Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Career outlook for welding and fabrication?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Modeler, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. Modeler

    Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

    Messages:
    2,544
    Likes Received:
    1,526
    Hi everyone,

    I'm considering a career change. I've always loved building things, and have done a little welding at home. What is the long term career and pay outlook for welding and fabrication? Where is the best place to go for training? I see both of my local Community Colleges (Chemeketa and Linn-Benton) have welding and machining programs, are they quality programs?
     
  2. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,857
    Likes Received:
    10,560
    If you get Aircraft certified, you'll have it made.
    Seems like everyone I knew that was airframe certified was always in demand.
    Excellent pay also.
     
  3. John Gault

    John Gault clackamas county Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    1,005
    Likes Received:
    570
    Worked with guys who have been on the same job for 30 years as welders. Heavy fabrication. The job will outlive their bodies...... I was a welder for about 10 years myself. I like the process but outgrew the severity on my own body. Wear proper protection from the start ( filter, glasses, hearing protection) and reap the benefits as the years go by.
     
    mjbskwim likes this.
  4. PiratePast40

    PiratePast40 Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,098
    Likes Received:
    2,085
    I would look at welding as one more tool in my skills tool box. Boilermakers, pipefitters, and iron workers can all weld, but have other skills as well. it's important to have multiple skills so that they can be applied when needed, or more importantly, when one of the talents is not needed. It doesn't matter how good you are at a single skill if there isn't a current market for it. The construction trades are a great place to get training and experience. You can then look for longer term employment in heavy or light manufacturing as a fabricator.
     
  5. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,663
    Likes Received:
    798
    I'd also recommend a trade and get as much ancillary training as you can to make yourself more marketable/desirable, especially in slower times. Good trade welders generally get a little more on the check than their non-welder counterparts.

    Keith
     
  6. Modeler

    Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

    Messages:
    2,544
    Likes Received:
    1,526
    Thanks for the links, but I should probably mention that I'm in my mid-30's with a wife, a home and a successful career in the Willamette Valley. Relocation isn't really an option right now
     
  7. PDXSparky

    PDXSparky Keizer / Hillsboro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    813
    I have a buddy who is doing the CNC machinist program at Chemeketa right now. It is a 2 year associate degree that is designed to make you employable as soon as you finish it. He's in his mid 50's and already has a degree is something academic, but he seems to be getting a lot out of the machinist program; enough that he has already bought himself a mill for his shop to do prototyping work.
     
  8. deann

    deann oregon Active Member

    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    36
    o.k. i have been a iron worker for 25 years good trade good pay,but hard on the body, and fab shop welders,low pay,good work.ship yard pay o.k. work so so, pipefitters good pay, but to hit and miss,try this on for size orbital welding!! other wise go to a fab shop and good luck. just remember the more skills you have and the more processes you can be proficient at ,the more youll have to offer,
     
  9. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    12,912
    Likes Received:
    19,573
    That's why I love my particular job.... Welding, brazing, electrical, motors, electronics, refrigeration, pipe-fitting, hydronics, boilers, chillers, furnaces, combustion analysis, computer networks and building automation/management systems, sheet metal/duct work, mechanics... All of it entails designing, installing, and troubleshooting. These are skills I've availed myself to gain over the last 23+ years.

    There are so many makes, models, and applications out there that when I'm called in to fix something you have to wrap your brain around it fast to get it back online ASAP w/o damaging anything or killing/maiming yourself!

    I'm almost ALWAYS buried with work, and ALWAYS in demand, and the pay/benefits are crazy-awesome. The best part is, my job can't be outsourced, automated, or done by "desperate immigrants" willing to work for next to nothing. :thumbup:
     
  10. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    12,912
    Likes Received:
    19,573
    Yeah, IMHO mid-30's is the threshold of a worker's "sweetspot" because TYPICALLY people have gotten past the "partying" stage of life, are more consistent, and old enough to have learned a few things, yet still able-bodied to work hard... Usually. ;)
     
  11. Brutus57

    Brutus57 Skagit County Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,431
    Likes Received:
    5,705
    At age 30 something, yes, I think you could get a good job welding. A really good friend of mine who did volunteer welding on rr cars for a non profit I worked for did great in school, passed his finals but them realized at age 60 he couldn't see well enough anymore to do good welding of All types. So he's back to commercial journeyman electrician now that some construction/ modernization jobs have picked up. He said there were lots of welding jobs for him once he graduated. This was 2011.

    Brutus out
     
  12. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    5,280
    Likes Received:
    8,997
    Better learn how to weld robots, oh wait, they already have robots that build robots!!!
    Seriously, there are jobs for welders in a good economy but as of late it ain't lookin too good. I do hope things will change after Bath House Barry is evicted from the WH...
     
  13. Cuthbert Allgood

    Cuthbert Allgood Clark County, WA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    276
    Deep Sea Welders get paid pretty damn well. I'm not sure of the job outlook or anything like that. Whatever you do, don't go to some stupid trade school. Go to a community college, or find somebody who is freakin' awesome at welding and become their Padawan.
     
    Frankenrifle likes this.
  14. Modeler

    Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

    Messages:
    2,544
    Likes Received:
    1,526
    Thanks Stomper, I've been thinking (and banking on) just that. I saw an article on Oregonlive where company presidents were lamenting "Millennials" and their lack of a good work ethic. I need to touch base with my next-door neighbor too, he manages a local welding shop.

    My plan is to apply to the Chemeketa Community College (in Salem) welding and machining program to start next Fall. It's first-come first-served if you meet the qualifications, and my existing AAS degrees should make me academically qualified.
     
  15. slingshot1943

    slingshot1943 salem or Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,085
    Likes Received:
    321
    I'm retired from the carpenters union. I was working on Kodiak Island when the supt. fired two guys without thinking about them being his only carpenter welders. I needed some 12' form ties made so I taught myself to weld at $54 an hour one Sunday in 1984. My form ties held but when I took a welding class at Chemeketa a few years later I had to unlearn some stuff. Chemeketa had a really good welding lab class. After taking welding one and two and getting A's I found I didn't want a job welding all day long.
     
  16. ron

    ron Vancouver, Washington Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    745
    Likes Received:
    619
    UA Local Union 290 Pipe Fitters Apprentice training In big demand now because of the Intel build out at Ronler Acres, Hillsboro,
    IBEW LU 48 Electricians
     
  17. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner You'll Never Know Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,476
    Likes Received:
    1,234
    If you train and get certified in stainless sanitary welding there are endless opportunities in the fabrication of Dairy, Medical, Food service and Brewing industries.
     
  18. Modeler

    Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

    Messages:
    2,544
    Likes Received:
    1,526
    I have family working out there for the IBEW, I'll have to look into the UA program.
     
  19. sheepdip

    sheepdip Redland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,769
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    having welding skills is a great thing to put in your arsenal of assault on the job market, the more skills the better. GO get em.
     
  20. BAMCIS

    BAMCIS Eugene Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,191
    Likes Received:
    981
    If you're willing to go on the road, there would be almost endless opportunities. The really big money is in underwater welding.