Welding Jobs: Why Welding Sucks (And What You Can Do About It)
If you can weld now or want to weld, is that a big deal? Yes and no.
Welding can be a very difficult skill to acquire and take years – or an afternoon (or a few days) at home. The question is, are you making any stinking money at it? Yes, you love to weld (I do to). Why are some welders rolling in money and others are so broke it isn’t funny? Get answers, NOW.
Let’s see, anyone can pop into Home Depot and buy a little Lincoln flux core welder and learn to weld in an afternoon or a day or two? Yes.
The welder I’m referring to is about the size of carry-on luggage and plugs into any 120 volt socket. Follow the instruction booklet (always reading the safety portion and applying all of it – please) and that person can be running a decent bead on the flat, just like that. Really – in a few hours of paying attention you can be running decent beads with good penetration.
The REAL question is, can you take that skill and make money?
Think about it – you can read this article, hop in the car, buy the welder, plug it in and weld for a few hours and have a “skill” at some level. What does that make you? It makes you a person with a very limited skill, but a skill none-the-less.
When I was 13 I welded up the exhaust on one of my many cars (I flipped cars for profit from age 11 to 22). Welding came in handy on older cars from the early 60s and even the early 50s because they were “heavy metal.” I wasn’t a great welder at that point, but being able to weld could make the difference – it allowed me to do repairs and “add value” to a car. Instead of flipping burgers at Mickey Ds, I was able to always have plenty of money.
Later, at age 19 and just out high school, I built gates – nice gates which look great today, 40 years later. I was self-educated in welding and I highly recommend it (welding self education and self education for almost any skill).
So why is the title of this article: “Welding Sucks?” Well, for most welders, it sucks. It is not fun when you get stuck with a limited skill in a factory not making enough money and acting like a robot all day long.
What can you do to make welding fun again?
When you first started welding, it was fun. You didn’t need to make money at it right away. AND everyone around you told you there would be a “good job” waiting for you when you got good at welding – so you kept at it.
Maybe you went through one or two years of welding education – and then the truth hit you like a brick wall. You found out that no one wanted to pay you big money for welding…
What is the secret?
What is the well guarded secret no one seems to tell welders? It is marketing. If you can MARKET your skill – no matter what that skill is – if your skill is welding or washing windows, if you can MARKET that skill, you will make all the money you and your family need. If you can’t, you won’t. That is when welding is NOT fun – when you can’t make good money at it.
What can you do about it?
Step # 1:
Stop thinking “Job.” J-O-B stands for “Just Over Broke.” If you want to live your life that way, get a job or keep the one you have.
What is the difference between a window washer working for someone else and window washer making great money for 28 years?
I met Suzy the other day. Suzy lives in a waterfront home with a dock. Suzy has a new GMC 4 door truck (very nice). Suzy no longer bothers to advertise her business. Suzy has been cleaning windows as an independent window cleaner for 28 years. She doesn’t need to advertise.
Why am I telling you about a window cleaner?
Suzy became an INDEPENDENT window cleaner 28 years ago. She employs 3 window cleaners and pays each of them $10 an hour. Suzy collects $20 an hour for every hour her window cleaners work. Suzy also runs a fourth truck herself. Add it up – Suzy makes $30 an hour from her workers and she makes another $20 an hour for the hours she works. Suzy makes $100,000 a year washing windows. This is called “Capitalism.”
Why do you need to be a Capitalist?
We live in a capitalist society. This means that if you weld now for $10 an hour, you can weld as an independent welder for $30 an hour (or more) simply by being “in business” instead of being a “a working drone” for someone else. Is that hard to believe? Believe it – it is simply TRUE!
$30 an hour is cheap for a welder.
I am telling you – you can make $30 an hour next week with minimum welding skills, if you understand and apply basic marketing skills.
What about immigrants?Meet Tom:
Tom (not his Viet Namese name) is one of the nicest people I have even encountered. Tom is 60. In 1980 Tom was one of 25 people crowded on a small fishing boat pulling away from Communist Viet Nam and headed for Hong Kong – escaping at the risk of his life – to a new life of freedom.
The captain of the boat put a gun by the compass. It screwed up the compass. They were lost at sea. They ran out of gas. They ran out of food. The seas grew wild. Tom was pretty sure they were all going to die.
They saw a ship in the distance. They waved their coats. They were given food and gas told which way to go to reach Hong Kong. Tom made it to the U.S. Tom was totally and completely broke – and he spoke no English.
Working an assortment of jobs 15 hours a day, Tom saved money. He met Lany and they saved. They opened a nail salon and then another. Today, Tom and Lany are comfortable in America. Their home is nearly paid for and they have a large retirement. Why? Tom and Lany worked hard – and understood marketing. And yes, they had a skill – they started by becoming licensed to do nails. Can you see – “doing nails” was only part of their of their success – actually the small part.
What has this got to do with welding?
Everything! However, welding has so many advantages over window cleaning and doing nails! You can start right now and be an entry level welder, working for yourself a week from now, if that is what you want. Unlike window cleaning and nails, you can advance your welding skills as you go – teaching yourself from home – until your welding skills are worth (are you sitting down) $100 an hour.
Don’t run over to Home Depot and buy a welder (yet).
If you buy the right welder used and do the right things with marketing, you can be in business and working all you want in 2 to 3 weeks. How? It requires mastering a few marketing basics – and hard work – but if a Viet Nam boat person who could not speak English can do it, you can too.
You success has nothing to do with money or the economy. It has to do with you believing in you. From there, you only need to pay attention to what really matters.
What should you do next?