not sure of any ive heard of other than at the hall, but the best way is to practice. as apprentices, we were encouraged to have the welder tack up some scrap pieces, then practice at lunch or other slow times. pipe welding is one of those things that takes time under the shield to learn. the first job i had i was able to weld the root and the hot passes and have an old timer watch me and aslo do the cover pass to make it look decent till i got ok.
My father was a union ironworker out of the local 510. One job I remember was the building of the Harbor Bridge in Corpus Christi Texas. That was in 1959. Don't know if your that old. I was 5 years old then.