This is a long article full of my various ramblings related to my experience trying to get hired on one of the current jobs being offered in Virgina for $50.00 hr pipe welders. I didn’t make it after less than 5 hours. I figured I would share some of my thoughts/experiences.
A search on Indeed will show many jobs but they all end up at the same place! Leased labor at Huntington Ingalls Shipyard is where I would have been if successful.
I have welded for about 38 years. I am by no means the slickest but can get by in most cases. My skills cover a wide range of welding related activities and I am by no means a standout in any of them. I’m sure many more that have been involved in this process but I couldn’t find any information online. I am by no means an expert in welding or this specific test, as you will see, my time was VERY SHORT!
Around November 30th of 2017, I noticed a job posted in one of the groups online for pipe welders, $50.00 an hour. I had to check it out! I reviewed the requirements and they were all things I had done in the past. Albeit a long time ago. It was all related to shipbuilding and my experience as a welder started out as a US Navy Nuclear Power Plant Components welder. I figured this would help get my “resume through the door.
I started the “application process” through Aerotek. They are one of many staffing companies providing “leased labor” to Huntington Ingalls in Newport News VA. These positions were not the same as “contractors” as they performed the same tasks as Ingalls employees. All tools and equipment were provided by Ingalls, and we were to be supervised by Ingalls supervisors and report directly to them.
CONTENT- This article has over 3000 words so I have broken this into pages and their content is below. Or you can just click-through the pages till you just can’t stand it anymore!
- This Page
- The Application Process
- The Recruiter and Their Company
- Newport News Area
- Orientation Process-No Pay
- The Test
- Conclusions and Opinion
- If you’re a recruiter.
10 thoughts on “Ingalls, $50.00 an hour pipe weld test, My experience”
The Yard probably has a apprenticeship program but does not have enough people for the demand. I felt I was a good welder and always thought you tested for the work you would be doing. The company to save on money should have let you practice a few days to get comfortable before the test. Performance and passage I believe would have gone up. The government is loosing dollars on this and the not being able to come back and test again is wrong. There are good welders out there.
I agree. Though for $50.00 an hour, some may have the perception that an individual can “do anything” but the truth is that the skills and abilities among welders vary widely among industries, companies, and individuals.
The guy that has spend his life welding on parts for NASA is NOT ready to climb in a boiler and reach 3 tubes deep in an economizer.
I have been supervising/administering welder tests for years. Not any to 248, but I’m familiar with the content. Its a shame that so much time is put into the processing of people to only have this as the screening point.
The shipyard does have an apprenticeship program and it takes 5 years. To get journeyman’s. To get into the apprenticeship program you have to apply for a position through the website and go through their onboarding process by applying for a job that puts you in it.
Good effort on your part. The last time I did serious pipe work it was ASME sec IX and sec VIII
B31.1 and B31.3. They gave me 2 days to practice withering best guys. I passed Alum Stainless and Steel from 1/16 to unlimited wall thickness. I learned all about pre heat n post heat. The company was not union. But moved from Ma to Louisiana
Some practice time would have helped me but Im sure a few people just walked in cold and passed…I just didn’t have that level of skill.
Have a good one!
Was the tig a scratch start or how did you get the arc started?
It was a start stop switch on the Tig Torch. High Frequency Start but no remote amperage control.
They set the machine at 85 amps and you could not adjust it.
How many tests were there?
I don’t know. I was looked out on the 1st one. :). Youd have to ask a good Welder.
I once worked there as a structural welder. Conditions were not too awesome. I also took the pipe test and busted. In the Navy shipyard industry, those exact tests and fail rates are common.
The Newport news shipyard has probably the highest turnover rate of any welding related place of work I have ever been, simply put, because it is government subsidized and they can afford it. Also, they have a HUGE training program, so there is literally no need to hire guys off the street. Add to that a handful of undeserved arrogance, and there you have it.
Most of the welders that work for ingalls itself can’t pass a 3g. Ugh.
Last note: I quit without notice and was not allowed to come back for 7 years.
In other words, besides the 50 an hour, you didn’t miss much. Besides that, in Texas in the same year you could make 45 with 150 a day per diem welding pipe.