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  • pipftr/plmb appt career questions

    hello to all, i've got a couple of questions that maybe i could get some insight to from the members of this forum. i'm 23 years old and am a 4th year union plumber/pipefitter apprentice out of colorado. by january i should have my stick and tig certificates for unlimited pipe sizes, my colorado state plumbing license by july and my union pipefitters card in a year. my questions stem from the condition of economy we are experiencing. they recently shut down the job site due to lehman brothers financial difficulties and jobs around here are getting slim. although the union has been good to me i am beginning to feel that i may have to start looking in other directions for job security without having to travel all over the country. i have a family and the thought of being away from them just kills me. i guess my main question is what large companies are out there that have a consistent need for fitters/plumbers/welders. i have been told that boeing and lockeed and martin employ a large number of tradesman but can't really validate that. to me my benefits are more important than the pay scale along with location. i'm willing to relocate but i'm looking for job security. just curios as to whether anyone had a heads up of companies where the need of our skills is paramount. any ideas or advice that you can give me would be greatly appreciated. thanks again for your help.

  • #2
    Re: pipftr/plmb appt career questions

    If you can get your card I would get your card before moving on. As far as stability I would look at government work like for a school district or utility. It seems they will always have money regardless of the economy. I have two brothers and a son-in-law who all work of LADWP and they are all working overtime right now.

    Mark
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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    • #3
      Re: pipftr/plmb appt career questions

      Halliburton, U. S. A.

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      • #4
        Re: pipftr/plmb appt career questions

        If you're in the Denver metro, there will always be work.

        The idea of govt. jobs is good, but the governor is talking about hiring/wage freezes due to lowered income to the state, same with the cities. There is a website for state jobs and you could maybe find something at one of the colleges, etc.

        I don't want to start a Union/non-union war, but there are other companies out there. RKMechanical is still going and they're big. HPE has been around forever and when I was there seemed to find work to keep the workers busy vs. just hunting profit. I think you'd have to crack yourself over the head with a pipe wrench a few times to fit in with HPE's fitters/welders.

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        • #5
          Re: pipftr/plmb appt career questions

          i have every intention of sticking with the union until i turn out and if the works stays consistent i probably won't leave. i've been with the same company throughout my apprenticeship but if this job goes under it could very well take the company with it. i have thought about halliburton but i hear they are pulling out of grand junction, heard a story about hpe and their work on a job in vail, pay and bennies sounded good. have also though about RK but they are all over colorado. i have talked to both local 3 and local 208 out of denver and they have a number of people on the bench. i think that they are taking apprentices though. anyway, thanks for the input and if you can think of anything else don't hesitate to get with me while this post stays on the board, thanks alot.

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          • #6
            Re: pipftr/plmb appt career questions

            check out the utilities and gas suppliers natural and other,
            Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
            attributed to Samuel Johnson
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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            • #7
              Re: pipftr/plmb appt career questions

              If you want to work in one spot and not travel I would pursue the plumbing side of it. Fitters and welders seem to travel a lot and have a high rate of devorce. I am in a similar situation, UA fitter/ plumber with four kids and not willing to travel. I would rather fit than pumb. I now work for myself full time mostly light commercial and residential plumbing. I keep my card up to date, but hope I don't need it. It was hit or miss here for a few years also wich pushed me to be in control of my families finances rather than the BA. Good luck, I would finish out your apprenticeship and go from there.

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              • #8
                Re: pipftr/plmb appt career questions

                As others have said and you state you intend to do finish your apprenticeship. But read your contract as you may have some obligations to meet that could be costly if you leave the UA right after they get done spending all that money training you.

                Some locals now have in their apprenticeship contracts a statement that if you elect to leave the union before so many years of service you may be bound to repay the cost of the training you received.

                It may or may not be in affect in your area, so I suggest you look before you leap.
                ---------------
                Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                ---------------
                “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                ---------
                "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                ---------
                sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

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                • #9
                  Re: pipftr/plmb appt career questions

                  Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
                  As others have said and you state you intend to do finish your apprenticeship. But read your contract as you may have some obligations to meet that could be costly if you leave the UA right after they get done spending all that money training you.

                  Some locals now have in their apprenticeship contracts a statement that if you elect to leave the union before so many years of service you may be bound to repay the cost of the training you received.

                  It may or may not be in affect in your area, so I suggest you look before you leap.
                  Good advice Bob. That would really be a smack in the sack if they did that.
                  Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

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                  • #10
                    Re: pipftr/plmb appt career questions

                    There is some issues with dropping out of the UA for an open shop. There shouldn't be if you work for yourself and sign a lobor agreement.

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