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Old 12-09-2008, 10:18 AM   #1
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Default welding certificate

like i said in previous posts ive been tryin to get accpeted into the apprenticeship program for 351 in south jersey. i tried last year and didnt get accepted, but they said i can re-interview and skip the written test if i pass two trade related classes or work 1000 hours with an electrical contractor. either had to be completed by feb 1 2009. so im currently taking night classes for welding and electrical. my old man is a union boilermaker and said since im takin the welding course he can get me welding papers through his hall as long as i keep up with the classes. he told me he has talked to a number of electricians and they said that the ibew halls in jersey are hurting for people who can weld. so my question is will getting a welding certificate increase my chances of getting hired or is all that just B.S.

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Old 12-11-2008, 07:26 PM   #2
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A welding cert won't by itself get you in, just my opinion. Welding makes up just a small part of IBEW work. Second, if by papers you mean a certified structual or vessel welder, then I would make damn sure you are good enough to pass an xray test, which is what you will have to do in most cases, just depends on the what they need welded. Third, if you take a welding call and you bust out on the test, the hall and the contractor are going to be mighty pissed. Also, there are a lot of good welders in the trade that tramp around taking welding calls. If they are having trouble finding welders there could be several possibilities; does the job suck? do you get a pimp? are they paying above scale? is the test designed to fail most people? Some of the other trades like boilermakers, iron workers and fitters don't like to see electricians welding on structual steel and they could be a little brotherf*****g going on behind the scenes. Stick with the welding classes, there is a big difference between welding two pieces of strut together and passing a structual test, it can be the difference between getting a job or not when things are slow.

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Old 12-12-2008, 02:53 PM   #3
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oh no dont get me wrong i would have to pass the test in order to get certified (i apolagize i worded it wrong). they wouldnt just hand me a cert...god forbid if i said i am certified and they and ask me to do something and i F*** it up, then ide be in deep stuff. what i meant to say was my old man can set me up with a test through his hall. on the other hand im takin two semesters of this welding course (wich is 26 weeks of welding) and my instructor knows what they look for on the the test and so does my dad, so im confidant that when it does come time for the test i would have had enough practise with people who know what there looking for to pass.
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Old 12-12-2008, 03:17 PM   #4
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Duff, did you read the PM I sent you?
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Old 12-12-2008, 05:33 PM   #5
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I really don't mean to hijack. I am also thinking about taking welding courses and obtaining my certification in welding. What certification should I get? What do electricians weld most commonly? Thanks.
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Old 12-12-2008, 05:58 PM   #6
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I really don't mean to hijack. I am also thinking about taking welding courses and obtaining my certification in welding. What certification should I get? What do electricians weld most commonly? Thanks.
some of you guys may not like this but, " REAL electricians do NOT weld".
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Old 12-12-2008, 06:25 PM   #7
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We (once) welded up some rebar cages for some pole light forms.
Borrowed a wirefeed mig from one of the steel guys for the afternoon.
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Old 12-12-2008, 07:22 PM   #8
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some of you guys may not like this but, " REAL electricians do NOT weld".
Ooh, I have a witty response for you.... but we get paid more doing it!

What I like, shouldn't matter much to you. If it does, then we might have a problem here. An informative answer to my question is something I was looking for. Thanks for playing.
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Old 12-12-2008, 07:48 PM   #9
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What I like, shouldn't matter much to you. If it does, then we might have a problem here. An informative answer to my question is something I was looking for. Thanks for playing.
Don't confuse a short answer with being inaccurate. This is a forum, everyone is doing this in their free time and offering their insights in the way they choose to. Snark won't get you very far.

There is almost no (planned) welding on any job that will ever get handed off to the electricians. Does the odd, rare circumstance exception to that happen? Of course; but they are just that... exceptions.

eg: If you are on a site running your pipe and wire and something unplanned comes up... and can weld, and happen to have the gear (available in a timely manner)... yeah sure, they'll be happy to have you do it. Just don't count on it happening very often. Besides those situations are more likely to be cutting and burning to get access to something rather than installing new stuff.


btw... where on the central coast? I want to move to cayucos and my son is in slotown
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Old 12-12-2008, 08:11 PM   #10
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spoon, bryan is right about the welding. its a handy thing to know. BUT i would think electrical related classes would serve you better. i would rather be a 100% GOOD electrician than a half @ssed welder/electrician. whatever, you're doing something extra to help yourself. good luck!!!
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
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spoon, bryan is right about the welding. its a handy thing to know. BUT i would think electrical related classes would serve you better. i would rather be a 100% GOOD electrician than a half @ssed welder/electrician. whatever, you're doing something extra to help yourself. good luck!!!
I hope that you fellas aren't tricking yourselves into thinking an electrician that welds, is half-ass and does crappy work. I happen to know an ex-steel worker that chose to change trades. He's a great electrician, pays extreme attention to detail, and happens to be a certified welder. I think what rubs me the wrong way about your comments is that you seem to be making blanket generalizations about electricians who happen to know how to weld. No hard feelings though, thanks for the best wishes. I am a firm believer in "more ya' learn, more ya' earn" so I will be enrolling in whatever programs stand in my way of earning more money. Anything from industrial controls to welding, 20 years from now I want to be the guy to call.

