Is the so-called welder shortage a scam by two-year colleges?
Two year colleges are fighting to preserve their last-century mission of training for jobs that require less than a four year degree. A technical college administrator raised the whole "welder shortage" issue again recently, and it caused my brilliant co-author to do some research on the topic.
1.There's no shortage from the welder's point of view.
As one welder put it, name a company that can't bid on a state bridge because they don't have the welders. And he says, if there actually was a shortage of welders, it would follow the law of supply and demand in wages. It doesn't.
2.Wages are extremely low.
Entry level ranges from $9 an hour (Oklahoma) to $14 an hour. Blue collar workers used to earn the equivalent of $28 an hour, they don't anymore. To earn $60,000 a year, the median family income and enough to support a family, one would have to get a job welding 100 miles out in the ocean.
3.High injury rate.
There are an astounding 1,400 injuries a day (a DAY), mostly to the face, many to the eye. There are objects flying into the eye, burns, UV rays, and one other major category of injury. There are 2 million welders and over 250,000 injuries a year, well over 10% of the welders each year. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a correlation between good welders and low injuries. So just because you get trained and can do a good weld, that does not appear to lower one's risk to injury.
Now you really want your daughter to go into welding? Really?