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How old is to old to start?

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How old is to old to start?

Postby gr8gary1 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:31 pm

I will be 50 by the time I hope to begin my welding aspirations. I am not a used up 50, so I feel fortunate. As of right now, I am still more than full time employed by Uncle Sam and have a couple of years left till retirement (when I turn 50) and after 30 years of my life, am ready to do what I want to do. Once retired, I will commence my welding education to try and get some certs under my belt and get started on this path. I am currently teaching myself SMAW along with my YouTube professors... I love it and try and find ways to fill my weekends with practice as much as possible and as much as the new bride will accept... My question is this. Figuring welding is a young mans job, how old is to old to start a welding career or is it an issue at all. I am guessing, it depends on the individual, their drive/dedication as well as how well their body can hold up to the job. Am I a little long in the tooth to begin this type of work and should simply do it as a hobby or is it reasonable for someone my age to begin anew? I am thinking possibly going into structural but still not sure. I own a Ranger 10000 with very low hours on it, so was thinking that I could get certified, slave for a couple of years at the bottom and then possibly break out on my own with my own rig. I feel blessed that I will have my pension to fall back on so I am most likely more capable of setting out on my own than a lot of you guys were starting out. I deeply respect what you have had to endure to get to where you are. I guess I'm just looking for any of you more seasoned welders opinions on age. Am I to old to do this? I don't feel I am, just want to make sure...
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Re: How old is to old to start?

Postby Coldman » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:57 pm

Welcome to the forum Gazza!
You've picked a tough gig to break in to but once you've been bitten by the blue light that's it usually.
50 is still strong but by say 57 it's gettin tough to keep up with everyone else in the gang so I recon you got 5-7 years of slave time to get a good cross section of experience before breaking out on your own. At that time less heavy repetition would help you through the day. Repair work, hand rails from your rig, light fab work and repairs from your own small shop would be the way to go. Proficiency in stick, mig and tig would give you access to a broader range of work. Getting certs is a great idea and can only help.
Enjoy the journey and don't forget beer fixes many things at the end of a hard day!
Cheers


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Re: How old is to old to start?

Postby Farmwelding » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:41 pm

I know a decent number of guys in their late 40s and 50s who are still keeping up fine. I figure if you have the drive you can do it. I assume you're military and are still pretty fit which is helpful. Go for it.
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Re: How old is to old to start?

Postby gr8gary1 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:33 pm

I appreciate the responses guys. Eight years of my time is military and the remainder is still in uniform at a federal capacity. I wouldn't say in great shape, but I'm not a fat bag of crap either. Coldman, I have no issues with paying my dues in the trenches for sure. It feels like I've been doing that since I graduated High School and even during. Do you feel, with certifications, I would be able to obtain employment in this line of work considering my age or will the youngsters edge me out. I want to do this to enhance my abilities for my own business, I'd like to build my reputation on actual experience. I've been a government employee so long I really have no idea what to expect in the real world but am going to give it my all. Doing light work will probably be where I end up, however, my idea is to cert in structural and be able to farm myself out on small to medium size industrial type fabrication/welding, again, from my home shop. Not sure if that is realistic or not but, take no chances make no advances is what I say. I really do appreciate the words of encouragement and hope to join you guys amongst the ranks some day. You are absolutely right and I love me some beer. A nice glass of scotch on the rocks isn't to shabby either...
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Re: How old is to old to start?

Postby Coldman » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:41 pm

I firmly believe that there is a place that fits for everyone that has the health, skills and will to do it. Just gotta find that slot. Having more than one string to your bow helps.


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Re: How old is to old to start?

Postby gr8gary1 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:57 pm

Coldman, I would like to learn and attempt to master Stick, Mig and Tig. I feel as you do, the more diverse you can become in welding the more marketable you can become. I guess that goes for all kinds of applications in life. I would actually like to outfit my personal rig with all three processes as well as brazing...
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Re: How old is to old to start?

Postby dgapilot » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:47 pm

I started welding (gas) when I was in my teens, not as a full time thing, but as an aircraft mechanic. Over the years I've welded up lots of fuselage repairs and other stuff for antique airplanes. Now at 64 I'm just starting to get serious with TIG welding. I have no plans to do it as a full time gig, but simply to increase my skill set. You are never to old to learn.


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Re: How old is to old to start?

Postby Poland308 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:59 am

A lot of pipe fitters weld and work right to the end of there career. Worked with more than a few who are in there late 60's, and been doing it for 30-40 years.
I have more questions than answers

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