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goldie

Posts: 14
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Note Here are my questions. If you would like to answer any of these questions I would greatly appreciate it. Here goes.

What training is needed for an entry level job?
What are some related jobs if not working with automobiles?
What personal qualities would help me in the field?
What chances are there for advancement?
What kind of pay can I expect? Range?
How many jobs in this field are available?
What kind of state and national demands for this work is there?
What do workers like or dislike about the job.

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rog02

Posts: 84
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Hi Sterling:

Here goes my answers. I am sure you will get several other opinions but after 30+ years in this trade this is what I would look for in a beginner.

What training is needed for an entry level job?
Depends. Some shops prefer you to have attended one of the college programs or at least have attended a week long course from one of the reputable guys like Ron Covell, Ron Fournier, or any of the other fine contributors to this website. Personally, I would also consider a raw beginner if he or she had the desire to learn.

What are some related jobs if not working with automobiles?
Architectural, Art/sculpture, Aviation, Marine, and the list goes on! If it is made from metal or someone wants it made from metal then it is fair game for a skilled shaper.

What personal qualities would help me in the field?
Showing up for work helps! Willingness to learn, take direction, a little initiative, and willingness to play nicely with others.

What chances are there for advancement?
If you will notice, most of us are self employed or do the metalshaping as a side business to something related like fabrication. As far as advancement goes, many leave their teacher and open their own shop at some time.

What kind of pay can I expect? Range?
Again this depends on the individual and geographic area. Quite simply, if fame and fortune or your motivating factors you probably need to look elsewhere. I make a livable income most of the time.

How many jobs in this field are available?
Good question?

What kind of state and national demands for this work is there?
At the present time there seems to be a decent demand for shapers with the current fashion of hotrod and motorcycle ownership. Who knows for sure what the future will bring.

What do workers like or dislike about the job.
I like the creative aspect of the work. Taking a flat piece of metal and making it into something is fun and challenging. Everyday is a new day, no two jobs are exactly the same, etc.

Roger

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goldie

Posts: 14
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Dear Roger,

Thank you so much for answering all of my questions. I haven't finished High School yet and I am trying to decide where to go. I know that I don't want a desk job. I live close to the Wyotech School in PA so I may end up there for training. Any feedback on their program.

Sterling

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raferguson

Posts: 55
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I don't know how useful this is, but Wyotech has a campus in Laramie, Wyoming. One of my relatives is a student at the University of Wyoming, also in Laramie. I asked her about Wyotech. She knows some young men who are students there. She said that when they graduate, they just go back home. She was very negative about their job prospects.

That is the traditional rap against the trade schools of all types, that you can spend a lot of money, but that the job prospects for graduates may not be that good. When I was working in the steel mill, the steel mill liked to hire as millwrights young men who had graduated from airline mechanics school, figured that they had learned a lot of basics of working with tools, etc. Did these young men go to A&P school intending to work in a steel mill?

I am sure that some of the graduates get jobs in the field, but it is worth trying to figure out how the students do after graduation. Of course, the same could be said for college graduates, many of them end up working in fields other than their diploma would suggest.

What you might want to do, is go around to some places that you might want to work, and talk to the owner or manager about how to get a job there, how to learn the trade, etc. I am sure that they have opinions about technical schools, and lots of other things. I did something similar before I changed majors in college. It was well worth the time, I still remember that day 30 years later. You might need to do some calling around to get appointments with the owners, I had it easy, my dad knew people and made the arrangements for me.

Richard

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goldie

Posts: 14
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Thank you so much for the input. This is what I have been concerned about. I know when I watch the show Overhaulin, Chip Foose said he uses Wyotech Grads but how many could he use?
Thanks Again,
Sterling

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rog02

Posts: 84
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Moved from the Yahoo email to this forum for the sake of continuity of this discussion. Roger

Thanks to the TV shows there's probably going to be way too many young men wanting the very few positions available at the hot rod and chopper shops. While it's good for the employers i think a lot of young guys are going to be working for peanuts. If you watch the Boyd show (American hot rods) you will see he charges young inexperienced men to apprentice there. Another problem with the TV shows is you now have customers walking into 1, 2 and 3 man shops expecting a car to be built in 6 weeks and expecting to pay for 6 weeks labor. Sterling --- before you spend a bunch of $$$ going to a trade school why not just try working as a helper in a local body shop. At least you will know if you have any love for the trade after doing that. Some body shop time would also look good on your résumé when you apply for that job at a hot rod or chopper shop. A good portion of professional metal shapers have had some body shop time in their past. I'm sorry if this might not be what you want to hear but i feel it's pretty truthful. ~ John Buchtenkirch

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tinbasher1028

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Hi Sterling: Well here goes my two cents worth. Having been a Auto Body instructor I can tell you that the programs you take can be great or terrible depending on the attitiude of the instructors. If the instructors are interested in the trade and their students learning, then it can be a great program. If not, the program will be poor. First thing be true to yourself. Do you love this type of work, can you see yourself doing this for the rest of your life. Is it a job or a career. Do you like the challenge of making or repairing something. In my 32 years in the trade I've always enjoyed the work, but like others have mentioned, you will make a living but few become millionaires, I know two Masters in this business, One a panel beater and one a classic car restorer and both make a living but nothing more. The Master restorer has had three cars win at the Pebble beach Concours. I think he should make more than a living. But we do it because be love it. So, Be true to yourself, Set a Goal and Keep focused on the goal and you'll get there. John Poole

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rog02

Posts: 84
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Hi Guys:

One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is what a young person can do while in high school to get ready to go into any trade.

