(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Life takes us in various directions, and for former U.S. Marine Christopher Torres, the Welding Technology program at Texas State Technical College caught his interest.
Torres served as a CH-53E helicopter engine mechanic with the Marine Corps for two years. He said that while he is proud of his Hispanic heritage, he was doing his job as an American.
“When you put on the uniform, everyone is the same color,” he said. “You do not discriminate.”
With a desire for a competitive challenge, Torres is now pursuing a certificate of completion in Structural and Pipe Welding at TSTC.
The first project he has completed is overhead welding. In the welding booth, there is an arm to the left and right side. The welder’s project is placed on the arm. They step underneath it, point the welding torch upward and begin working.
“In my opinion, it is one of the easiest types of welding to do,” he said. “It comes out very clean, and it’s fun to do.”
The Welding Technology program has been a fulfilling experience for him and his classmates.
“There is a great camaraderie in this program,” he said.
Recently Sam Williams, a TSTC Welding Technology instructor, challenged Torres to a 3D welding vertical challenge in the Advanced Layout and Fabrication course to learn how Torres works under pressure.
“My competitiveness kicked in, and it was actually some of my best work,” Torres said.
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 also offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in 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. For more information on the Money-Back Guarantee, visit https://www.tstc.edu/admissions/tuition.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.