A Career Change? This Is a Day for a Factory Welder.
Are you thinking about a change in career?
- Do you believe that you have good strength?
- Can you handle stress?
- Do you take heat well?
- Have you so thick skin that no-one can break you down?
- Can you do fine hand-movements?
- Do you have the patient to learn hard skills?
If you answer yes on all above, you might have what it takes to become a welder. Keep reading and find out how a day in a large truck-chassi factory is.
About me, Metromain
I'm a professional welder by trade and been in trade-school for six years. Not because I failed, but because I wanted to be the best.
The education made me a TIG pipe-welder, but I'm able to use everything, MIG, arc-welder, plasma-cutter and oxy-fuel welding, solder and cutting. And I can weld/solder everything. Carbon-steel, stainless-steel, aluminium, copper exc.
I.e. I'm that welder your mother warned you about that can weld a fart to a rainbow in a hurricane.
As for experience I have several years in automotive shops and a truck-chassi factory in a robotic-weld team.
In the robotic-weld team, we where two persons. One operating the robot and one fixing the weld errors and missed spots from the robot. We rotated every week.
I'm that welder your mother warned you about.
First hours of the day
As the alarm bell rings you wakes up before the sun, wishing it was your day off, but it isn't. But you remember that your payroll is to get earned, so you get up.
To the bathroom and do what have to get done and back to the kitchen. A real adult can manage to make himself breakfast. You stand by the cabinet and decides between something tasty or something energizing.
What you need is a microwave-cocked oatmeal so thick you can build a brick-wall with it. And side it with some ham-mustard-sandwich with bread so dark it gives nightmares. And to wash it down you grab an energy drink.
You finish at look at the clock and realize that you should have left for 5 minutes ago. You grab another energy-drink as you only have six more in the car.
As you drive you realize something that makes you feel some pride. The only ones that's driving in this time are the people who actually makes the country go round.
The first half of the day
You arrive to work, almost late, but not quite. Be quick to punch in. Then phase to the lunch-room to leave your sorry-ass lunch-box filled to the brim with over-cocked pasta and some sausage that you didn't even bother to fry.
Rush to the locker-room to change to that God-forsaken welding uniform. A thick jacket, not cold enough for french-kissing the sun next to the iron-volcano that is "welding". Thick pants with burn-holes all over. And boots so bulky that you can't fit in a Nissan Micra (if you ever needs to).
Hurry over to the factory floor to the respirator charging station where everyone keeps their helmets and safety gears, wishing no boss or directors sees you. You are lucky this time.
You get to your robot-cell. Your team-mate are already there, but you got two minutes to spare. This team-mate usually looks on you like he wants to kill you for what-ever reason, but still talks to you like you are a human (as he rarely does). This day is no difference.
Your supervisor arrives as only he does. This supervisor lives his life like he is constantly video-taped, and is the show-star. You like this supervisor, he is funny. He gives you the work-load with a worried face as he says: "you guys are usually the best, but today you needs to be gods", and orders team-mate to operate the robot, you to repair.
The work goes on. The robot spits out abominations that are supposed to be parts of a truck-chassi, and you are making them presentable. The guy after you in the flow is thinking you are slow, but you know that quality takes time, you can't rush a weld.
Suddenly the supervisor arrives and says: "Metromain, you are needed in the end of the flow at last-control-point to fix some errors." You don't take the blame as this isn't your fault, but curse the night-shift as they apparently can't even weld. You go and make the last-control-point people happy. Then it's lunch-brake.
The last half of the day
The day goes on exactly as before lunch. Your job is to weld, so you weld. Sometimes you needs to go back to last-control-point. Sometimes you gets a surprise visit by the boss just to get bothered in your work-flow and listen to some made up crap.
The day ends and you gets to leave. You change as fast as possible before you punch out.
You leap with happiness to your car, dreaming of that can of beer that's sitting in the fridge. And remember to stop by the store to get some more energy-drinks as they are all out.
Prepare for the next day
You get home, you get that beer and you get to the TV, just to relax. But then, the horror, your girlfriend screams at you about pulling your weight and not sitting in the couch before the shower.
You just want to relax for some times, but you comply as you prefer to sleep in the bed.
The (short) hours before night passes. You prepare for sleep, but realize: YOU FORGOT TO PREPARE A LUNCH-BOX AGAIN.
Does this life sound interesting? Or do you think that I'm a complete wuss for thinking this way about my career-choice?
Then the career as a welder would be an absolute fit for you. Good luck on your job hunt.
Otherwise, you could maybe be a boss or something like that.
(Remember that this is an exaggeration. And some details have been changed.)