Skip to comments.Welders Make $150,000? Bring Back Shop Class
Posted on 04/22/2014 8:16:56 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
In American high schools, it is becoming increasingly hard to defend the vanishing of shop class from the curriculum. The trend began in the 1970s, when it became conventional wisdom that a four-year college degree was essential. As Forbes magazine reported in 2012, 90% of shop classes have been eliminated for the Los Angeles unified school district's 660,000 students. Yet a 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics study shows that 48% of all college graduates are working in jobs that don't require a four-year degree.
Too many young people have four-year liberal-arts degrees, are thousands of dollars in debt and find themselves serving coffee at Starbucks SBUX +0.95% or working part-time at the mall. Many of them would have been better off with a two-year skilled-trade or technical education that provides the skills to secure a well-paying job.
A good trade to consider: welding. I recently visited Pioneer Pipe in the Utica and Marcellus shale area of Ohio and learned that last year the company paid 60 of its welders more than $150,000 and two of its welders over $200,000. The owner, Dave Archer, said he has had to turn down orders because he can't find enough skilled welders.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Everyone thinks they can weld.
Underwater welding — there’s a handy skill.
How many years of experience did these guys have?
I almost got into that 30 years ago, wish to hell I did I could have been retired by now.
I live 40 miles north of Houston, Montgomery County north, we are growing by leaps and bounds. I wish I was 20 or 30 again instead of retired here. I was blessed to be able to attend a vo-tech school in high school in HVAC. Thankfully, I served my country then got a good gov job and was able to retire young. But was blessed to be trained in Electrical, plumbing and HVAC
I am a firm believer in Vo-tech training and deportation to open jobs for both inner city and other workers that take perhaps minimal training.
Where I live they are always 24/7 looking for welders, machinists, other skills. wow, the opportunity here.
I was glad for the welding I did in HS, acetylene and electric arc. Though I’ve always been more a theorist than experimentalist or engineer, thank God.
I set on that path over 32 years ago.
You get rich or dead.
I got neither.
We are short handed in most trades now. When I was framing houses there were so many guys, pay sucked. Now I am building mini concrete mixers, a complete change in trades, I cannot find decent welders with good work ethic, good quality etc, but, they all want big dollars.
I work with a lot of welding companies.
There is always great demand for good welders. A lot of these guys are making $100K+.
Michelle Obama knows it all. She recently said everyone will need a college degree. Like her husband, she’s so often wrong. So many young people would be so much better off as a welder than 4 - 5 years of political science.
The average age of a welder in the USA now is almost 60. Young people just aren’t being trained or getting into the field. A good well trained young welder will be in great demand in the future.
That’s a quite low figure.
Most everyone who really wants to, can weld.
It’s just that most who try are more interested in the pay than the joy of creating a good bond between the metals.
If you fail as an electrician you can always be a welder heh.
That’s just a tradeschool joke, but all joking aside, there is a massive shortage of skilled trades. I don’t think people realize what you can make either.
Perhaps a, or multiple FReepers could comment, but seems to me here in California at least the “shop classes” were shut down NOT due some belief the four year college degree was essential, but because of frivolous lawsuits against the various school districts based on the alleged hazards of such classes.
There is never a lack of need for cement. I hope you are able to find good, honest, competent and realistic workers.
I’m amazed locally that most building trades jobs are now filled by illegal aliens. I suspect electrical and plumbing are not but have not checked that closely.
Since you had some training....do you know what an electrician charges per hour?
a friend of mine has a welding company and he can get all the certified welders welding dual shield for less than $20/hr.
My cousin is in charge of a college that teaches welding and has a request from national Ship Building for 2,000 welders and their starting pay for certified welders is $18/hr.
It’s like buying a Rolls Royce....if you have to ask the price....you can’t afford it.
Son learned welding in the navy. When he got out, he got his bachelor’s degree. He worked for a properties company - a desk job. Now he and wife are moving back to our area and he still doesn’t have a job lined up.
He doesn’t want to do welding.
I don’t bring it up any more. He won’t listen! How to knock some sense into him??”
***Bring Back Shop Class****
That;s what I’ve been saying for years!
