TSTC Welding Technology alumnus Joshua Joel Anstead is a journeyman pipefitter welder at Pipe Fitters Local Union 211.

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – As a child, Joshua Joel Anstead was fascinated with doing hands-on projects in his backyard. Years later, he was introduced to welding by a friend and it would spark a career interest.

Anstead, who earned a certificate of completion in Welding Advanced Pipe Specialization from Texas State Technical College’s Harlingen location in 2018, is a journeyman pipefitter welder at Pipe Fitters Local Union 211 in Harlingen. He has been able to travel to different parts of the world during his career.

“Some of the jobs I’ve done have been with ME&I Construction Services, Stanger Industries and Valtech Engineering,” he said. “At ME&I, I worked on a boiler at the Barry Steam Plant in Alabama. With Stanger Industries, I did pipefitting and welding for the mechanical side of an air condition system at Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville. At Valtech, I worked on bellows or expansion joints at the Jamnagar Refinery Complex in India, which is the world’s largest oil refinery.”

The San Benito resident finds the work culture at Pipe Fitters Local Union 211 worthwhile.

“The camaraderie is great,” he said. “The company does excellent work in finding a new job for their employees after the last job has been completed.”

Chuck Brison, a superintendent for Batchelor & Kimball and a contractor with Pipe Fitters Local Union 211, has seen Anstead learn on the job.

“Joshua was very inquisitive about our welding process,” he said. “We taught him what he needed to know to perform the job. Then he used his knowledge from TSTC to improve his craft. He’s also an integral part of our shop because he orders what’s needed for our welding jobs.”

Anstead said his interest in welding led him to TSTC.

“I wanted to build things that most people don’t get to do,” he said. “When I did an online search, I learned the Welding Technology program offered well-rounded courses for what I wanted to learn.”

Isaac Rivas was one of Anstead’s instructors at TSTC.

“Joshua’s ability to put blueprint reading and welding skills into practice with minimal assistance showcased his attention to detail,” he said. “His dedication, skill development and adaptability is an example of how persistence can lead to a rewarding career.”

Anstead said the training he received at TSTC prepared him for his career.

“The work I’ve been able to do led to a better life for me and my family thanks to TSTC,” he said.

According to onetonline.org, welders can earn a yearly median salary of more than $48,000 in Texas. Welding jobs were expected to increase 23% between 2020 and 2030 in the state, according to the website.

Welding Technology is one of nine programs at TSTC that have money-back guarantees. For more information, visit tstc.edu/mbg.

Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.

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