis of who I am and my background... My Dad was a craftsman/tradesman his entire life. Throughout various parts in his life he built houses, was a licensed plumber, and somehow ended up as a pipefitter/welder.

    He always encouraged me to follow his lead. But being young/stubborn (and seeing his bodily condition after years of hard labor)... I became an accountant. Not necessarily a bad thing. I'm 24 years old and "comfortable"... but I am absolutely miserable.

    I would like to make a career change into welding. I have no professional welding experience, but I do have some familiarity with Mig and stick setups. To help make this transition, I have signed up for a continuning education welding class that lasts roughly 3 months.

    My question for you guys--- will that continuing ed. class actually help? What types of things do I need to do to land my first position? I am eager to work, even if that means traveling/going overseas.

    Thank you- your help is appreciated.

  • #2
    Originally posted by #sWelder View Post
    Hello everyone-

    Since this is my first post, I will try to give everyone a brief synopsis of who I am and my background... My Dad was a craftsman/tradesman his entire life. Throughout various parts in his life he built houses, was a licensed plumber, and somehow ended up as a pipefitter/welder.

    He always encouraged me to follow his lead. But being young/stubborn (and seeing his bodily condition after years of hard labor)... I became an accountant. Not necessarily a bad thing. I'm 24 years old and "comfortable"... but I am absolutely miserable.

    I would like to make a career change into welding. I have no professional welding experience, but I do have some familiarity with Mig and stick setups. To help make this transition, I have signed up for a continuning education welding class that lasts roughly 3 months.

    My question for you guys--- will that continuing ed. class actually help? What types of things do I need to do to land my first position? I am eager to work, even if that means traveling/going overseas.

    Thank you- your help is appreciated.
    Continuing Education welding classes are a great way to get a solid foundation in the basics & to find out if you actually like welding enough to pursue it as a career
    .

    *******************************************
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

    “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

    Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

    My Blue Stuff:
    Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
    Dynasty 200DX
    Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
    Millermatic 200

    TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

    Comment


    • #3
      Start working on your physical conditioning and endurance. Welders don't always work in a shop. There are great paying jobs in the "howling nowhere". Welders are often asked to be contortionists, bending at odd angles for long periods of time. Watch some Youtube videos of welders in Alaska, working on pipeline. You will be called upon to do your own heavy lifting.

      From when I was in IT and an auto mechanic, I noticed we, as a species, have become certificate obsessed. If you didn't have appropriate certificates in IT, they wouldn't even consider your resume. If you weren't ASE certified as a mechanic, forgeddaboudit.

      See if your school has certificate test preps. Getting those certificates is a key to getting those higher paying jobs. You can always open your own shop without them, but eventually, to get the higher paying contracts, your customers will start demanding them. Don't feel bad if you fail the test on your first try. Just pay and try again.

      Really, certification has to do with liability. To get good insurance rates, the construction company has to be able, somehow, to demonstrate that competent people are working the job. Certificates help with that. Some regulatory agencies demand it for some welding, e.g. boilers. Lots of liability, there.

      (big grin) You may just find, after a few months in an unpleasant climate, twisting and squirming around to finish welds, that that air conditioned desk starts to look awfully good.

      Of course, you may just land a cushy union gig in a factory. 9 to 5. Benefits. Sleep in your own bed at night.

      Depends on your sense of adventure. I wish you good fortune in your choice.
      ____________________________________________

      I don't need to find myself. I'm always at my lathe.

      Comment


      • #4
        H80N, Buffumjr-

        Thank you guys for your thoughts. I am definitely looking forward to the class now- it is geared towards AWS certification standards, and supposedly focuses on helping the student achieve 1/2 certs (not sure which though).

        I will also start working on the physical part. That was good advice that I hadn't really considered.

        In the coming months, I'll keep you guys updated. As far as adventure... I'll go wherever the job is. The further out the better, actually. I might come crawling back to the desk... but I'll at least be more appreciative of the desk chair lol. I look forward to it.

        Thank you, again.

        Comment


        • #5
          If you do land a job in Saskatchewan, Uruguay, Namibia, Laos, or some such, buy yourself a good quality point-and-shoot camera. Nothing big or complex. When not bent and twisted over a weld, with glowing BB's trying to burn your flesh, take some pictures to share with us, and your family. Another favor you can do yourself is have those pictures printed, and keep them in a book. The original JPGs will be long lost. Photos printed in the Civil War are still here. Pictures taken with my first Kodak digital are lost, forever, and that was only 14 years ago.

