Tomorrow is my first day of class at local votech. Its a 7 week night class on m&w 6-9 for welding. I already know how to weld but i want to learn some new processes and get some more confidence in structure welding since I am self taught.
Class cost is a whopping $295 + $25 book fee. Sure is a lot cheaper than one of those college degrees. Id like to build my own steel barn this spring.
The full time welding program that is like 18 months is only $4,200 plus $300 in fees. Thats an amazing deal and it is completely free for high school students.
It all varies a lot based on certification, experience, type, and location. Your average shop welder might make low 20’s while an experienced pipeline welder might make $250,000 during a oil boom. There are a lot of traveling welders that work on pipelines and make big $ but it comes with cost of being away from friends and family. The average welder that has his own machine on his truck is probably $60-100 per hour depending on location, skills, and type of welding.
I don’t plan to quit my day job. This is just for personal hobby stuff. I have 4 welders but only proficient in the easy to do mig welding. Once again, I was self taught. Last year I bought a brand new gas welder generator and I also have a 1966 SA200 redface (the wholly grail of pipelines) that I traded a motorcycle for years ago.
I am wanting to build my own metal frame I beam shop. Something like 36’x75’ with 14’ sidewalls 20’ peak. Maybe eventually add a loft and overhead crane. Most of this welding will be stick welded vs mig welded. I want to be more proficient in the structural stick welding before I take on the project. There is also the potential benefit to use the school tools for some of my fabrication work. I will be buying 40-50’ i-beams and cutting them down to size. I also need to fabricate several brackets and I am hopeful that they have an ironworker machine. I want to buy one for my self but until I get the barn built, I don’t have the room to add some of the tools that I want to buy.
check for votech schools in the area. They offer tons of classes from HVAC, electrical, plumbing… basically anything you can think of. They also have stuff in technology like 3D printing, and more clerical things like book keeping and finance.