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Brazosport_spark_weldingWelders in hot demand throughout region

When seeking a potential career, few professions are hotter at the moment than welding. Making up 10 to 15 percent of a construction crew, welders are in very high demand. One reason for the shortage of welders, however, is they have to be trained before entering the field.

Brazosport College is filling this void by offering expert training taught by experienced faculty. In fact, BC has been training welders for more than four decades.

“We provide as real-world, hands-on training as possible,” said Brazosport College Instructor of Welding Jay Barr. “Our philosophy in training welders is the more time they can spend in the welding booth, the better they will get.”

Brazosport College has a number of excellent welding programs that qualify students to take a national certification exam. With each type of certification, students are prepared to step into different jobs. The best welding jobs come to those with the highest education.

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“In today’s market, highly-qualified welders are in great demand,” Barr said. “The construction area is flourishing, so the demand for well-qualified craftsmen has risen.”

Even better, Brazosport College is currently building a new welding lab, complete with state-of-the-art equipment, virtual trainers, and ventilation and filtration systems in a stand-alone location on the BC campus. The lab is slated to open in 2016. This new welding lab will expand Brazosport College’s ability to serve its welding students, which, in turn, increases the training and expertise students have when seeking jobs.

“Our goal is to be able to provide the needed skills so that our students can walk out of this lab, become certified and begin a career,” Barr said.

Career Facts


Welding Technology

Welders use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.

Who is a good fit?
Welders have a good visual eye, are precise and enjoy detailed work. Welders have knowledge of raw materials, design techniques, tools, machines and mathematics.

Education
Many welders have training in college or vocational schools. Brazosport College has a number of excellent welding programs that prepare one to take a national certification exam. The best welding jobs come to those with the highest education.

Median pay
$18.32 hourly, $38,000 annual.

Job outlook

Job opportunities for welders, cutters and welder fitters are expected to grow by 8.4 percent over the next four years. Sixteen percent of welders are over the age of 55 and will probably retire soon.

Source: Career Coach (Brazosport.edu/CareerCoach)

Student Success Story – Lindsey Wittig

BC student envisions bright future as a welder

Lindsey Wittig wanted a career in which she could work with her hands. As a result, she picked two professions that, on the surface, appeared to be polar opposites.

Currently, Lindsey works as a cosmetologist. She’s attended beauty school and is a highly-qualified hair-stylist. At the same time, she can be found during the day at Brazosport College training for a career in the welding industry.

Although these two professions appear to have nothing in common, they actually have one big similarity.

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Lindsey Wittig

“My dad gave me the idea,” Lindsey said. “He said I was good and skilled with my hands and even suggested welding to me. At the time, I went with cosmetology, but later on, I decided to give welding a try.”

Lindsey, 25, is currently in a Brazosport College welding class and is receiving the training needed to join the local workforce as a welder. She’s been in BC’s welding program for more than a year and doesn’t envision stopping anytime soon.

“I really enjoy this,” Lindsey said of welding. “I’ve taken a big liking to it and I’m going to pursue it and see how far I can go.

“This gives me a second career option,” she added. “It’s also a field that has a demand for jobs. I’m more of an outdoorsy, hands-on person, so I’m hoping to be able to make welding my career.”

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