Not logged inAmerican Welding Society Forum
Forum AWS Website Help Search Login
Up Topic Welding Industry / General Welding Discussion / what is a tradesman?
- - By darren (***) Date 02-17-2007 08:21 Edited 02-17-2007 08:24
I am sure this will illicit a few opinions.
    A tradesman is an attitude or a code of ethics, not a piece of paper. Some guys with all the paper in the world could not become a tradesman under any circumstance. Some guys who are on the broom are role models for what a tradesman is. I think that being a tradesman transcends the workplace or job site, and is fairly obvious to other tradesmen who the others that live by that code are, no matter their walk of life. As always listening to some of the very experienced people out there about their tales, stories and lore of the trade is inspiring. Perhaps you could list some of the qualities that you admire or respect in your mentors and yourself.
As I write this I am cracking an ice cold beer (after paying all my bills) at the end of a week of work, and I raise this drink in salute to all of you all of us who give a shit and try hard to get the job done no matter how bad or good it gets. Glub glub glub here is to us tradesmen, always willing to learn and never afraid to burn.
Parent - By yorkiepap (***) Date 02-17-2007 14:15
Hey Darren,
A tradesman is defined as a craftsman or artisan. That is such a generalization that anyone could fall into that classification, although it is mostly applied to the blue-collar worker today. I can only surmise by your post you are in your early years of career and worklife and have encountered those who have lousy work ethics, low esteem, and only "put-in-time". It is everywhere. You will never work anywhere that you will not come across these individuals. I find those who were brought up by parents who instilled values, ethics, honor and respect are those who are truly tradesmen. We 'old-schoolers" were taught by those kind of parents who were hard workers, family-oriented, disciplined, and never gave up or quit on life.

I will pass on the method that has never failed me regarding the work environment. No matter where you go, if you travel, change work areas, or different companies, for the first couple months you are there, always simply just "watch and listen". Say as little as possible, keep personal life very personal, and you will see the nature of all those around you. It has never failed me. It won't take long to see those who are lazy, non-productive, careless, ignorant, loud-mouth braggarts who have no honor. You will also find those just the opposite and those are the ones who will enhance your knowledge and wisdom base.

Throughout my working career, I moved on so much to new companies because of the work environment, company policies, and just a plain old curiosity of "what's around-the-bend". Each place benefited my knowledge of manufacturing and production and made me better and better. Each person has to find their love of a career that they look forward to doing each day. My career in welding has been totally in the manufacturing environment because I chose that arena. Loved every minute of it and still do even though I now only work part-time. I put in my time, gave my pound of flesh, and now can enjoy my time pursuing my "hobby" welding.

Those who succeed and are profitable and want the good life, are those who always have the "hunger" to learn, earn, and burn.

Yup, at the end of the deserve that cold beer....Denny
Parent - - By makeithot (***) Date 02-17-2007 22:36
You may have a point that a piece of paper does not make the tradesmen, but it does infact level the feild I beleave it says to your pers that at least you have tryed to attain a level of experience that qualifies you as an expert and not just a novice and you can demand to be compensated accordinly. Of course if you have no pride in your work and no work ethic to start with all the paper in the world is not going to help you. A tradesmen or journeymen is ofcourse responsible for training his apprentice, if he himself does not have the knowledge that is aquired by those pieces of paper what kind of tradesmen does he turn out and what does that say about our profession if we are not at least willing to try and reach those goals. Well that's my two bits .
Parent - - By Sourdough (****) Date 02-17-2007 23:05
Well to risk pissing off engineers...If it looks good on paper, it never will in real life. At least not the first time around.

A true craftsman/tradesman/journeyman/etc is the person that takes one persons dream and makes it a reallity. If you can dream it, I can make it............if it's out of steel that is!!
Parent - By makeithot (***) Date 02-17-2007 23:15
My dad used to say if the job looks to easy or we're not making enough money call back the engineer he'll sqaure us away.
Parent - - By Lawrence (*****) Date 02-17-2007 23:31
My nutshell explaination to students is that craftsmanship is demonstrated by tradesmen who can make a finished product look and perform perfectly in a reasonable amount of time.  This does not mean making each weld or fitup perfect the first time every time. But it does mean a craftsman can finish the job as advertised to the standard demanded and deal with just about anything that might come along, from rusty metal to arc blow.

It may be difficult or impossibleto instill this kind of paradigm. Making the students interpret the drawings and WPS before the job and self evaluation to code before turning a project in is a good way to start.

Cheers to all the folks at the forum who have helped me along the way.

Iron sharpens Iron eh?
Parent - By Sourdough (****) Date 02-18-2007 00:04
JOB SHOP is how I describe my shop. Jobs come in, I finish them. JOB SHOP
Parent - - By yorkiepap (***) Date 02-18-2007 00:52
Hey Lawrence,
I like your insight and teaching methods. Your first sentence is definitely THE guideline, and the goal that has to be instilled and understood by those students. There are students who show their hunger to learn, and those who just put in time. You can tell the the hungry students....they always ask questions.....those are the ones who will engage the brain. The other facet I find interesting is challenging if they "think" they did their best. Your questioning that parameter make them, hopefully, challenge themselves. You know, at 63, I still consider myself a student....many things to learn yet, many avenues to explore.....

