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too few welders?

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  • #31
    looks like we got a handle on the problem but, does anyone have any ideas on how to fix the problem?
    all of us together can't do a whole lot but, if aws, miller, lincoln, ect. could sponser some sort of campaign that would get adults and kids attention it might work.


    • #32
      i agree

      i agree they should get a program set up so us kids and the adults can become more educated on the subject of welding. Im the only guy in my high school that wants to become a welder im the only one out of the 5 or 6hundred in my school that is sad considering its supposed to b one of the most wanted jobs.
      lincoln 140c
      with spool gun attachment


      • #33
        Originally posted by harcosparky View Post
        Here is something else contributing to the problem ....

        Vocational/Technical classes are all but non-existent in today's High School curriculums.

        By the time I was in the 11th Grade I could set type by hand from a California Job Case ( Print Shop ), Turn a Baseball bat on a lathe ( Woodshop ), Build, troubleshoot and repiar various electronic circuitry ( Electronics Shop ).

        These course were a year long, all 4 quarters in the selected shop class.

        The only shop class I did not take was Automotive. I took this one after 12th grade during the summer at a Vo-Tech High School.

        Todays high school student is lucky to get 1/2 of year in a so called Shop Class. if and when the do build something, they end up assembling a PURCHASED KIT.

        Whenever you see or hear the ads about " Are your kids getting enough ART and MUSIC " in school, remember they are missing SHOP CLASS as well.

        I graduated from High School in 1974. In the mid-80's I went back to my High School with a 26 foot long box truck full of Electronics gear donated by a defense contractor I worked with to be used in that schools Electronics class. It was refused by the high school as electronics was not taught in the way it was when I was there.

        Children are no longer being exposed to the types of classes that generate an interest in the trades like they used to. I fell fortunate now that I was able to take the shop classes I did, the knowledge I gained there led me to where I am today.

        Here is a some tests I'd like to give to high school seniors graduating today.

        1) Hand them a California Job Case and ask them to identify it, or substitute a section of linotype and see if they know what it is.

        2) Hand them a non-working car stereo ( blown fuse ) and ask them to diagnose it.

        3) Hand them a Skew Chisel , Parting Chisel, and Bowl Gouge Chisel and aske them to identify each one.

        4) Take them into a garage and ask them to show you the Front End Alignment machine.

        Do kids need to know all of this? I don't know, but would it hurt if they did know?

        Public Shools SUCK today for what is NOT taught to children. All they frigging care about is teaching the kids to pass some assesment test so the school can qualify for more Federal money.


        <whew - I need a smoke and a beer> I don't smoke or drink!
        hate to say it but i agree ont his to my schools shop programs suck yes we have metal wood electronics drafting ag classes and a graphics shop class they are 4 quarters in length but they dont teach any form of the lost art that each subject has noone forge welds or hammers out sheet metal in metal shop nobody hand planes in wood shoop we dont set type in graphics when doing press work drafting we use autocad ag and electronics seem to be the only courses that you learn almost all forms of that trade.
        lincoln 140c
        with spool gun attachment


        • #34
          Hi guys,
          I'm 45 years old and have just started in welding. Did the computer 2 year Associate program at our Comm College, got almost straight A's, then wondered were all the "high paying jobs" were (Computers are the wave of the future, I HAVE to do that!!!). Hated to keep up with the technology for computers as fast as it's going (as I walked to the register with my 1st computer 5 years ago, the clerk jokingly said "you know that it's outdated now, don't you?". Then went back to school for the 2 year Associates welding program (yes, wife IS a sweetheart and the credit card people have us on their top 5 favs list) and ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!! My classmates in computer are making $5/hr. LESSthan what I'm making now....

          I have a small gate project and my friends son (20 years old, had a baby that the girlfriend just left him, high school drop out, lives at home, no job is good enough for him, etc) asked me if I could teach him to weld. I teach Basic Welding part time for adult ed at the local High School so I said sure, meet me at 9am. Can't pay you, but I can teach you a lot. Said SURE, and didn't show up. Waste of my time waiting for him...Mom said he changed his mind, had however many beers and woke up late, telling her he would look for a job that paid. I wasn't going to tell him I was going to pay him $150 to install the gate the next time we worked together, I just wanted to see how his passion was to learn. I'm always offering my free labor to learn something I don't know...maybe I'm wrong....However, like my welding instructor told us: Schools don't like our shop, 'cause we cost them too much for material, machines, rods, etc. That's why they closed the machine shop 9 years ago (lathes and all the milling machines have rusted away at the state dumpyard)
          Cheaper to teach math and english: school buys chalk, we buy the books, paper and pencils... so much for my penny of thoughts for the youth of today.
          I'm not late...
          I'm just on Hawaiian Time


