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Low welders/fitters wages regardless if the welder is a pipeline rig welder, structural welder, structural or pipe fitter, etc.

Guys & Gals, I'm a pipeline/structural welder foreman thats been working in the gulf for approx 18 years both out of a truck working off of pipe jacks, slopping thru mud, the rain, the cold, the heat, the rain etc. Ive also worked out of fab shops with a good concrete floor with overhead hoist's & 2 helpers per welder to do or run & get you whatever you need. The Latter part of those days are gone. Now its get your _ss out there, make the welds as quick as you can (withought screwing the welders behind you), etc. All of this I really dont mind to a certain point but what really botheres me is that although the've taken all or some of those things away depending where you go. The wages are still the same since about 8 years ago Ive noticed. I work both single hand & also have a rig. As far as making a living rig welding for private people thats a dead end. You quote them a reasonable price & there jaw hits the ground! It sets a wildfire in my _ss when they say "why so much"? or better yet they want to trade you a horse, or "a case of beer. etc." So I actually take the time to inform them of my insurance policy, $$$$$$$$, the cost of diesel, If my machine goes down the price is right about a $100.00 a hour for something major otherwise of course you keep tools & spare parts & keep the ol girl firing, my consumables which include gas's. rods of whatever sort, wire for your wirefeeder welding aluminum, fluxcore, etc. Thats the private person! Lets move on to business's. Even though you go in with a stack of certifications that woud make a pentacostal feel ashamed, they want you to weld from anywhere from $14.00 to like $23.50 & to get that you have to be able to weld most process's & be able & willing to fit also. Its fun sometimes when I open email offers I get to go weld for there company to belittle them for the rates that they offer. I get some very intresting emails answering back why they are paying so low from the economy, to where you need to come in & start from this point & work your way back up, etc.  I blame illegal immagration for the best part of it. "Illegal Immagration" isnt nothing but another form of slavery where your getting your work done for practically nothing & evading taxs & the tax laws. Also companys like to hire the young broncs fresh out of trade school(which I have nothing against, but you need to seperate the bulls from the heifers) most only know how to strike a arc. They cant carry iron, if there machine is messing up they have to have the foreman come over & get them running again, etc. Does anyone agree, disagree, etc. I could be wrong but I had to work my way from the bottom eating bucket fulls of crap from older welders to learn my trade.

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Comment by jay brantley on March 28, 2012 at 3:54pm

I agree 100% brother, this trade is something learned and earned and should be looked at as a craft just like any other craft, that requires craftsman, your work should reflect your pride in your trade and you should make every weld as if someones life depended on it because often times it does, these young bucks dont have a clue about that part of it and it shows in their work ethic. As far as pay, a man should be paid his worth, a man that can weld pipe or structural and pass code day in and day out should be paid top dollar period..... Tell the man standing next to you to stop taking low paying welding jobs and there will come a time they will have to pay top dollar to meet the labor needs....

Comment by Jasper Smith on March 11, 2012 at 10:55pm

man yes i  agree all the way . them old guys give me a hard time you have to have thick skin.now that i run a weld shop up here there all callin me for a good job sorry old guys but karma is a ......

Comment by Mark on February 24, 2012 at 11:26am

Your right, fresh out of welding school I ended up at an rented out Bethlehem Steel structural plant in PA. I ended up being hired on with a minimum of pay, maybe a buck or so more then minimum wage, and we were doing nuclear walls that got buried in cement as part of the foundation, next was bridge parts for Maryland .

I was doing hard wire .035 on box girders for bridge work, then it was overlayed with submerged arc.

A year into it the place closed because of governement funding cuts. But it was an experiance and 1 I liked, worked with good people and this country needs to bring places like that back, as in only for the work but not the wages, we need a decent wage we can survive on, I don't need a mansion but a fund for education for my children would be nice, a decent home and roof and a good meal and some saavings in the bank. 

I don't think tha majority of us are out to rob the world blind we just want a decent living and work for it. 

If everyone would just stay the hell home in their own country get an educatio and devote their time to their own land we'd be alot better off and as well I think better off in the trade market as well. 


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