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new career/ education later in life

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new career/ education later in life

Postby Sco0tter » Sun Feb 07, 2016 6:18 pm

Hello all,

So I'm 47 and looking to go to Hobart Welding School in Troy, OH ( providing I can swing the 16 grand for tuition).
I am a firm believer in continuing your education all through life as long as you can learn, learn.
My concern is that by the time I get through the course ( I will be 48 by then, and if I can't go to Hobart my local CC has a 2 year advanced cert in welding so that puts me at almost 50) it will be harder for me to get a job.
I guess my question is, is this a legitimate concern or will I have as good a chance as any of the younger folks coming in to the field? I mean I guess as long as I can actually weld right?
Yes I know, I over think way too much.
Anyway, Thanks for your comments/opinions.
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Re: new career/ education later in life

Postby weldingt » Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:43 am

There is no age limit on welding, however, welding is a skill based profession requiring extensive developed manual dexterity. As a man that is past the half century mark and has been welding for 35 years, It would be much more difficult for me to learn to weld now as compared to many years ago. Luckily, my hands have experience that keeps me able to work if needed but I now teach full time and can feel some of my skills slipping away.

Laying sideways holding my head up with a hardhat and hood on- much harder. Seeing in a mirror while trying too align the right part of my glasses-very difficult. Watching the toes of the weld and adjacent beads to keep a perfectly aligned and even cap pass-much harder.

I do think though that if its what you want to do, do it. I think the training will be no problem if you are truly dedicated to learning all you can , it just may take some extra effort.

You may have some advantages in job placement depending on your other skills and experiences. Maturity, Work Ethic, the ability to cope with change may be a valuable asset to some employers. But with welding, the skill is the thing. Show up on the job too test with some awesome welding skills, nobody is gonna check your age. Itt is a competitive market and there are some younger people who develop rapidly and have a tremendous zeal for knowledge and skill.

I hope it all goes well. Another thing to consider is a short term class just to get a feel for welding. I know the 40 hour class I teach has attracted a wide range of ages and lets individuals learn basic skills with each process in a short period of time. If you are anywhere near northeast tenn, may be worth a trip or just check out your local CC's for night classes.
Gerald Austin
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Re: new career/ education later in life

Postby Otto Nobedder » Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:54 pm

ScoOter,

I agree with everything Gerald said. With that out of the way, you've not mentioned what work or hobbies you've had prior to your interest in pursuing welding.

If your previous work required a great deal of hand-eye coordination, you have a leg up on anyone leaving a desk job for a trade skill, for example.

I'm 47 also, and find myself paying just a little every day for the foolishness and indescretions of youth. My joints ache every day, sometimes interfering with my performance, I shake like a Chihuahua in a blizzard, and my eyes are not young anymore. This is not meant to discourage you in any way. We have many members here who are learning this craft in their retirement. I just want you to keep your expectations realistic... you may take to this like a duck to water, or you may struggle through the whole course, depending in part on your coordination and in part on your threshold of frustration/expectations.

When I first did industrial construction (while quite young), they paired me with the oldest, crankiest SOB they could find. He was 65 at the time. (Not the oldest welder on the job, just the crankiest old welder.) I presumed they expected both of us to fail, and get rid of us. We got along famously, and three weeks later, the super made everyone else stand down and watch us for an hour, because we were producing almost twice as much work as the other four two-man teams combined. Age is not an obstacle, unless you convince yourself that it is.

Steve S
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Re: new career/ education later in life

Postby Boomer63 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:25 pm

Hello ScoOtter! I teach welding at a community college in Indiana; been doing this for about five years now. I do have some 'older' students come through the program. Now ... this is hard to listen to, but they just don't learn as fast as the younger guys. There are exceptions, but that is just what I have seen. This is not to say they don't learn, but that they learn at a different pace. So, my question would be, if you are going at a slower pace, will Lincoln adjust their program to match your skill level, or will they just proceed and you get left behind?

Where do you live?

If you are looking at Lincoln School, check out Calumet Testing in Griffith, Indiana. Cost is the same as Lincoln school, program is nine months, five eight hour days per week. Education is absolutely top notch; mostly old pipe fitters from 597. They will be patient and thorough with you. You will get to X-Ray your welds. I did a tour of that facility and ruined my shirt from drooling on it. The boss, Larry Condrat (I call him my new best friend!), doesn't put up with any BS from students. You are there to learn, or he will give you your money back and boot your ass out.

Good luck and feel free to ask whatever questions you might have!
Gary
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