(BROWNWOOD, Texas) – Bobby Suniga knew he wanted to do something with his life while he is still young.
Suniga, of Brownwood, decided that he needed to learn a trade, which led him to Texas State Technical College’s Welding Technology program.
“I wanted to make something of myself, and I knew that welding was a great trade to earn money,” he said. “I knew TSTC offered welding classes, so I jumped right in to get certified in order to make more money.”
Suniga had some welding experience before he began studying for a certificate of completion. Now in his second semester, Suniga has seen a difference in his work.
“I want to be a more consistent welder. I want to have a nice, clean bead on my work,” he said. “When I was younger, my welds looked like an old dirt dauber laid a nest. You could see the bead above where it should be.”
Suniga said instructor Daniel Aguirre has helped him clean up his work and set him on the right path.
“I am so excited to learn from Daniel,” he said. “His experience and his willingness to help correct us is great. He is always there to help all of us become better welders.”
Aguirre said Suniga has been one of his most improved students.
“Bobby has shown the capability of being a good welder,” Aguirre said. “He has shown steady improvement since beginning class, and he is only going to get better.”
Suniga said it was tough meeting new people when he began the program in August. Now the students are working together to make sure projects are completed.
“I thought it would be hard to meet new people when classes started,” he said. “Now we all enjoy coming to class so we can visit. Sometimes we come in a little early just to talk.”
Suniga said the best part of his time in the lab is helping classmates.
“I do not mind helping anyone because it is fun to see what we can do,” he said. “We are all in this for the journey to become certified welders.”
One of Suniga’s main goals when he graduates is to make sure his work speaks for itself.
“I wanted to get better at this trade and be confident in my work,” he said. “If I lay a good bead on my work, it is a good day. The quality of my work has to speak for itself.”
After graduation, Suniga is ready to hit the road as a traveling welder. He has already equipped his truck with the equipment needed.
“I want to go where the money is,” he said. “If that means getting on with an oil field company, I will go wherever they send me.”
To help him prepare for the workforce, Suniga said having TSTC’s Career Services available is a good first step.
“I did not realize how important having a resume is when you are interviewing,” he said. “I know with the help of TSTC, my resume will help me look better and give me a better opportunity for a great job.”
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. For more information on the Money-Back Guarantee program, visit https://www.tstc.edu/admissions/tuition/.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.