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For the love of welding

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  • For the love of welding

    I am still fairly new to the world of welding. I started when i was 18 and i am now 21 at a crossroads in my life. I picked up the trade so i can have a decent paying job while i was attending calpoly pomona to be a computer engineer but have now after being shy of a year and half of graduating i somewhat put a hold in a career in an office and have come to love welding and am trying to pursue a career involving welding/fabricating. I was browsing through all the users occupations and noticed a variety of you have engineering occupations that involved welding and what not. I was wondering where you guys went to school or what careers there are involving welding; i am also considering underwater welding(wet welding) but the schooling alone is going to cost me an arm and a leg. I just wanted some sort of feed back from my peers before i made my final choice.

  • #2

    Just one person's opinion, but stay in school and get the degree. You may want to look at changing majors but GET THE DEGREE.

    I myself am partial to Civil Engineering (jack of all trades engr degree) but Mechanical Engineering would also be a good basis for a career in welding. Take as many electives in metallurgy as you can. Actually, I think in the long run, the courses you have already taken may well be beneficial in the future. If you look at the direction welding is headed, there are processes used today which were unheard of just ten years ago. Most of them are in the area of automation and microprocessors.

    If you're serious about underwater welding, you may want to talk to a Navy recruiter about what is available. It was my experience that the services have the resources to provide some of the best training available anywhere. Having been through the Navy's dive training (Army Spec Ops), I can say that you better be in pretty good shape. The services also can provide an excellent means for financing your continued education.

    I'm not suggesting there's a thing wrong with desiring to become a professional welder, but get the degree first. It's something that can never be taken away.

    Just my .02 worth.
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    • #3
      Get the sheepskin


      I have to agree with SundownIII. I have a Comp Sci BS from UCSB. It has allowed me to apply for jobs where the minimum was a Bachelors of (some kind). Knowledge of metalurgy will go a long way in making you stand out from the crowd of guys that know how to run a bead. You may also find a degree won't hurt if you are applying for a business loan in the future.

      As you "move up the ladder" you move farther away from the practice of technical skills and begin to use more management skills. Having a degree can help open doors. I have seen careers top-out because the person didn't have a degree. Some went back to school. This would be a longer process since the classes you took now might not be part of the curriculum of the degree you want to get in the future. Plus, right now you have maximum flexibility. When you are older and have a wife, 2.5 kids, a mortgage and truck payment, etc. your options for returning to school are limited.
      Last edited by Samurai Dave; 06-16-2007, 01:24 AM.
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      • #4
        Mechanical Fusion Engineer. That's the degree professional welders hold.

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        • #5
          Mechanical Engineering was the major I was going to change to. I couldn't decide whether to pursue manufactoring, industrial, or mechanical engineering. I just never knew who to talk to at my school. I always had to attend night classes because of work so there was no one ever around. I have never even heard of "metallurgy".

          After searching my schools website I have now found materials engineering has courses pertaining to metallurgy. This was a tons of help. I appreciate the feedback, and have a whole lot to think about. I know if I miss another quarter of school I get dropped and everything I have worked for goes to waste, however; I'm still entertaining of the idea of underwater welding simply because of the pay alone and the fact that it is a job that will never get boring. The only thing holding me back on that is how dangerous it is, I'll never be home, and the effects after having such a rigorous career.


          • #6
            degree in welding

            This is a bit late but better than never. After working in welding and then going to school for a engineering degree in welding I must say it was well worth it. I now work in welding but am not under the hood constantly, I work with robots but not programming all day either. There is a HUGE need in our industry for people who know welding. Not just know how to weld but really know what's going on in the arc, puddle machine etc. I spend alot of time helping other people do better through training, research and just all around being there for an answer. The people who run welding businesses and I mean the big boys have no clue about welding. They understand there are incredible liabilities because their lawyers say so but don't know how to over come it. That is where people like me come in and it pays. The closest top school to you in Pomona is Weber state in Ogden Utah (formerly the Utah State Program) they have a manufacturing engineer program with a welding emphasis. To top it off it it is ABET accredited, means nothing to you now but will in the future when you talk to Deere or Cat. From there you can get into Texas at Letourneau another top school, good for hands on and theory. From there you can look at Ferris State or Ohio State both top notch also. All of these schools have grads making TOP pay in the welding field. Mechanical engineering is offered more places and is good but doesn't focus like the others. What ever you decide is up to you, but if you really want to do some good work and be the best then go for it. the only one stopping you is you, don't hold back the world is yours if you reach out just a little and grab it. Welding is coming into major shortages personnel wise and that will drive the value of knowledge up.


            • #7

              I have BS & MS in computer engineering and spend all day writing
              software, so I can not comment directly on education and the
              welding/fabricating/me careers.

              However, I can make a general comment:

              I have been a hiring manager for software & networking
              engineers. Generally, we're interested in what the candidate has
              done in the last 3-5 years or so. School stuff is of interest only
              if you've been working for less than 3-5 yrs -- because what you
              did at school is the only thing we can talk about to find out
              if you know your sh.. When I interview those people, I look
              at the projects, co-op experience, etc, that the candidate did.
              I also look for some intellectual breadth & hunger; they had
              to take all the required courses -- what were the unrequired
              courses that they took and were they able to tie it back to their
              engineering work. that sort of thing.



              • #8
                not to add anything usefull except on what the gentleman mentioned about the services above..

                after 4 years in the corps.. gulf war vet... gi bill,, going to a community college right now.. i make more money going to college then i do working at my fulltime non-welding job (im the shop welder but 90% of the time im doing other things besides welding..for now )