very new to local union 488..serious question

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Comments (7)

sc0tt in Edmonton, Alberta

41 months ago

hey my name is scott and i am so new to the union in edmonton 488. i actually signed up for pipefitting and picked up the study package today. but i am really curious, which is better to get into? welding or pipefitting? if you love your job and say welding could you give me some comparisons or something? i am early into this so i feel i should make a decision. i have read some forums and am confused on which is better. i am up for giving it my all in no matter what i do. i am pretty sure i can do the welding through the same union 488 and would like to make a decision.

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Rob in Calgary, Alberta

41 months ago

I have tickets in both trades and I would have to say pipefitting is definitely more interesting. When we are as busy as we are right now, time just flies. Also, when the big slowdowns happen, the pipefitters seem to be able to find jobs easier seeing as there seems to be a large surplus of welders.

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chiler in Grand Junction, Colorado

41 months ago

who is to say that you can't do both. just my personal opinion. i'm a fifth year union apprentice and will turn out here shortly as a pipefitter and hopefully get my welding certs this week. one trend that i'm noticing is that contractors are really looking for someone that can do both. my business manager has been telling me that the days of the fitter/welder teams are gone. in todays economy the more you can offer a contractor the better off ur gonna b. thats y im also a plumber. if u want to make some awesome money id learn how to weld. theres a call for welders on a shutdown in terre haute indiana right now. 39 bucks on the check and 10 bucks on pension. 7-10's for six to eight weeks. do the math

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Rob in Calgary, Alberta

41 months ago

chiler in Grand Junction, Colorado said: who is to say that you can't do both. just my personal opinion. i'm a fifth year union apprentice and will turn out here shortly as a pipefitter and hopefully get my welding certs this week. one trend that i'm noticing is that contractors are really looking for someone that can do both. my business manager has been telling me that the days of the fitter/welder teams are gone. in todays economy the more you can offer a contractor the better off ur gonna b. thats y im also a plumber. if u want to make some awesome money id learn how to weld. theres a call for welders on a shutdown in terre haute indiana right now. 39 bucks on the check and 10 bucks on pension. 7-10's for six to eight weeks. do the math

Well, things are a bit different up here where they are forecasting a huge skilled labor shortage for the foreseeable future. Nothing at all wrong with getting both tickets but from what I've seen, If your a great spooling fitter as well as a great B-welder, more then likely you will be doing fitting as it's getting harder and harder to find qualified spool fitters that know what they are doing. Right now, we have zero guys apprenticing for pipefitting. Usually we had 1 or 2 on the go but seems guys(And gals) are more interested in getting their welding ticket.

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Becky in Denver, Colorado

40 months ago

chiler in Grand Junction, Colorado said: who is to say that you can't do both. just my personal opinion. i'm a fifth year union apprentice and will turn out here shortly as a pipefitter and hopefully get my welding certs this week. one trend that i'm noticing is that contractors are really looking for someone that can do both. my business manager has been telling me that the days of the fitter/welder teams are gone. in todays economy the more you can offer a contractor the better off ur gonna b. thats y im also a plumber. if u want to make some awesome money id learn how to weld. theres a call for welders on a shutdown in terre haute indiana right now. 39 bucks on the check and 10 bucks on pension. 7-10's for six to eight weeks. do the math

Hi, Chiller:
My husband was a plumber and welder in the Navy, and also graduated from Welding Trade school down here in Denver before he left for the Navy. He's been out for a few years now, and is looking for a more dependable career than what he's been doing lately, and has ALWAYS wanted to be a plumber, so he thinks now would be a good time to look into a plumbing apprenticeship.

He would really like to apply for an apprenticeship at the Local 145 up in Grand Junction. Is that the apprenticeship you did/ are doing? If so, what did you think of it? Is it exceptionally difficult to be accepted? The Local 3 down here, near Denver, is super competitive right now :( We are more than willing to relocate, but just wanted to sort of see what someone who's already gone through the program thought about it before we decide to uproot our lives if my husband gets accepted.

Any insight you may have would be greatly appreciated :) Have a great day!
-Becky

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chiler in Grand Junction, Colorado

40 months ago

hey becky,

local 145 is the apprenticeship i'm just about to finish up with.just from what you've told me about your husbands experience it sounds like he would do quite well in 145's program. we are a relatively small local but cover a wide jurisdiction. everything west of silverthorne is typically our area. we are a combined local which means that upon completing your 8500 OJT hours and classroom hours you will turn out with both a plumber and pipefitters card. in order to turn out you have to get your state plumbing license and three other certifications ranging from, welding, med gas, backflow prevention, rigging, etc.. typically a five year program but if you have some documented experience they may or may not credit you some time. even though work is slow right now things are picking up rapidly with several large jobs comin up here this summer. as of now we only have appx thirty apprentices in our program. when i started four years ago i had thirty in my class alone and now there is only two of us left so we have a very high attrition rate. alot of apprentices cant get used to working out of town and quit when the job that was close to home wraps up. the majority of our work is in the resort communities. needless to say we are always in need of some good hands. our pay scale isn't as high as local 3 or 208s but i think the cost of living is fairly comparable. i think if you decided to make the move you wouldn't be disappointed. local 58 out of colorado springs is another local that seems to be doing very well right now. i worked in pueblo for awhile and was talking with some of their apprentices and they had all been busy for the last few years. their scale is around the same but they have alot more industrial work right now. i hope i helped you in some way if you have any other questions you can reach me at curtishiler@yahoo.com.

good luck

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chiler in Grand Junction, Colorado

40 months ago

Becky in Denver, Colorado said: Hi, Chiller:
My husband was a plumber and welder in the Navy, and also graduated from Welding Trade school down here in Denver before he left for the Navy. He's been out for a few years now, and is looking for a more dependable career than what he's been doing lately, and has ALWAYS wanted to be a plumber, so he thinks now would be a good time to look into a plumbing apprenticeship.

He would really like to apply for an apprenticeship at the Local 145 up in Grand Junction. Is that the apprenticeship you did/ are doing? If so, what did you think of it? Is it exceptionally difficult to be accepted? The Local 3 down here, near Denver, is super competitive right now :( We are more than willing to relocate, but just wanted to sort of see what someone who's already gone through the program thought about it before we decide to uproot our lives if my husband gets accepted.

Any insight you may have would be greatly appreciated :) Have a great day!
-Becky

sorry becky one last thing. i don't think getting accepted is that difficult. when i signed up they were hurting for apprentices. i walked in, signed the papers on a friday and was working by tuesday. i think now they only take applications either 2 or 4 times a month and they may make you take a test of some sort but im notsure. website is local145.com

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