Jesus Gonzalez, of Harlingen, will graduate from the program this semester with an Associate of Applied Science degree and is excited about the promising job opportunities that await him.
“I am definitely looking forward to working,” he said. “My focus is to gain professional experience in the area first. The welding lifestyle is known to (involve) travel quite often. That is my goal after I gain experience.”
Fortino Escobar, lead recruiter for AD Welding Co., said the company is already feeling the impact of retiring baby boomers.
“These experienced workers pride themselves on the experiences they have accumulated throughout the years in this trade,” he said. “Any TSTC graduate we have hired has had the opportunity to gain great experience from them and enhance their knowledge. They value this knowledge because it cannot be learned anywhere else.”
Manuel Ahumada, lead Welding Technology instructor at TSTC’s Harlingen campus, said the welding industry has grown rapidly over the past five to 10 years.
“There continues to be an influx of job opportunities at many companies,” he said. “Our program at the Harlingen campus has great instructors. Our students receive industry-standard teaching for them to excel. We also keep a close relationship with industry partners. This helps our students get hired quickly, and in turn those partners receive quality welders.”
Demand is high in the Rio Grande Valley for quality welders. In addition to AD Welding, TSTC has established relationships with companies such as Keppel AmFELS, Kiewit Corp. and SpaceX that can lead to job opportunities for TSTC welding students.
According to onetonline.org, welders can earn a yearly median salary of more than $45,000 in Texas. These jobs are expected to increase 13% by 2028 in the state, according to the website.
TSTC offers Welding Technology at each of its 10 campuses located throughout Texas.
Welding Technology is one of nine programs at TSTC that have money-back guarantees. The college’s commitment to welding students is simple: If they do not have a job in their field within six months of graduation, they will receive a full refund of their tuition.
April is National Welding Month, a celebration of welders in such industries as construction, automotive and manufacturing.
To learn more about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.