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Switching careers on a bad note....

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ParkinsonSpeed, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. Mike Moreau
    Joined: Sep 16, 2011
    Posts: 291

    Mike Moreau

    Parkinsonspeed, sorry about your situation. Everyone's body is different and we all have sensitivities to something. You are fortunate to notice it at your young age. I
    worked in HR for 30 years, with a lot of time in apprenticeship and skilled trades training. Here are a few things to think about: Get a complete physical from a good doctor. You need to establish a baseline for your future medical situation-both health and employment wise. Get you eyes checked as well. No use getting all lined up for a new job and find you flunked the physical due to high blood pressure or poor vision. These things are correctable. Better now than hoping a job is still open after your BP or sight is fixed. Be very wary of private schools. Most are in business to make money first, a distant second is preparing you for a job. A lot of good advice has been presented to you on previous posts. You have more knowledge and skills than you realize. Aa already stated Certified Welding Inspector is a great option. Contact the American Welding Society directly if you are interested. Consider sales in the areas you have experience-welding products, welders, tooling, shop supplies. The main thing is your body gave you a warning,heed it. You are wise to aggressively seek a different work environment. Good luck.
  2. 94hoghead
    Joined: Jun 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,290


    Do you have a Railroad in your city? I've worked for BNSF for decades and its a great job. Really good benefits, insurance, retirement, etc....
  3. This is just a portion of the job app , but it will give you an idea what the railroad has to offer,. sorry no conductor jobs available in TX right now, but you can see other jobs available that might suit you. got to and start searching there. Atleast highschool education, hair sample drug screening, and online interview plus followup interview if you get selected.... They have just hired 25 guys here in Slaton TX and I know they have hired in Amarillo and Clovis NM recently, seems like they hire in Ft worth pretty regularly also
    Conductor Trainee

    "Work Location: Havre, Mt.

    This posting is for the above geographic location ONLY. If interested in other geographic locations, please visit the BNSF
    career website and apply directly to those locations when/if available

    Salary/Benefits: The training pay rate averages approximately $800 per week. Upon completion of training, earn up to
    $41,000 during the first year. Thereafter, the average conductor earns $68,000. BNSF employees receive an annual benefit
    package valued at $22,000. The terms of the collective bargaining agreement shall apply."

    Maybe this will help you out, good luck in your job search

  4. H.G. Wells
    Joined: Mar 11, 2006
    Posts: 386

    H.G. Wells

    "And H.G. Nice FED, You know the car Cantankerous and the Newlins? "

    you betcha, have known them for a few years when we ran that car with the SWJF bunch. Last time they were out, I believe was the October nostalgia race in San Antonio and I got to visit with them. Don't know if you are aware but, LH passed away in February.

    sorry, this may not have been the place to post that.<!-- / message --><!-- sig -->
  5. ParkinsonSpeed
    Joined: Oct 11, 2010
    Posts: 429


    Yea i live in Tolar and grew up hanging around them and learning how build motors from Francis. She will be in the driver seat this year, not sure of what races but def test and tune and getting used to the car. That's what L.H. wanted.... And yes i live close to Ft worth and a kid i went to school works at they yard up there and has for years. Its pretty competitive to get on even with his help before. Lots of travel time and very good salaries. So far the help has been great on here and opened my eyes up to a few new things which is why i love asking guys with experience in what fields they are in and the insight is always key.
  6. Keep
    Joined: May 10, 2008
    Posts: 662


    That's exactly what happened to me, though you had about 1600 more jumps!

