There is a pipe welding boom coming.
With the coming approval of the Keystone Pipeline, plus all the shale oil activity, and even President Obama saying he likes natural gas, the demand for 6G code pipe welders is going to go through the roof. The question is, how do you get hired to weld pipe?
The traditional road to employment doesn’t work so well.
For decades, a pipe welder is an apprentice in a union, becomes a journeyman, and during his or her entire career, most of their jobs come from the union book. You get on the book and when your name comes up, you get a call.
Sure, some unions play games and politics with the book, but the system has served union workers well for a long time. However, it isn’t the only or best way to get work any longer. This article isn’t about if unions are good or bad, it is about YOU getting work.
How does a top actor or athelete get work?
There are four types of people who are looking for work of any kind at any one time. You may be one type now. You can change your marketing of “You Inc.” and change your world, it’s up to you.
Did I say marketing?
Have you ever said something like, “I hate salespeople” or “I would never sell anything”? Look, the one fact you and all of us have to face right now, no matter what anyone tells you, is that we are all marketing everything to each other. You are already marketing, you just may not be very good at it.
If you’re married, it is ONLY because you market yourself to your spouse good enough to be still married. If you like your kids, it is because they market themselves to you well enough, that you like them. The same is true with your dog. Do you believe me now? Here are the four styles that are out there.
6G Code Pipe Welder Type #1:
True-Blue Union Pipe Welders Who Know Who, What, Where, When.
These are the people who are in the union loop, and count on union clout on union jobs to get hired. They are not the welders who are knocking on the door to join the union in tough times. These welders would never work a non-union job. These guys are so well connected, that as long as they can strike an arc they’ll be working as much as they want to.
6G Code Pipe Welder Type #2:
They welded pipe a while back.
These are the welders applying with every union and applying for every job out there that they might have a chance of getting a chance to test. They have a problem. They think if they get a chance to test, they will pass, even though it’s been two years since they ran a root on pipe.
6G Code Pipe Welder Type #3: Fresh pipe school graduates.
These are the students who just graduated from pipe school. They managed to certify at the end of school after welding 30 test joints or less. They can’t understand why they won’t be welding pipe any time soon, and why they are finding it hard to even get on as a pipe welder’s helper.
6G Code Pipe Welder Type #4: Rock Star Pipe Welder.
If you’re going to weld pipe, stand out. If you’re currently a pipe welder or you want to be one, determine now to practice enough that you are in total control. How can you do that? Practice at the edge of your ability, and do it a lot.
Frankly, welding up 200 6G test joints AFTER you certify would be a good idea. Next, film yourself welding pipe that is in the 6G position with you welding in a mirror, with you welding upside down, with you under a pipe, with you in a tight spot. Put the clips together into a single clip that’s about 90 seconds long.
Think about rock stars.
Do they screw around with their guitars once a week? Do they do the most reserve and minimum thing to get gigs? Heck no! They practice by LIVING with that guitar 24/7. They find crazy and wild schemes to get noticed. (No, you don’t have to smash up your welding machine). The intensity of your practice and the number of joints you weld does make all the difference.
Make pipe welding ROCK for YOU.
Once you have certified 6G, and then practiced enough to make the video described above, put that video on You Tube, and every social page you can. Put it on your website with your written resume. Get a simple to say (over the phone) and easy to remember URL.
There is no substitute for practice. On the other hand, anyone of average ability can become a master pipe welder if they just focus like a Rock Star on what matters. Once you get it down, the next step is more marketing. You have to get noticed, and get those who hire pipe welders to see your video.
Think about this:
If you’re hiring pipe welders, and you have the option of hiring a pipe welder who just got out of school, and then a resume comes in with this pipe welder rock-star-like video, who ya gonna call?