What Kind of welding job pays that kind of money? About 5% of welders are certified 6G code welders. 6G is pipe welding – in fact it is the test for: “All-position pipe welding.” The skill test is to weld two pieces of pipe together which are mounted in a fixed position, at 45 degrees. Because you are welding a round object set at 45 degrees, you are proving your ability in every conceivable position. The weld quality must be very high, because replacing poorly welded pipe joints in a power plant (for example) is very expensive.
How much CAN a 6G Pipe Welder make?
Wages have gone down during the slow down. Not that long ago a “rig welder” (a welder with a welding machine on a truck) in Alberta, Canada would average $330,000 a year, but times are hard, so it is roughly half that much now. Off-shore oil rigs employing 6G welders are paying about $100k a year right now.
There are very few trades in life which are purely “skill based.” In other words, the possessor of the skill is highly paid simply because they can perform the skill (think of a tight-rope walker in a circus). Most high paying trades or skills require specific schooling, plus proof that you can actually “do the skill”, and rarely will the skill require hand-eye-brain coordination to the degree of a tight-rope walker. 6G pipe welding IS a skill like tight rope walking – it requires dedicated, correct practice. Like tight-rope walking, 6G pipe welding also does not require any specific education or graduation certificate in the USA. No one cares where you went to school, or IF you went to school, as long as you show up and you really can weld that pipe joint like walking a tight rope! If you are good at this ONE position, you’ll be put to work. No one CARES where or how you learned the skill and no one cares if you don’t know another thing in this world!
Can imagine this? Imagine a room of 100 of the most highly skilled structural welders (typically union iron workers, working on large building frames) and 100 CWI Welding Inspectors (the best of the welding inspectors, with vast welding book knowledge) and ONE uneducated, illiterate but certified and very capable 6G pipe welder… And there is an urgent need for someone to weld a high pressure pipe joint on a 6″ schedule 40 carbon steel pipe – guess who would be the ONLY person in a room of 201 people who could do it? That’s right, the pipe welder, even though the pipe welder can’t READ!
Anything worth having requires focused work. What do you think a heart surgeon concentrated on learning while in school? That’s right, heart surgery. Focus on the one thing that will make you money and burn it up like a laser beam! OTS! “Own The Skill!” Be careful NOT to waste time, money and effort on things which will not ever make you money, or which will make you very little money! DO what others are unwilling to put out the effort to master.
Is getting really good at 6G pipe welding as hard as walking a tight-rope in the circus? Most people who fail to learn 6G fail because they think they can do it with very little practice. Intense, concentrated and coordinated practice is the biggest secret, just like with learning to walk a tight-rope. There are a few other secrets.
Welding school may be fun, but here’s what happens to 95% of welding school graduates: They learn all the basics in a year or two of school. They NEVER get to where “The Powers That Be” will allow them to learn to weld pipe. They run out of money and time. They end up running a MIG machine in a trailer factory for very little money, or at BEST, they end up as an iron worker on big-building construction. However, not many big building are being built these days, are they?
What IS happening? Shale gas and oil has been discovered and is being developed all over the USA. The first of 40 new Nuclear Power Plants is under construction. What will soon be in super high demand? 6G pipe welders, that’s what! You can find schools for 6G Welding. You may be able to government help to get your training. Get started! Just Google “6G pipe welding schools.”
What should you do next?