          I've had some construction types regale me with stories of 3rd world construction projects, and the joy of the biting insects, the poisonous snakes, the stupidly brave predators, and the local police and army (the biggest danger) The local bandits are the least of one's worries. Watch out for the army. Never been on such, myself, but the Moose Lodge, political organizations, and reserve units are places one meets such folks. Boy, do they love an audience. They'll bend your ear for hours, if you let them. Of course, they tell of the >ahem< pleasures, but I won't go into that.,

          Adventure is great, if you're single. It's a pain, if you're married. Tours usually unaccompanied, in a barracks like setting. You miss those football games, recitals, graduations, birthdays, etc. Stuff to think about.
          ____________________________________________

          I don't need to find myself. I'm always at my lathe.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by buffumjr View Post
            If you do land a job in Saskatchewan, Uruguay, Namibia, Laos, or some such, buy yourself a good quality point-and-shoot camera. Nothing big or complex. When not bent and twisted over a weld, with glowing BB's trying to burn your flesh, take some pictures to share with us, and your family. Another favor you can do yourself is have those pictures printed, and keep them in a book. The original JPGs will be long lost. Photos printed in the Civil War are still here. Pictures taken with my first Kodak digital are lost, forever, and that was only 14 years ago.

            I've had some construction types regale me with stories of 3rd world construction projects, and the joy of the biting insects, the poisonous snakes, the stupidly brave predators, and the local police and army (the biggest danger) The local bandits are the least of one's worries. Watch out for the army. Never been on such, myself, but the Moose Lodge, political organizations, and reserve units are places one meets such folks. Boy, do they love an audience. They'll bend your ear for hours, if you let them. Of course, they tell of the >ahem< pleasures, but I won't go into that.,

            Adventure is great, if you're single. It's a pain, if you're married. Tours usually unaccompanied, in a barracks like setting. You miss those football games, recitals, graduations, birthdays, etc. Stuff to think about.
            Again, great advice- and if that happens... expect an obnoxious amount of photos. Lol.

            Not sure I should tack onto this thread, but what is the availability like on those overseas jobs? I've heard talk of them my entire life, but have only met 1 individual actually engaged in them.

            Comment


            • #7
              Google search, "Bid on Overseas Welding Jobs", and explore.

              Check with the school about any job placement service they may have.

              If you know anyone in Crowley Maritime, they go all over the world, and you may just luck into contacts.

              http://www.indeed.com/forum/job/Pipe...welder/t181417

              Become an electronic detective. Explore the internet! Enjoy.
              Last edited by buffumjr; 05-17-2016, 12:01 PM.
              ____________________________________________

              I don't need to find myself. I'm always at my lathe.

              Comment


              • #8
                Because of a shortage of welders, lots of manufacturers have their own in-house training programs. That would be great if you could find one of those. Where are you located? I know of a few shops in Cleveland. Also, I got welding certified at Lincoln Electric. That at least gives the basics. Certifications don't hurt.
                Gina M. Tabasso
                HGR Industrial Surplus
                www.hgrinc.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  [QUOTE=HGR44117;n568511]Because of a shortage of welders, lots of manufacturers have their own in-house training programs. That would be great if you could find one of those. Where are you located? I know of a few shops in Cleveland. Also, I got welding certified at Lincoln Electric. That at least gives the basics. Certificationot desu y

                  Yeah! The company I work for does that. At least they used to. They would give you one weeks training to weld one joint, then give you the test. Not a good way to certify welders. One joint-one position-a monkey could pass that if they weren't afraid of fire!! Lol!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey guys, girls-

                    I just want to put a post in hear for anyone reading this thread as a lurker, or anybody reading this thread in the future... I have a 4-year degree in accounting, and have spent several years in a nice position, air-conditioned room, good pay, and my office is in walking distance of my house. This is a decision that I have spent my life deciding, and thought that I was doing what's best (and might had been), by becoming an accountant... but now it's time to be a tradesman, like I was raised to be.

                    In no way, shape or form, am I saying that welding is easy. In no way, shape or form, am I saying that I am prepared to be a welder. Welders, in many ways, are genius, and the grandest designs of engineers depend, totally, on a welders ability to execute those designs- to make those designs safe, to make those designs reliable, and to make those designs real.

                    Welders hold a lot of lives in their hands, on a daily basis, and those lives are dependent on their skills. My Dad was a welder, and as such, I was raised to respect welders, their jobs, and their abilities.

                    I'm wanting to get into this line of work, not because I think it's easy, or because I think I can master it after a few weeks... but because I respect it, what a good welder can do, and the life that the skill can offer.

