(BROWNWOOD, Texas) – Welders are always needed, no matter the economic situation.
Texas State Technical College Welding Technology instructor Robert Whitley knows his students will likely find a job soon after completing the program. In West Texas, welders are needed not only in the oil field, but also at other sites, he said.
“Other (businesses) are not hurting as bad as the oil field right now,” Whitley said. “A lot of our guys are noticing that welding is definitely a reliable source of income.”
Whitley said many welders are self-employed, while others like the structure of working for a company. No matter what, he said, welders usually can find work.
“Some of the guys like to venture out to the bigger cities for work. They go out several different directions to find a job,” he said.
With oil prices beginning to rebound, Whitley said he expects to see more students enrolled in the program, which is offered at each of TSTC’s 10 campuses. The college offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Welding Technology, and certifications in structural welding and structural/pipe welding.
“Hopefully everything in the oil field will be going the right way. When that happens, we will probably pick up another boom (of students),” he said.
Whitley said his main goal is to see students employed.
“I like to see them succeed. The best thing for me is to send kids out and see them be able to provide for their family,” he said.
With social distancing being the new normal in business, Whitley said lab sessions have been set up to state standards. He said that social distancing is nothing new to welders.
“Many of them will not be near anyone when they are working,” he said.
During lab sessions, Whitley said students have worked within the guidelines.
“It has kept our guys on their toes. It is teaching them to prepare for the unexpected,” he said.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.