So you want to be a welder? - Part 2
Staying employed in a field that you like and love is a challenge, regardless of your occupation. Staying employed in a field that you don’t like and don’t love, is almost impossible. If you are considering welding as a “career change”, you may already be aware of this. You may be facing a mid-life crisis of employment, forced early-retirement or just feeling unfulfilled in your stale old, going no-where job. If so, don’t automatically think welding would be a good fit for a career change without understanding that successful welders are flexible welders. And one key area of flexibility that is needed is the ability to relocate, or in simple words move to where the jobs are.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of well-equipped welding schools and training centers all across this great country. Each one is dutifully turning out new multitudes of welders each semester who are trembling with excitement about their hopes of employment. But so many of these new recruits flunk the first test of gainful employment: willingness to move.
A welding school may serve a small rural community or area, or even a metropolitan area, but if the jobs that everyone keeps talking about are located on the coast or in another state, and they are not living nearby, many newly trained welders will quickly look for other employment closer to home. In far too many cases, new apprentices are finding little to no satisfactory employment directly in the industry once they complete training.
What is often omitted in welding class training is the preparatory instruction that conditions welding students to the need to move away from family (or relocate existing family) and friends if they are to be successful in their jobs, especially when there aren’t many paying welding jobs around the local areas. In fact, areas where there are a large number of welding schools, you’ll typically find lower paying welding jobs as well, due to market saturation of trained welders.