Agriculture is expensive. Whether you’re working with livestock or crops, the costs of irrigation, feed, fertilizer, and pest control can add up quickly. Never mind the profit loss due to pests, weather, and lack of demand. Then there’s the cost of equipment, including taxes, interest, insurance, maintenance, and fuel. Taxes and interest can’t be readily controlled, but farmer Jim Facemire of Edinburgh, Indiana found that his welding skills go a long way towards helping him control the ongoing costs of repairs.
How to Save
According to AgriNews, Facemire uses the stick, MIG, and TIG skills he picked up at Whiteland Community High School to maintain and repair everything from farm equipment to irrigation pipes. Timing is also important. Farmers don’t have time to lose waiting for someone to fix machinery when they’re in the middle of planting or harvesting season. He said, “There is always something breaking with farm equipment, and you can either wait on someone to come fix it or I can fix it myself.”
The importance of welding to farmers is such that Jim runs a healthy side business welding for others in his community. So, not only have his welding skills saved him money, they have also provided him with additional income. Realizing that welding is a skill that all agricultural students should carry under their belts, Facemire also takes time to teach basic welding to the agriculture class at one of the local high schools.
You Can Benefit Too
In this particular instance, welding skills led to saved time and money in the agricultural industry. However, welding skills are an asset in several fields outside of manufacturing, making them invaluable for any number of industries. From agriculture to artwork, keeping even basic welding skills in your back pocket can prove more than useful. A perfect example of just such a business is landscaping. Whether running a small or large operation, lawn equipment experiences heavy use and with heavy use comes regular maintenance and eventual repairs. When it comes to lawn equipment, costhowmuch.com states that many shops charge $65 to $80 per hour for basic repairs on high-end brands and $55 per hour for repairs on economy brands—and that doesn’t include pickup and delivery charges. Sometimes you just need to replace it, but in many cases a bit of welding can extend the life of an expensive part. Grappling between purchasing new equipment or eating repair costs may be less of a concern if you’re able to handle these repairs yourself.
So, what to do? Take those skills out of your back pocket and shove some savings in there instead. For hobbyists and specialists, expanding or improving your skills can be the key to extra income. Those new to welding will want to look into local trade and vocational schools, as well as apprenticeship programs. Don’t hesitate to contact your local AWS Section for help. AWS Learning also offers comprehensive online courses. After you’ve acquired the knowledge and skills, you’ll be ready to get AWS certified. Becoming an AWS Certified Welder not only makes your skills transferable, it lets people know that they’re working with someone who has been vetted by the go-to certifying body in this industry.
AWS Learning: For more information about welding education, certification, and new ways to expand your welding career, as well as the latest welding news, check out our other blogs, podcasts, virtual conferences, online courses, and digital tools designed to help you grow and succeed.