Looking for a good job, by 2020 over 200K welders will be needed

OLIVETTE, MO - It looks like a video game, but this future tech walkthrough of a building under construction, is the new norm when it comes how things are put together.

Everything is built digitally, and then again, in the real world.

“In the old days a lot of this stuff was done by hand and sketches in the field,” says Gary DeFosset, Fabrication Shop Manager Murphy Company.  “It`s definitely been a shift in the last ten years from all of that being sorted out ahead of time.”

Wednesday afternoon at Murphy Company, the area`s largest mechanical contractor, employees were hard at work on major components for the new St. Louis University Hospital and Washington University.

“We get a blueprint or sketch of what they want drawn up and we build it just like it shows on a computer,” says Billy Doherty, Business Representative Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562.  “Like you saw earlier it will go on a job just like you see here.”

Rather than spending time on a job site, the parts and pieces all fabricated, cut, welded and put into place here in Olivette.  Even the giant skid for transporting the final product constructed in-house so it`s just one big puzzle piece put into place.

“Metallurgy is a big facet of welding, knowing what you`re welding and putting together,” says Shannon Larrigan, Labor Coordinator Murphy Company.  “That they`re compatible and your heat is right.  If your heat and speed is not right it can create an insufficient weld joint.”

Every part, important, and every piece has to fit into place whether it`s heating, air conditioning, piping, plumbing and more.

Their fabrication shop makes all the parts from copper to carbon steel.

You`ll find a lot of welding here, but by the year 2020, its estimated there will be a shortage of over 200,000 skilled welding professionals.

“Most people don`t know how much engineering and how much in-house it takes to put the product out in the field,” says Mark Bengard. Senior VP Murphy Company.  “With the workforce getting older and people retiring from our industry we do need a lot of the younger kids starting to come through here with the technical skills.”

And for those familiar with video games, well that knowledge can translate into a well-paid career, and a handy profession to know.