A good backrgound in math is a big PLUS, and the ability to write will go a long ways. Public speaking also comes in handy if you ever have to deal with customers.

When we got ready to put the helicopter kit into production the owner wished to employ as many local people as possible, since the factory was in his hometown. Most of the jobs were entry level positions and we were willing to train people in composite fabrication (fiberglass), machine operation, and a few other jobs.

The problem came when we discovered that a large percentage of the applicants could not work simple math in fractional and decimal measurements. The production also required a record of parts and many of the prospective employees could not read and write well enough to follow written directions or communicate the work that they were doing in writing.

BTW, the majority of the applicants held high school diplomas.

Roger

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goldie

Posts: 14
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I have been working really hard lately on my schooling. My parents have always preached to me on this subject about how important it really is. I now feel for sure it would be good for me to do some intern work (no pay) at a few of the local shops to get a feel for the business as well. My parents see to it that school comes first and I take the most challenging Math courses I can in my grade. I plan on taking four years of Math, Science, Language (Spanish), English and Social Studies.

Sterling

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wdsmith

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Sterling,
If you will allow a few words from somebody who has been down too many roads:

1. While good grades ARE important all they do for you is get you a chance. to go on from there, you really need to UNDERSTAND the basics of what you have been taught. Thirty years of trampling around the engineering business presented me with few problems that couldn't have been solved (or avoided) with only a basic understanding of high school physics or math. Far too many people study for the grades and forget the understanding part.

2. Don't be surprised if you find your work hard to give away. For example, in Oklahoma, it is illegal to let anybody work without workman's comp insurance and paying the state minimum wage. there are various shaky ways around this but it does make things more difficult. And, even if you did work for free, you can still easily be a liability. My wife decided to save money by mowing the front lawn herself. She didn't save near enough to pay for the dented car door when she grabbed the wrong gear on the lawn tractor. Moral: You don't have to be working on the high-end project to screw it up.

These are words of caution, NOT rejection. Go get 'em and good luck!
wds

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unklian

Posts: 517
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"Internships" are becoming increasingly popular in some industries.
Other industries use apprentices.

Getting "hands on" experience is good,summer jobs,part time jobs,etc.

Of course,many schools have done away with the auto shops,machine shops,etc
substituting "drama classes" and the like.

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goldie

Posts: 14
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Thanks for the advice it sounds like you have a lot of experience and wisdom to offer. I will take your words and use them in the future. Thank you again for your help.

Sterling

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goldie

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Thanks for the advice it sounds like you have a lot of experience and wisdom to offer. I will take your words and use them in the future. Thank you again for your help.

Sterling

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goldie

Posts: 14
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Thanks for the advice it sounds like you have a lot of experience and wisdom to offer. I will take your words and use them in the future. Thank you again for your help.

Sterling

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goldie

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Boy do I hear that. The metal shop I took this year lasted only 1/2 a year, had forty kids in it, and one teacher without any additional help. It was impossible to complete projects without taking them home. Fortunately my dad has some equipment and I was able to do that. I got an A in the class but I didn't take it next year. I think I may be able to do better outside school for training. That is why I want to pursue it through the summer.

Thanks for the input.

Sterling

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goldie

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Thank you for the input, I welcome any opinions on this. Hot Rod shops are probably where I would like to end up anyway. I have been heading for Good Guys shows since I was in a stroller with my family every summer. I know it won't be easy, but ya got to love it!

Sterling

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goldie

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That is good advice. I am really trying to figure out what it is I want to do with myself. That is why I would like to spend some time in a shop somewhere. I do love the Hot Rod and Automotive work. I enjoy fixing things and figuring out what makes them work. I have a nack for this. Thank you for your honest input.

Sterling

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goldie

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That is good advice. I am really trying to figure out what it is I want to do with myself. That is why I would like to spend some time in a shop somewhere. I do love the Hot Rod and Automotive work. I enjoy fixing things and figuring out what makes them work. I have a nack for this. Thank you for your honest input.

Sterling

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hottrodzz

Posts: 60
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Sterling, I will tell you the same thing I tell everyone who sends me a Res.

If you want to learn how to fabricate & build stuff, go were the most fabrication & building is being done.

Go to NASCAR land, Moorsville NC.

They crash em every weekend,and an ARMY of skilled guy's build new ones non stop.

A starter job in A Stock car fab shop would be a great way to start to learn this craft.

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goldie

Posts: 14
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Thanks for the reply. I think that is a great idea. I will have to wait a little before my folks will let me head that way, but I will keep it in mind. Anybody have any contacts out there for beginner help? Maybe I could consider something like that on a short term basis in the summer.
Sterling

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