(BRECKENRIDGE, Texas) – Kayleb Carter needed one additional class during his sophomore year at Mineral Wells High School.
“I needed a filler class in high school and decided to enroll in welding,” said the Texas State Technical College Welding Technology student. “I immediately fell in love with it.”
That first impression helped Carter to enter TSTC’s high school welding competition in 2022 as a senior. He finished fifth overall, but it was the time he spent visiting with TSTC Welding Technology instructor Stephen Hope that made him decide to enroll at TSTC.
“Stephen talked to me about scholarship opportunities and took me around the shop,” he said. “I like it that it is a smaller campus and smaller class. Stephen is a great instructor, and I have not been disappointed with what I have been able to learn.”
While at the competition, Carter noticed a difference in the equipment that he could use at TSTC. He said that was another reason he decided to enroll.
“Everything here is pretty new, and it is good to be able to use the latest technology,” he said. “We did not have this type of equipment in our high school ag shop.”
Carter said learning different aspects of welding has helped him realize that he made the right career choice.
“I have learned so much from Stephen that I will be ready to get in the field,” he said. “I started welding pipes in the lab, which is something I have not done before. Those little things are going to help me in the future. TSTC is preparing me for a career.”
Hope said he has been impressed with Carter as a student and as a person.
“Kayleb is eager to learn more and gain a better knowledge of the welding industry,” he said. “When he is not in school, he is working at a welding job. He is taking the skills he learns here to his job, and what he is learning on the job comes back into the lab. That is a valuable tool for students to have.”
Carter said Hope has one goal for students in the lab.
“Stephen wants to make sure we are on track to complete our projects and school,” he said.
When he completes his Associate of Applied Science degree at TSTC, Carter said he does not yet have definite plans for a job.
“Some of my friends are telling me to work at nuclear plants, so I am looking into that,” he said. “I also think I might do some traveling in order to do welding jobs around the state.”
While he considers his career options, Carter will take advantage of employer spotlights on campus.
“I plan to listen closely to what people tell us about careers,” he said. “The spotlights are a great resource provided by TSTC.”
According to onetonline.org, welders can earn a yearly median salary of more than $47,000 in Texas. Welding jobs were expected to increase 23% between 2020 and 2030 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 participating 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 program, visit https://www.tstc.edu/admissions/tuition/.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.