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 involves welding two pieces of pipe that are mounted in a fixed position, at 45 degrees. Because you are welding a round object at 45 degrees, you are demonstrating your skill in every position imaginable. The quality of the weld 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 fallen during the slowdown. Not too long ago, a “rig welder” (a welder with a welding machine on a truck) in Alberta, Canada averaged $330,000 a year, but times are tough so now it’s about half that. Offshore oil rigs employing 6G welders are paying around $100k a year right now.
There are very few trades in life that 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 tightrope walker in a circus). Most high-paying trades or skills require specific education, plus proof that you can actually “do the skill”, and rarely will the skill require hand-eye-brain coordination to the degree of a tightrope walker. 6G Pipe Welding IS a skill like walking a tightrope – it requires proper and dedicated practice. Like walking a tightrope, 6G pipe welding also does not require any specific education or graduation certificate in the US. No one cares where you went to school, or IF you went to school, as long as you when it comes along and you can actually weld the pipe joint like walking a tightrope! If you are good at this ONE position, they will put you to work. Nobody CARES where or how you learned the skill and nobody cares if you don’t know anything else in this world!
Can you imagine this? Imagine a room with 100 of the most highly-skilled structural welders (usually union iron workers, working on large building structures) and 100 CWI welding inspectors (the best welding inspectors, with extensive knowledge of the welding book) and ONE uneducated, illiterate but certified and a 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 that be? the ONLY person in a room of 201 who could do it.That’s right, the pipe welder, even if the pipe welder can’t READ!
Anything worth having requires concentrated work. What do you think a heart surgeon focused on learning while in school? That’s right, heart surgery. Focus on the one thing that will make you money and burn it like a laser beam! OTS! “Possessing the skill!” Be careful NOT to waste time, money and effort on things that will never make you money, or very little money! DO what others are not willing to put in the effort to master.
Is getting really good at 6G pipe welding as hard as walking a tightrope in the circus? Most people who fail to learn 6G fail because they think they can do it with very little practice. Intense, focused and coordinated practice is the biggest secret, just like learning to walk a tightrope. There are some other secrets.
Welding school can be fun, but here’s what happens to 95% of welding school graduates: They learn all the basics in one or two years of school. They NEVER get to where “The Powers That Be” will let them learn how to weld pipes. They are running out of money and time. They end up operating a MIG machine in a trailer factory for very little money, or at BEST they end up as blacksmiths in the construction of large buildings. However, not many large buildings are being built these days, are they?
What’s going on? Shale oil and gas has been discovered and is being developed throughout the United States. The first of 40 new nuclear power plants is under construction. How soon will it be in high demand? 6G pipe welders, that’s it! You can find schools for 6G Welding. You may be able to help the government get your training. Begin! Just google “6G pipe welding schools”.
What should you do next?