                    Just saying... Got a PM, didn't know how to take it... but wanted to clear up some points in this thread.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I was full time National Guard for 15 years. During that time, I was in IT. Title 10. One of 1,400 such, nationwide. There was an unspoken understanding in my job, of the door with the handle on only one side. If you left the job, for any reason, you couldn't come back. I stayed with it for my 20. Glad I did. Three times, contractors offered me good money to come to them. Boy, was I tempted. And, this temptation came at a time I was most vulnerable to it.

                      Why am I telling you this?

                      A job within walking distance doesn't come along every day. A job that pays well, and, at 5:30 or 6:00, lets you go home to the family. A job that lets you have time off for those things your kids do, to treasure and enjoy those moments.

                      All I'm saying, is be careful what you wish for.

                      I'm betting you are in your 40's. Perhaps late 40's. Is this real, or is this "mid life crisis"? If it's real, have at it! If it is your real passion, you WILL succeed. If it's not, then can you get back into accounting as easily?

                      If you decide to do this, try a local job, first. Lots of them out there. If you can, go union. They will do what they can to help with certifications and keeping you employed. At least with a local job, you won't have to endure relocation. Then, if you shine at this local job, go ye forth and do great things.
                      Last edited by buffumjr; 05-21-2016, 09:25 AM.
                      ____________________________________________

                      I don't need to find myself. I'm always at my lathe.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        First post...24 years old...still carving his path. <br />
                        <br />
                        Misery in a job makes for a long day.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by buffumjr View Post
                          I was full time National Guard for 15 years. During that time, I was in IT. Title 10. One of 1,400 such, nationwide. There was an unspoken understanding in my job, of the door with the handle on only one side. If you left the job, for any reason, you couldn't come back. I stayed with it for my 20. Glad I did. Three times, contractors offered me good money to come to them. Boy, was I tempted. And, this temptation came at a time I was most vulnerable to it.

                          Why am I telling you this?

                          A job within walking distance doesn't come along every day. A job that pays well, and, at 5:30 or 6:00, lets you go home to the family. A job that lets you have time off for those things your kids do, to treasure and enjoy those moments.

                          All I'm saying, is be careful what you wish for.

                          I'm betting you are in your 40's. Perhaps late 40's. Is this real, or is this "mid life crisis"? If it's real, have at it! If it is your real passion, you WILL succeed. If it's not, then can you get back into accounting as easily?

                          If you decide to do this, try a local job, first. Lots of them out there. If you can, go union. They will do what they can to help with certifications and keeping you employed. At least with a local job, you won't have to endure relocation. Then, if you shine at this local job, go ye forth and do great things.

                          I understand, 100%. Even though I'm not 40, I have thought of this in that light... and do think that it is my "passion" to work with my hands in some capacity. Welding comes as a natural choice for me.

                          To shed some light on where I'm coming from, I graduated HS at 16, enrolled in welding school- loved it. Welded every day, and every day flew by. Met some guys that scared me regarding job availability (things of that nature), pay, etc...--- switched major shortly thereafter to accounting and have looked back every day. But- got a cozy job in my hometown before I graduated, and have only moved upwards.

                          Which brings us here.

                          Upward mobility is great, and I'm not even saying that everybody should pursue their passions. Maybe some people should keep their passions as hobbies, because as soon as that passion becomes work... it's a job. It seems to me that the key would be to be passionate about whatever work you have... but that is extremely difficult to do in accounting and office work--- especially if you were raised outside, working every day.

                          I will say this------- I am still concerned about the job market and job availability.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hey guys-

                            Just posting an update...

                            I've started my continuing education class, and can only say that it has been a great decision. Even if I chose not to make this a career, it has already been an eye-opening experience in many ways. The class is focusing on SMAW- plate at first, then on pipe, and is largely based on how quickly we excel at, or pickup each process.

                            Supposedly, I have the best beads in the class. I will be posting pictures soon, just to make sure I'm not receiving undeserved/motivational praise.

                            The class only meets for 10 hours/week. In my off time, I will be practicing using 6011 and 7018AC rods on an AC-only Lincoln 225... and I have also found a teacher to meet with a couple days/week in my off time to practice TIG.

                            Any suggestions for deliberate practice?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              a lot of valuable knowledge to be found and studied here

                              https://www.millerwelds.com/resources/welding-resources

                              .

                              *******************************************
                              The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

                              “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

                              Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

                              My Blue Stuff:
                              Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
                              Dynasty 200DX
                              Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
                              Millermatic 200

                              TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

                              Comment

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