Sourdough made an interesting point, and I do agree to an extent. I applaud an engineer and respect his knowledge and his desire and hard work to attain that level of education. Of course, they too, will make mistakes and hopefully have the courage to admit when they err. The technology today is unbelievably sophisticated and the machine/mechanical applications that are in common use throughout industry is staggering. The engineers who had the insight to conjure and develop those ideas earn my utmost respect.

I find those who possess that "piece of paper", took the time to complete a goal to "earn" that "piece of paper". There is much truth in the notion that if you start something and never complete it, it will be the same with everything in your life.

Keep challenging the hungry ones Lawrence.......

Parent - By tsalagi (*) Date 02-18-2007 06:14
a craftsman takes a material and creates a piece of art. a tradesman takes material and creates a product in trade for money over and over so that he can support his family.
Parent - - By DaveBoyer (*****) Date 02-18-2007 06:38
My formal background is in tool & die making. Having completed an apprenticeship recognized by the state of Pennsylvania probably got Me "in the door" on at least 1 job when I was a youngster, and was less likely to be given the benifit of the doubt as to My experience and training. It is  possible to learn a trade without formal training, and many have done so, but a piece of paper can help You get the opportunity to prove Yourself. One guy I met who had been around and done a lot said His father said that a "tecnician" was somebody who knew HALF OF A TRADE. That is a pretty deep dig at a tec, but You can see the respect that fellow felt a tradesman deserved. The "piece of paper" has a value, but someone with the education and field experience usually turns out to be the most usefull "where the rubber meets the road".
Parent - - By TozziWelding (**) Date 02-19-2007 22:21
And I might add a true Tradesman never stops learning, or is afraid to take advice from some one.
Parent - - By litchko (*) Date 02-21-2007 01:45
A craftsman is someone who can build something out of someone elses junk steel from your local junkyard,piperacks,trailers,docks,rafts(using 4 -1,000gal.propane tanks)A journeyman is someone who makes the designing engineer look good by making the necessary FIELD ADJUSTMENTS.
Parent - - By Sourdough (****) Date 02-22-2007 04:36
All I know is that I can make you what you want, whether it be from plans or from your head. Elaborate, simple, or a piece of true art.

What does this make me?? I really want to know, because right now I consider myself a welder.
Parent - - By yorkiepap (***) Date 02-23-2007 03:35
Hey SD,
Been thinkin'.....To answer your question....It makes you "Picasso" or "Merlin".....Denny
Parent - - By Sourdough (****) Date 02-23-2007 20:07
Hey Yorkie, I've been cranky lately. No time off, I guess.

Hey, go to and register, (it's free), and search for C or sourdough1. I put some neat pics in there. Check out the bumper I made for my Duramax.
Parent - - By yorkiepap (***) Date 02-24-2007 02:19
Hey SD,
How's the little one doin'?? Haven't heard what you've decided on a shop building yet. You gonna set up a general repair & fab shop?  Hey!!! mentioned your water jet outfit know, I just saw a miniature water cutter unit on E-bay. It had a torch that looked like one of those stainless steel dental hypodermic needles the dentist uses. Listed as a 100A output. That seems like a lot of power for such a tiny instrument-like torch. It had quite a few bids on it as the description kinda highlighted the jewelry repair segment of buyers. Very interesting.....

Hey bro'....Your post on the "rain" topic kinda indicated you were a bit frosted. I could read in your words you needed to vent a's will pass...  I know, at times, anothers' remarks or opinion can raise ones' ire a bit....but we each are entitled to express our own beliefs and foundations for those beliefs. I know that for myself, I have rules and parameters set for my life, lifestyle, work ethics, and general outlook. I don't vary from them because they work for me, as yours do for you. I find those who post here are genuinely honorable men & women who seek and offer advice, promote a chosen lifestyle, and try to help others that will benefit their career and promote a safe work environment. I have learned much here. Take a minute next time bro' and a deep breath....unwind with a cold beer....and don't let a tired body and mind allow harsh words not meant, to escape. I wrote a one liner a long time ago to a friend....." Words are like bullets....once they leave your muzzle you can't get them back".

Lastly, I went to the myspace site....typed in C & sourdough1 in the search no avail....what's the secret? Anyway, SD, take some well-deserved rest once in's good medicine.....Denny
Parent - By Sourdough (****) Date 02-24-2007 07:47
Give it a couple days, then try it. My wife asked me if I thought I was a teenager for getting a "myspace", and I said YES DAMMITT! What else was I sposed to say? sourdough1, try it again
Up Topic Welding Industry / General Welding Discussion / what is a tradesman?

Powered by mwForum 2.29.2 © 1999-2013 Markus Wichitill