    Lots of good ideas in this thread, hardest part is starting. Once you come to terms with the fact that you have no choice but to change, things get easier.
  7. ParkinsonSpeed
    Joined: Oct 11, 2010
    Posts: 429


    Yea thats been brought up to my attention, im proficient in 6G tig welding on stainless and carbon steel so i think the experience is there but now its into looking for the certifications and what schooling i would need. Plus i may be young but now that i havent been behind the torch i think i was getting burnt out and not enjoying it at all. It would be nice to come home not filthy in grinding dust and and smelling like a 350 pound jr high football player everyday.
  8. gasolinescream
    Joined: Sep 7, 2010
    Posts: 614


    Remember many folks don't find their true vocation until later in life, i'm 44. As a younger guy maybe look to see if these jobs have transferable skills that could help you in other jobs. Its been mentioned about getting into training to do with the trade you work in. Getting experience and qualifications in training will open alot of doors for you should one day you wish to train in some other area outside of welding.
    My example maybe explains it better. When i was in my early 20's i was well on the way to being qualified as an autoglazier and moved into training and assessing technitions/fitters for national qualifications. This meant getting qualified to train and assess, so i did them all plus others as the company paid for it.
    When my back gave in i couldn't do the workshop training and had to get another job and career. I opted to go into teaching, big move, massive move infact, especially the amount of study work and long time period before qualified. However as i had alot of experience in training and was fully qualified it made the move into education alot easier as i had about a third of the qualifications i needed and allowed me to work with them straight away, be it just part-time and as a support to other tutors.
    Working with disenchanted young adults (14-19 year olds) is a far cry from what i was doing but in some ways very similar. I like helping folks and seeing others gain some confidence in life and amazing themselves with their own, new found skills. I know what a difference someone in my sort of position can make and for me it's very personal. When i was about 16-17 i was in all sorts of trouble. Messed up school, always in trouble fighting, taking drugs etc etc. I looked for help and my mentor (really nice guy) put me on the straight and narrow and helped me turn my life around. Funny thing is back then i always looked at the guy that helped me out and thought he had a good job, the sort of thing i'd like to do. Haha who would have thought.

    No moral to the story but if you have a job with transferable skills it may help if things go tits up. I'm so looking forward to a new career and whats even better is that i've promised myself another cool HAMB friendly car in late 2013. A bloody nice one and a V8 no less!!!! Fuck it, i've worked hard enough:p

    Good luck again:cool:
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  9. Hey, thanks for the info on your Dodge, neat little car.
  10. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,081


    Upholsterey work uses contact cement/glue which will damage your lungs, etc.
    Apply for a job with the TSA or the Border Patrol. Sit down and make a list of all the jobs related to welding. Then check the ones you might qualify for that do not involve actual welding. Example: safety inspector
  11. Sorry to hear about your situation. After working in a fab shop for 18 years they closed and at 40 I wasn't sure what I should do next. I knew how to read prints so I thought maybe I'd be good at making them. To make a long story short I took up CAD starting with AutoCAD and ended up getting lucky and learning Pro Engineer 3D CAD. Coming up on 15 years since I lost my job, I love what I do now as a CAD Designer. My experience in sheet metal fab and manufacturing helps me design parts people can actually make. What started out as a negative has come around as a real positive. Most CAD products have a student version with lots of demos for you to learn from. If there's anything I can help you with PM me. Good luck with finding something you really enjoy doing like I did. Tom
  12. Himlar
    Joined: Jun 4, 2010
    Posts: 8


    Coming from "the other side of the fence" (student having done quite a few CAD designs for fabrication in the university shop), I can only agree that fabrication experience helps A Lot when designing. I'll tell you, it's not just one time that I have been having to start again from scratch after showing my design for the welders / CNC operators in the shop ...
  13. I know that they're desperate for Class A Hazmat drivers in the Eagle Ford Shale oil fields south of San Antonio. Same for the North Dakota shale fields.

    I know a guy who worked two years in ND as a class A driver and made $130K per year. He was gone for 3 months at a time and then they flew him home for a two week break....then back to ND.

