Think you’re having a bad day at work? Just wait until you hear about Marty Rice’s bad days, cuz he’s had a lot of ’em… And I mean, traveling uphill to work, both ways in the snow with no shoes on, kind of bad days. Afterall, welding’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it.
Learn your trade, pay your dues
Advice for new welders
By Marty Rice, Contributing Writer
Welding jobs may not be as plentiful as they once were, but welding instructor Marty Rice believes a lot of welding work is “waiting to bust loose once the economy straightens out, and there’s always work in welding, if you’re willing to pack a suitcase.” Rice has some advice for those embarking on a welding journey.
I’ve paid my dues during my long and crazy welding career. I’ve had good jobs and bad jobs, good bosses and bad bosses, and I’ve met good and bad people in the field. In my opinion, one good person makes up for a bunch of lousy people. Which do you want to be?
I began my welding career as a maintenance welder at an oilfield and agricultural machinery repair and rebuild plant. Actually, my title could well have been “gopher boy.” There was a bunch of older guys and I, the one young guy. The old hands were mostly World War II vets, and the only thing I had going for me was that I had just gotten out of the Army. Other than that, I was a greenhorn—a newbie, a guy who didn’t know squat, and a pain in the butt. So my job was doing the hard, dirty work no one else wanted to do.
What’s your story? How did you get started?
What advice would YOU offer a newbie?