By Steven Jualio-Martin, welding student at Highland High School
On March 10, 2015, Salt Lake City School District welding teacher, Denise Hevner and the Trip W Club (welding club) held a dinner meeting with guest speakers. The purpose of the dinner meeting was to inform students and their parents/guests about the many career opportunities in the field of welding. Together they brought in six guest speakers that are currently working in different areas of the industry.
One of the speakers was a young man by the name of Emilio Quintana. Emilio is a former student of Ms. Hevner and is a Weber State University student who is working on getting his engineering degree in welding. He mentioned the fact that you can make money by creating art through welding. It’s very interesting what you can do with welding! The fact that you can make money by making art speaks volumes to some. You could be an entrepreneur and start your own business.
Despite the fact that welding comes with a good salary, Nick Price from the DATC (Davis Applied Technology College), pointed out that you don’t need to have a huge salary to be happy. He shared his story about opportunities he’s had to get better paying jobs in the field, but turned them down to be a teacher. “It’s about finding your passion and doing what makes you happy. You know you have found your career when you look forward to going to work on Monday,” said Nick.
Jason Hart from Lincoln Electric brought in a virtual reality welding machine to demonstrate how it works. What make this a great training tool is that it gives you instant feedback on your travel speed, travel angle, work angle, arc gap and position. It will rate and score the weld upon completion. This kind of technology is the future of welding education.
All of the guest speakers shared their own experiences and perspectives on how to get started in the welding industry. After the dinner meeting, there was a question and answer session for both parents/guests and students to talk with the guest speakers about more detail and personal information. Parents/guests seemed pleased to learn of the potential for a well-paying career in welding.
America is short more than 200,000 welders right now. If you have the skill and you enjoy it, there is a career waiting for you. The welding industry doesn’t just mean getting under the hood either. That is only one branch of the career path tree. There are many career options if you like welding, and it doesn’t mean you have to be a welder. Learning to weld is just the foundation.
We’d like to give a special thanks to all of our guest speakers:
Nick Price – DATC
Bob North – Local 27 Iron Workers Union
Woody Cook – SME Steel
Emilio Quintana – Weber State University student
Bob Udy – Salt Lake Community College
Jason Hart – Lincoln Electric