    I'm sure that wasn't easy, but it allowed him to pay off his bills and put some money away. He then came home and started his own small business.
  14. 28 jalopy
    Joined: Jan 16, 2010
    Posts: 208

    28 jalopy
    from arizona

    I lost a good friend with a similar problem a year ago.He was a welder for 37 years. I trained him how to use manual mills and lathes to get him out from under the hood 5 years ago and that great ol dog picked it up in a pinch and he loved every minute of it. Enough to bring his son under my wing in the machine shop and give him a career to this day. Do what you like. Its never too late to learn! Best of luck!
  15. North Dakota isn't as shiny as folks think. Living in a field full of campers year around shittin in a hole. All guys with very little to do in your down time. We have had a few drivers leave for the oil patch only to come back soon after.
  16. Ruiner
    Joined: May 17, 2004
    Posts: 4,145


    I'll play Devil's Advocate...if you want a better breathing environment, then machining and CNC work is NOT where it's at...we deal with just as many hazards as welders do, just in a different way...coolant itself is full of bacteria, it becomes a fog in the air that you breathe daily, becomes steam during heavy machining and there's also the other cutting fluids that are used and essentially burned during other machining operations...there's also a large skin exposure risk, being cut and pricked and stabbed by metal chips all day, the coolant on your skin and clothes, etc...I've been dealing with a skin rash for the past month that came out of nowhere via the coolant in my CNC machine at work and just won't go away and it's driving me's a good job, just not very good paying anymore, has its risks and the nature of the job has changed from "Craftsman" to "Production Monkey" in the past 20 years...
  17. toddc
    Joined: Nov 25, 2007
    Posts: 981


    X2 what Ruiner just wrote. ALL metal trade jobs take serious a toll on your body.
  18. ParkinsonSpeed
    Joined: Oct 11, 2010
    Posts: 429


    Yea i have spent all weekend looking around and even you tubing jobs to see if anything gets my interest, im keeping all options open but cad/engineering work seems to fit what i know so im not going into a industry blind. Also a restoration shop wouldnt be bad because the work is so spread out that it wouldnt be a killer on fumes and such. My current job is 12 hours a day welding and thats just harsh, i could stand 4 or 5 hours no problem and not having to lay on my stomach and weld beneath me is a plus. I love hot rods and older cars and would love to continue to work on them and make it my career and im finding out thats easier said then done.
  19. TP
    Joined: Dec 13, 2001
    Posts: 2,023

    from conroe tx

    Hit me up on a email or pm and I'll give you the name of some local[Texas] inspection companies that need welding inspectors. I can give you information on getting a CWI that will help you. If you are willing to travel there are lots of oppertunities right now. TP
  20. I will put my $.02 in and recommend you look into becoming a CWI also. You already know what good welds are and the processes required. Now get that piece of paper to make you an official CWI and spend time in the office or out inspecting - after all the fumes are gone.
  21. hotdamn
    Joined: Aug 25, 2006
    Posts: 2,119


    my change came about from getting laid off but I went from building street rod chassis to being a substance abuse counselor, Im sure as hell broke now but I love what I do :)
  22. Zookeeper
    Joined: Aug 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,041


    While no job working with metal is germ-free, I've been doing CNC and manual machining for over 12 years and I think it's better than most. I wear nitrile gloves when I deal with coolant, and use Go-Jo hand wipes often to keep my hands clean before I use the computer. I also keep my coolant skimmed, I use anti-bacterial tablets in the coolant and check it regularly. Also, we switched to Blaser Swisslube several years ago and it helped both the quality of the parts and the quality of the air immensely. As coolants go, it's safer than most. I think being serious about your personal health is important, especially if you have respiratory issues. And yes, there are lots of good opportunities for CNC programmers and operators. Just get a good education first and make sure you learn to read G-code easily and quickly, know your feeds and speeds and if you can find a school that uses MasterCam it seems to be pretty universal for shops in our area. Also, learning on a Haas machine is good for the same reasons, they seem to be everywhere.
  23. Myself, I knew my body frame size of 5'7" and 155lb at 35 years old and being small as a kid, and feeling the wear of swinging my 3lb hammer, I needed to be aware and learn to do more than being the workhorse in the shop. I was learning before the hurting started, because I was doing the job of a parts counterman/tech advisor/salesman while working in the driveline shop.
    I learned some about big truck suspensiion, brake, clutch, transmission, rearend, steering components, troubleshooting drivability problems blamed on driveshafts, and problems caused by driveshafts. I learned driveline angle troubleshooting and changes as necessary in a multiple driveshaft system. I learned some of what jobs to take on and to send down the road to let be somebody elses problem.
    In 2003, I was asked to step up to the front line of the parts counter in a car/truck repair shop. I also fill the driveline shop job when personel situations occur. I have also served as an interim service manager as other personel have taken vacations, and junk, and shit, and stuff, grrrrrrr.
    Use your experience to stay within the company allows, or make a change if timing is good. You may be like me, time in service, vacation, retirement bonuses. Think wisely.
    Your next pair of steel toe work boots may stay cleaner as you teach or inspect, or travel onward.
    Currently June 1988 to now with same employer. I'm trying to make a sale to a gas production water trailer builder on trailer axles for trailers his company is to build. Ain't but maybe $160k worth of business. Maybe the driveline shop taught me something.
    I'm 45.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  24. nutwagonfromhell
    Joined: Sep 8, 2005
    Posts: 168