For what? Industrial electrical work, ag/ranch/oilfield, residential, light industrial, etc?
There’s electricians and then there’s electricians.
Hand a stinger to a liberal arts major and odds are, they’ll never be able to successfully start an arc, much less run a bead that looks like a chicken crapped on the metal.
“Underwater welding theres a handy skill.”
The welder I use finally closed up his shop. Is having shoulder surgery and it would be a year before he could work again. But - he is an older guy.
He will still take his once-a-year (sometimes twice!) safari to Africa.
I didn’t pry, but in conversation it came up that after the Navy he went into underwater welding. I was surprised he was still welding at his age. But you could tell he enjoyed the specialized work that he did.
“Yeah - it pays for the cartridges.”
From my observation, it depends on what type of welding we’re talking about.
If you’re talking of dual-shield or MIG, then lots of people can weld.
When we get to out-of-position stick, or pipeline stick, now the number of people who can pull it off gets much thinner.
And then there’s TIG, and some specialized TIG welders make huge money, but they’d got a very difficult job in tight spaces (eg, in power plant piping on stainless).
The hardest jobs require Xray inspection of every weld. If you botch more than two per month, you’re probably going to be given your walking papers pretty soon.
residential - remodeling.
That’s because dual shield is pretty easy stuff compared to other technologies.
PIpeline guys who work out in the field and bring their own rigs to the job (usually a Lincoln machine) get upwards of $30/hour, and then $15 to $20 for rig rental on their rigs.
There’s more than a dozen “certificates” in welding. There’s certificates for process, then position, then some application certs as well. Saying “we’re hiring certified welders” is a pretty loose specification.
$65/hour on up.
most of the structuiral these guys are welding they are using 1/16 wire and welding 3/8 to 2” sections in the shop.
The ones National are looking for are to fab hulls of commercial and navy ships.
They are looking for 2,000 to weed out to an eventual 1,500 full time employees.
I am a low voltage electrician.. (48 volts or less. computer networks, alarm systems, that sort of thing).
My advance notice rate is 75 hour. After hours is 95 and drop and run (be there in 4 hours or less) is 125.
electrode in one hand.. ground in the other..
Turn welder on.
Repeat as necessary.
There's no doubt that honest work was disparaged by obama by his relentless attacks on Joe the Plumber back in 2008.
A self-made man who rose through the ranks of a blue collar job working tirelessly to provide for his family, Mr. Wurzelbacher was ridiculed endlessly by obama, whose only "job" was that of a community organizer.
Wowsa....do you ever have a helper? If so...then what do you charge?
That’s about what I reckoned. 1/16th dual-shield is pretty easy going to lay down a bead all day, every day.
The guys up in the oilfields are usually running hot and hard on pipe. They’re out of doors most all the time, often down in a ditch in all kinds of weather, sometimes up to their butts in freezing mud, laying down X-ray quality weld after Xray quality weld on a big pipe with stick.
Part of what isn’t explained how they get to six figures is the brutal schedules they endure - 60+ hours a week. When the weather is good, these guys can work 80+ hours a week, making tracks to make up for the times when the weather prevents progress.
The guys who are really good don’t even have to look at what they’re doing. I’ve seen guys get their rod started, flip up their mask, light up a cig and carry on a conversation, all the while laying down a cover pass downhill. To the guys who have lots of experience, stick welding becomes a tactile skill with sound feedback - so they tell me.
For me, stick welding is something I have to pay only a little less attention to than my TIG welding.
The highest paid welders I’ve met are teams - they weld inside power plants and other high-risk environments (ie, the welds really better hold up, or really Bad Stuff[tm] happens) and in spaces so tight, you’d better be a contortionist to get in (and out) of these places. Most of that is scratch-start TIG on stainless. They’re a team because when one guy can’t get wrapped around to finish the weld, his buddy is on the other side to take the torch, filler metal (if any) and possibly a mirror and keep going around the joint - without breaking the arc.
The couple of guys I’ve met who did this (and were about ready to retire and do something else in their late 40’s) said their working relationship was better than their marriages.
