It’s easy to look at ways in which welding has supported the development of our country compared to other trades. (Just take a look at our previous piece, Welding 101, for examples of these statistics.) However, we were curious to see what real welders had to say about their industry, their experiences, the best and worst parts of their jobs, and how they feel about the future.
As you know if you’ve read the blog before, welders are in demand throughout the United States in a variety of capacities. Whether it’s welding for a private corporation, like some of the people we’ll hear from below, or for a government or public service, skilled welders are desperately needed all over the country. So, if you’re looking for a skill that you could utilize virtually anywhere, welding could very well be for you.
Here are a few snippets from conversations with welders about their jobs. If you’re interested in the full interviews, we’ll link to those in the heading.
Skieler Moody, Assistant Welding Shop Manager at Distefano Technology & Manufacturing: “Ah man, high school (smiles). I had taken a welding class at Westside High School during my freshman and sophomore years, and during my junior and senior year, I decided to be homeschooled. I took classes at Metropolitan Community College, which I still continue to do. I’m a perfectionist, so when I was sitting at a B and teachers weren’t interested in helping me raise my grade, I decided to take my own route. I began at Metro with gas, metal, and arc welding classes, and ended up with a quarter of the associate’s degree. I am about halfway through the program now.”
When asked how she felt about her future career prospects, Skieler replied, “I think it’s looking really good. I want to progress as far as I can. I thought about working with my dad and doing welding overseas. There’s a lot of opportunities to move up with better pay. The more educated I am, the more opportunities I’ll have. There are lots of ways to move up. Sometimes you can do an internship to start, and then move up. I kind of thought, as a girl, I would be hearing more rumors and stuff like that, but that really hasn’t been the case.”
Read Skieler’s full career snapshot here.
Hayden Chandler, Welder for the Province of Prince Edward Island: “I started welding when I was 15, and have been welding ever since. You’ll like this job if you enjoy a good day’s work, like to work with your hands, and want to put the time and effort into it. There’s really no typical day in welding; you never know what you’ll be repairing. It’s made me a good living.”
Josh, First-class helper and welder at Universal Fabricator: “I’m a helper, so I get the materials, assemble them, tack and hold them in place, and a more experienced welder comes up behind me and welds the materials. The first thing on the job is always safety. Whenever we get to a job site, we fill out a job safety analysis. Our work hours can range from 7 days a week, 16 hours a day to 4 days a week, 10 hours a day. We always have work; that’s what so great about the field. It can be stressful—after all, you’re working with metal that’s 400 degrees. You can do things like make sure you drink enough water, focus on your job, do what you came here to do, etc. to reduce the stress.”
Are you interested in becoming a welder or want to learn more about the industry? If so, leave us a comment in the section below! We’d be happy to answer any questions that you might have.
photo credit: USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)_150529-N-FI568-040 via photopin (license)