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Starting out

Discussion about tradeschools, techschools, universities and other programs.

Starting out

Postby Nkatt1 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:56 pm

Hey everyone, I am a sophomore at a 4 year state college and finally I have decided that it's not right for me and what I want to do with my life. In high school I took every metal shop and welding class available and can really see myself as a welder in the future. Basically I am looking to transfer to a tech school in nebraska, wyoming, or colorado. I'm wondering if any of you had expiriences or went to school in any of these states, what I should expect, as well as if you guys have any tips that might make life a little easier for me here in the beginning. Cheers.
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Re: Starting out

Postby mrmatt » Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:18 pm

I grew up in Nebraska and live in western Iowa now. A college diploma will take you farther in life the a welding job will! That said. depends on what part of the state you live in. the school in norfolk of Wayne I hear is a fair school.
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Re: Starting out

Postby soutthpaw » Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:04 pm

Finish a degree no matter what. Then go to tech school. So in 20+ years when your body is telling you it can't do this manual labor sh1t anymore, you have something to fall back on.

Sent from mobile. Not responsible for Typos
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Re: Starting out

Postby Boomer63 » Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:42 pm

There is a good welding school at a college in Gillette, Wy. Your best bet is to join a pipe fitter local out there. You will get world class training, all of it on the job with you getting a pay check as you learn.

I think it is a good idea to have some sort of an 'exit strategy' for getting out of the field by the time you are pushing 50 or 60. The field takes it out of you! I ended up getting into welding education at the college level after I was too busted up to do the field work. You can get your CWI and do inspections and quality control. If you get deeper in CWI, and how ASME relates to AWS; and the whole thing about having you own ATF and writing WPQR for various companies ... there is a lot of opportunity there to make some money. But to do what I am talking about, you will need a lot of experience, and a lot of training, which you can get from AWS and ASME.

Work hard and learn a lot so you can get to be a lead man or foreman on jobs. They may or may not be 'nonworking', but if nothing else, you can pick and choose which jobs you want if you are in charge.

Just get good training, and try to take on jobs that will stretch your skills and abilities. Once you get into the industry, learn as much as you can about all of the aspects of the welding and metal trades. That is how you will make your own luck and open your own doors of opportunity!
Gary
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Re: Starting out

Postby Nkatt1 » Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:50 pm

Thanks for the info! Was curious about the union side of it all. Do you guys think an apprenticeship through say the local ironworkers, or would it be better to go the comm. College route? How did you guys get into all of this and what would you have done differently?
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Re: Starting out

Postby Boomer63 » Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:22 am

Nkatt1 wrote:Thanks for the info! Was curious about the union side of it all. Do you guys think an apprenticeship through say the local ironworkers, or would it be better to go the comm. College route? How did you guys get into all of this and what would you have done differently?

It is my opinion that union training is the best. It is my opinion that the best deal in the world right now is Pipe Fitters 597 in Chicago. The apprenticeship training is superb. The facility and the instructors are top notch.

With union training, you will (hopefully) learn to be a pipe FITTER, not just a pipe WELDER! I can train my students to weld pipe, and get them to pass X-Ray tests in 6-G, but that don't make them pipe FITTERS. The more you learn, the more employable you become.

Back-in-the-day, I had the chance to join either pipe fitters or ironworkers. I choose ironworkers because I like the idea of crawling around on the high steel. I did loads of structural welding, in all kinds of processes. I didn't have to learn to do TIG or pipe in ironworkers, but I learned them anyway, to make myself more employable, and I did find work using those skills.

The fitters at 597 are currently making over $48 per hour (journeyman rate), PLUS benefits - pension, health, etc. You have to pay dues, about $30.00 per month. With the overtime, these guys are making OVER $100,000, plus benefits, per year. I have friends and former student in that local, and there is a load of work.
Gary
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Re: Starting out

Postby Poland308 » Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:42 am

I work out of local 125 in Iowa and I've had a chance to spend a week in the school at 597 and it is impressive!
I have more questions than answers

Josh
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Re: Starting out

Postby Poland308 » Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:44 am

I work out of Local 125 in Iowa. I got to spend a week at the school for 597 and it is impressive!
I have more questions than answers

Josh
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Re: Starting out

Postby Poland308 » Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:46 am

Sorry for the double post don't know how that happened.
I have more questions than answers

Josh
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Re: Starting out

Postby Boomer63 » Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:03 pm

597 does have a great program. But to get through it, you really have to earn it! Which is how it ought to be! They do offer what they call "Hybrid Program" which is kind of a fast track into the apprenticeship, but again, that is no free ride. Of course, they do extensive drug screening. Former students of mine who are in the apprenticeship report that occasionally they lose an apprentice for failing a drug screening - which is just fine with me - I don't want the druggies around me. The food service industry is looking for people, so they can go there.

Bottom line is that any of the UA unions, or ironworkers, will usually give you some awesome training. Now, there are exceptions to this, so I would suggesting looking at an apprenticeship program before trying to sign up. After that, a good community college program is a good way to go.

As for myself, I learned my welding on the streets, in the alleys and bars of the south side of Chicago. Believe me, it is the long way around. I wish I had been to some kind of training program when I was still a youngster. But things worked out eventually, and I do have a skill set that I am (mostly) proud of, and I can hold my own on just about any job; which is all that matters!
Gary
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