          • #35
            Oh, and for the other penny of my 2 cents: Don't worry about the "rich guys in the offices...." In the rich neighborhoods of where I live, there are $20,000 to $50,000 gates that adorn the front of those houses...I want to tap into that market!!! Also, when all these people who may snob us have their boat trailers break down, who do they come to?......
            I'm not late...
            I'm just on Hawaiian Time


            • #36
              This is a great thread, and all of you have really hit the mark. However, there are not many things that are tougher to change than a trend and this is one trend that will be tough to change. Back when I was in high school (mid 80's), my guidance councilor tried to steer me towards an engineering profession. I've always fixed my own cars, enjoyed working with tools and machinery, and really liked designing and building things from wood and metal. I used to tinker with my father's stick welder off and on and I still remember the look on my guidance councilor’s his face when I told him I was thinking about becoming a welder. He told me I would be much better off in engineering. In the end, I went into engineering. Some days I'm happy with the decision I made and other days I really kick myself. I still tinker quite a bit with all kind of mechanical things and the welding is a hobby now. I think the tinkering makes me a better engineer. My son just turned 19 months old and he has not seen 15 minutes of television in his entire life. Our friends that also have children really give us a hard time about that. Their kids watch television about 4 hours a day so they (the parents) can have a break. I show those same friends my new welding cart that I'm working on and they say "what do you need that for?" I say to move my welder around and they just don't get it at all.

              One person that is really trying to make a difference is John Ratzenberger. He is most famous for playing Cliff Clavin on the TV show Cheers. Well, now he hosts a television show called Made in America where he visits companies that are manufacturing things in the United States. It's worth watching and it's just about the only TV I watch now. Even that is pretty rare. Mr. Ratzenberger shows some of the processes these companies use in manufacturing and talks with the craftsmen that actually make the products. Last week I was very excited to see an episode that was filmed at the L.S. Starrett Company in Massachusetts. Made in America is a great show that helps show the trades and blue collar workers in an entirely different light than they are usually seen. Perhaps more importantly, Mr. Ratzenberger is also involved with the nuts, bolts, and thingamajigs foundation. ( The foundation tries to get children interested in tinkering and the trades. I really do think this foundation is a great step in the right direction for the country and is worth supporting. Not just for welding, but for the trades and strength of our country in general.
              Last edited by tube_guy; 09-24-2007, 03:08 PM.


              • #37
                some one said there was no welding programs at most schools any more . Well thank goodness there is 1 at our High School ,but I`am like 1 of 4 kids who know how/ Want to weld ,some of the kids don`t even know what welding is

                Inferno Forge



                • #38
                  I just read this whole post again and realized it was an old one but good one. I have came to the conclusion whos fault all this is.....Ours! Parents! It doesnt matter what the teachers or our society says about things if WE raise our children in the way they should go they will not depart from it. So my simple thoughts are love em and kick some butt, make em work they'll learn something and make them spend time with you when they are small. After about 8-10 yrs old its to late. My neighbor once fussed with me because my 5 yr old was asleep on the roof of a new shop i was building. [He was between bundles of shingles so he couldnt go anywhere] But my point is make em work, At 5 he toted me shingles as i nailed them on, one at a time. At 17 now he has no fear to try anything and is successful at whatever he sets his mind too. Not afraid of work. Anything you can do to make them think and be creative not brain dead. I'm very blessed and dont mean to brag like proud dads do, but please TRY this at home

                  Ps, dont let em fall off the roof
                  pss, good for you wire burner, keep up the good work
                  HMW [Heavy Metal welding]


                  • #39
                    well we got a new shop teacher end of my senior yr and he helped a good bit. but now im outta school and am a full time laborer,iron worker,welder,drafter haha.
                    lincoln 140c
                    with spool gun attachment


                    • #40
                      I just learned abuch of Blacksmithing today I went to a member of the Hobart boards shop & made a nail hanger thing

                      Inferno Forge



                      • #41
                        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.

                        nothing fancy, just a few hot glue guns for metal


                        • #42
                          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
                          Arcair gouger
                          Too many other power toys to list.

                          Do it right, do it once. And in all things ya get what ya pay for.


                          • #43
                            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.


                            • #44
                              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.


                              • #45
                                Politically correct.

                                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.
                                Last edited by pfatz; 10-31-2007, 10:24 PM. Reason: Forgot part of it.