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Old November 19th, 2009, 08:31 AM   #1
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I'm thinking of going back to school. The two programs that interest me at this point are welding and servicing wind turbine generators.

What is the job outlook for people in these fields? At 45 I'm getting too old for too many more career changes.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 08:37 AM   #2
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How much experience welding do you have and with what process?
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Old November 19th, 2009, 08:56 AM   #3
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How much experience welding do you have and with what process?
All of my welding is self taught. I really need to go to school before I can even consider working in the field. I don't understand alot of the principals or theories that make a good welder. Right now my skill level is the abilty to stick two pieces of metal together with molten metal. My welds sometimes look great, sometimes look like shit. My stuff holds togheter but is not professional quality.

As far as answering your question, 99% of my experience is with MIG. I have used a spool gun for aluminum and I am practicing with a TIG.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 10:01 AM   #4
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If it was me, Id look into the wind turbine route. I'm not sure on the market for technicians but id figure it to be a small but well paid field of work.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 11:37 AM   #5
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Millwrights here in Michigan work on turbine generators around the state, among other things. They have an apprenticeship program.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 02:07 PM   #6
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i have two friends that both went into wind turbines. the classes take about 1.5 years,

my friends base salary first year was 40k for siemens, he had to go to texas first and is now in washington (the state). gets per diem, pay for his hotel, and gets to drive a company truck. gets a couple flights home, but is away 90% of the time.

hope that helps
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Old November 20th, 2009, 11:06 AM   #7
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All of my welding is self taught. I really need to go to school before I can even consider working in the field. I don't understand alot of the principals or theories that make a good welder. Right now my skill level is the abilty to stick two pieces of metal together with molten metal. My welds sometimes look great, sometimes look like shit. My stuff holds togheter but is not professional quality.

As far as answering your question, 99% of my experience is with MIG. I have used a spool gun for aluminum and I am practicing with a TIG.
The biggest problem facing aspiring welders is the avalability of experienced people out there. sure there was a deficit of skilled welders a couple years ago, but shit happened. Welding is still paying good and there are jobs out there, but be prepared to eat shit for a while until you have more hours behind the hood.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 11:08 AM   #8
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There's a lot of hype around wind turbines - it may end up being an over-saturated market because they're "cool".
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Old November 20th, 2009, 11:33 AM   #9
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20K for the turbine class

Depending on what part you join for the wind turbine field the pay is kind of disappointing.

60-80K was the allure when I checked it out, but they didn't tell me till the end of the seminar that pay rate included OT.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 11:47 AM   #10
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Are you looking into the Delta program (turbines)? If you are you may want to talk to someone about actually how many people are currently enrolled in the turbine program. They will take anybody and everybody who wants to sign up but they don't tell you what kind of wait there will be for the turbine specific classes. So you could have all the classes you need minus the turbine classes and then it will be hurry up and wait. I went through this there with the electrical utility lineman program. I got lucky to get in the climbing classes (until I fell 25 feet) but a lot of people were on 2 year waiting lists that they were never informed of. Those problems were getting worked out but the turbine program is a little newer and might have some of the same issues.
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