My daughter is an excellent example of what this article is stating. She went to two different private colleges and got an art degree and a mountain of debt. She worked as a waitress (and did quite well) for a number of years. She decided to get out of that, took a two year course in marine maintenance (which she finished in one year), and now has a good job as a boat mechanic - and loves it. Never did use the art degree...
Most of mu welding has been stick.
I was a commercial wall and ceiling contractor for over 40 years and my guys and myself had to be light guage certified.
Everything we did was 20ga. to 10 guage and almost all of it was with 3/32 7014 iron powder rod.
I started off when i was 8 and taught myself to weld and channeled the neighbors 32, 5 window coupe which by the way wound up on the cover of hot Rod magazine a few years later.
I think quite a bit of this is due to K-12 education being taken over almost completely by women.
Most women don’t want anything to do with getting dirty, working outdoors or breaking a sweat. Most women see the BA/MA/PhD track as the road to success, and they look down their nose at the trades because lots of what it takes to succeed in the trades is stuff that women see as being “beneath them.” They certainly look down their noses at working men - being in the company of women with degreed letters after their name (but no income) around men with a AAS or certificate (or lessons from the School of Hard Knocks) who do have tidy incomes is funny as hell to watch. You see the women realize “Hey, this guy is making good money...” and then they realize “Ooooo... but he doesn’t have a degree, so he’s not husband material... he won’t have read any of the books I’ve had to read.”
But then, to cap it off, it is even more amusing to listen to young women bitch, piss, whine and moan how they can’t find a man who can “fix stuff around the house.” Well, ladies, you got what you wanted when you turned men into drug-addled zombies in the K-12 system to get them to pay attention to endless droning about book learning: guys who don’t know a screwdriver from a chisel, and could (*&K-up an anvil without a hammer.
I think what has to happen to change this is to get a handle on the high schools and have vocational tracks.
When kids ask me for advice or a perspective on what they should study, increasingly I’m telling them to look very hard at the trades, welding, machining, diesel wrenching, etc. The money is there. More money is going to be there pretty quickly as the Boomers retire.
When kids ask “why can’t I get a better paying job with some BA degree?” I ask them: “Is there any situation where you can imagine you being called into the office at 3:00 AM on an emergency, and getting someone to pay you handsomely for going in?”
Usually, the answer is “no.” No one needs post-modernist trans-sexual, multi-cultural poetry analyzed, much less written, on an emergency basis. No one.
Then I point out: “Plumbers get calls at nights, on weekends, on holidays, even Thanksgiving and Christmas... and they charge appropriately, and people are willing to pay these plumbers, because they want that messy problem fixed RIGHT NOW.”
Every now and then, I’m rewarded with a light bulb going on...
later follow -up
Lord knows I like Sarah, but I happen to disagree with her a bit on this. Keep in mind that most repressive measures such as gun control, taxes, and other restrictions on our freedoms originate not at the Federal level, but at the state level. I’m not seeing how an article V convention that would in effect devolve power from the Federal to the state level would fix that.
Do we really think that giving more power to the states governments of VT, IL, NY, NJ and even TX is going to result in a freer populace?
Oops. Wrong thread.
I suspect you are correct. Plumbers and electricians are supposed to be licensed by the state; roofers, framers, drywallers, etc. don't need a license.
Of course, if they can now get a driver's license, then why not a plumber's license?
Depends on what area of the country, Rural or Urban and how many uncertified illegals are working the area.
I have found this breed of ‘college educated’ females to be unappreciative, dull, self-centered, and boring. They've worked for years to reduce K-12 males into subsurvient, harmless drones — girly men or metrosexuals — and then constantly complain they can't find ‘real’ men. Sorry ladies, you're just getting back the crop of eunuchs you've cultivated.
Why is a woman like Sarah Palin such a threat to women of this ilk? Because Palin is bright, hasn't gone to prestegious Ivy League schools, is no stranger to hard work and getting her hands dirty, appreciates men who do real work (and educational resume is no disqualifier), don't pose as pseudo intellectual phonies, and raises her kids in a hetrosexual family with a mother and a father.
Williston ND, doing residential work, about $100.00/hr. More in the oil patch.