    from missouri

    Man that sux. You ever think about autobody repair? Your fabrication skills would give you a head start on frame repairs on uni-bodies.
    You can get A.S.E certified with out going to tech school.
  25. Ruiner
    Joined: May 17, 2004
    Posts: 4,145


    I didn't mean for my post to reflect negatively on all CNC and machining businesses, but the "good" ones are few and far between...many of them have low ceilings, are in the same space as the welding booths and plasma/waterjet tables and have poor ventilation...the truth is many business owners are cheap no matter what the industry, and they'll try to skirt by with the bare minimum in health and safety equipment...I think in your personal case becoming an inspector or a CAD engineer would suit you best while saving your health for your hobby...and I sincerely urge all of you to look around your workplace and sit down with your boss and express your concerns over air quality and other safety matters...I've been at my new job for 6 months and we're in the process of changing everything on the shop floor for the better...I plan on being there for many years, but I'm not going to die for the place by breathing MIG, flux core and plasma/torch table fog all day on top of the CNC work hazards...and none of you should have to, either...
  26. fuel
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 218


    Sorry to hear about L.H. I am guessing Francis is doing alright?

    If you are in Tolar, you might check out Tarleton's Engineering Technology program if you want to go to school. CAD, CAM, machining, manufacturing engineering, QC, etc.

    CWI would be a good way to go. Always heard the test was pretty difficult.

    I grew up welding, fabricating and machining. Started my apprenticeship at 15. Did that for many years. Got an education and taught for a few years. Got tired of the pay and the politics in the education field and now I work in the oilfield. I love it.
  27. Nash-Time
    Joined: Oct 28, 2010
    Posts: 39


    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} </style> <![endif]--> Parkinsonspeed you’re young enough to change carriers and not have it bother you. I’m like jfg455, I was a ASE master tech and at 36 went back to school at night. Took 6 years to complete the 2 year degree Drafting program but I made it (with the wife’s & kids support) Now I’m 15 years into this drafting thing and love it. And if you’re already thinking that direction by all means check it out. Best of luck to you.
  28. ParkinsonSpeed
    Joined: Oct 11, 2010
    Posts: 429


    Yes i may be younger but its easy to get burnt out doing repetitive stuff. Im looking into all of these, found out being a CWI isnt a bad route and neither is cad, only the schooling is a little long and its hard to swing in somewhere with little experience. The only thing that is bothering me is all the medical bill stacking up on my desk.... I think that officially kicked in my 20's life crisis.
  29. 46tudor
    Joined: Apr 19, 2009
    Posts: 17


    You live really close to Comanche Peak Nuclear power plant, I have been working outages in the nuclear industry for three years now and there are many different crafts out there that need good people. Comanche peak is one of the cleanest plants I have ever worked in, they have some really good guys in their welding department and plant in general. I work spring and fall and off all summer then its home helping dad at his shop restoring cars and working on my projects. Just another option out there.

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