I have changed jobs a few times over the last 16 years since I started
posting to Newsgroups in 1996.
That was just before I started as a welding instructor at South Seattle
Community College. I was transitioning out of the Stagehands Union
where I built Opera, Ballet, Theatre, TV and Movies.
I taught at SSCC from Fall of 1997 to Summer of 2006 (~9 years).
At that time I was doing architectural metal fab during the day and
teaching at night.
In 2005 I started teaching at the Divers Institute of Technology.
For 9 months I taught at both, but it was too exhausting to teach days
I took the job at DIT so I could get away from contracting and build a
welder training program from nothing.
I got to learn all about the commercial marine industry, above and
below the surface.
I was at DIT until last year. I left on my schedule and left a fully
functioning weld training program for the next guy.
After leaving DIT I spent a month building a reverse osmosis water
purifier for the American Seafoods Ship "Triumph" for a company called
Alfatec, and spent the last week on the ship pretending to be a
A really interesting and lucrative job involving 192 TIG pipe welds
primarily on 3" sch.80 316SS pipe, a little bit of 8" sch.80 steel, and
some 4" copper/nickel.
All open root full penetration, back purged.
The shop welding was interesting, but the work on the ship was too
exhausting for these old bones.
I then spent a month teaching an intro to manufacturing course to
Aerospace Apprentices. Fun, but not a long term job.
At the end of that teaching gig I was offered a job at M9 Defense.
An odd little Defense Contractor that makes 3D aerospace composites
using huge hydraulic hydro-forming presses.
I spent a year there learning lots of new stuff about urethanes,
silicones, epoxies, fiberglass, Dynema, kevlar, and other ballistic
materials. I made really good money, but it was an extremely stressful
place to work.
I left M9 in mid July, and was happy to go on unemployment for a few
weeks to have a breather.
Last week I took a new job.
I am now a Welding Inspector for Otto Rosenau and Associates, in
I have been a Certified Weld Inspector since 2005, but I have always
been on the education side certifying welders. Now I am on the other
side of the fence. Today was my first shop inspection, and it felt a
bit weird to walk into another guy's shop and know that I can make him
re-weld a part if it doesn't match the signed drawings.
This is my new world, and it looks fascinating.
Plus now I get to play with Ultrasound and Magnetic Particle
9 years ago