Hopefully.

Last edited by spoon; 12-13-2008 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:58 AM   #12
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btw... where on the central coast? I want to move to cayucos and my son is in slotown
Monterey. One gripe... the Local 234 out here doesn't publish their out-of-work lists, unlike Local 332 out of San Jose. There's no way to know what number on the list you are here. This leads me to believe a lot of bad things.

SLO is so freaking nice, I have been wanting to move down there for a long time. I wonder how the work is though, I can't imagine it being too busy.
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Old 12-13-2008, 12:03 PM   #13
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Spoon, learn to weld aluminum. Most power plants use aluminum bus and the high side bus is welded. If a push is really made to upgrade the power grid then there will be a huge demand for welders. We had a number of power plants going and it was hard finding enough aluminum welders. By the way, in my local we do all of our own welding and there is a premuim paid, it's in our agreement. All cable tray supports, pipe supports and brackets and all switch gear bus. The only time we might hand over the welding is if the support is being welded to a high pressure vessel, which makes sense since we are mainly electricians and not welders. Welding class is one of the requirements during our apprenticeship which is one full semester.
Duff, I thought that maybe you were planning on buying your cert. The fitters sold a lot of tickets when work was booming many years ago and there was a lot of money made. Get the cert papers, it will make you some money in the years to come. When work is slow go online and search for refinery, nuke or power plant shut downs and then go fill your pockets.
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Old 12-13-2008, 12:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I hope that you fellas aren't tricking yourselves into thinking an electrician that welds, is half-ass and does crappy work... I think what rubs me the wrong way about your comments is that you seem to be making blanket generalizations about electricians who happen to know how to weld... Anything from industrial controls to welding, 20 years from now I want to be the guy to call.
Once upon a time... I used to both run and own stainless fab businesses (we built foodservice and medical stuff). When we were hiring welders we gave everyone a test. Without exception (no bull or exaggeration)... the "certified" guys did the worst out of any batch of applicants.

Certs do not equal job skill. To get that job skill you have to actually do the job and on a regular basis. You should see this truism in action everyday in the work you are doing now.

Absolutely get every bit of education and training you can in whatever makes you happy. But if you are looking for "the next step" as an electrician... I'd suggest you focus that effort on things that actually involve wiring. Controls in general, PLC, HVAC, etc. will make you worth a whole lot more than welding ever will (as an electrician).

Worn Kleins point about heavy industrial work is a different end of the industry than I (and I assume everyone else) thought we were discussing.

Good luck whatever you choose to do.
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Last edited by BryanMD; 12-13-2008 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:28 PM   #15
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I recently hired on with the IBEW as a welder i weld rebar cages used in pole foundations, prior to this job ive been working in power plants performing all types of welding, cutting, fabrication jobs. i am certified in structural, pipe, stainless, mig, tig. but those certification dont mean jack for this job apparently, i fall under tha catagory of groundman. my pay is $19 something, i am way over qualified and way under paid, i made $25hr., $100 day for expenses, and got travel time working as a "Scab" (non-union) welder. so if anyone has any info i need to know plz help me out. but to answer your question i dont think they give a **** what u know its who u know and as long as you pay your dues.
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Old 08-13-2009, 07:38 AM   #16
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I build cabinets,
I do plumbing,
I do drywall and finish drywall
and I'd love to know how to weld?
Go for it our local community college offers welding classes.


In addition at power plants I have been told electricians weld and get extra pay in the check for this certification.
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Old 08-13-2009, 12:40 PM   #17
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I absolutely recommend that you get your welding certs if you have this opportunity and ability. Very few electricians are capable of welding. Don't get me wrong, we all say we can weld but in acuality what alot of us do is grape things together. I have had several situations over the years in which I employed an electrician/welder (usually in idustrial settings) for things like raceway support, equipment lighting stanchion supports or even hanging transformers. Having your welding papers will not gaurantee acceptance into the union, but it will give you that one thing that may help you stick out from the rest, it sure can't hurt. Good luck.
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:58 PM   #18
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Add one more to the it can help category. We have some plants in the area and an amusement park that have had a welder on the job and done a fair amount of welding. Also know a few guys that have gone out on calls as a welder. A little extra pay, but might get you out earlier if the list is long.
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Old 08-14-2009, 02:51 AM   #19
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And I can see no way it will hurt you (other than the fumes). I mean is your brain going to explode from to much knowledge?
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Old 08-14-2009, 03:33 AM   #20
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I also can weld but I am not certified. But it does not hurt to acquire other skill sets. I can mig, tig and stick weld. Do you all know that copper can be tig welded? I have done tig welding of copper for a very premium price. Here is a hobby project that I did last winter when tings were slow.

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