woman sitting in a welding shop

(BROWNWOOD, Texas) – Dakota Jones hopes to break barriers in the welding industry.

Studying for a certificate of completion in Welding Technology at Texas State Technical College, the Wyoming native and Bangs High School graduate has her sights set on a career in underwater welding.

“A lot of people never expected me, as a female, to want to do underwater welding,” she said. “It is something different that I thought would be a cool

 career. ”

To help achieve her career goal, Jones works hard in lab sessions and makes sure that she understands what is being taught by Salvador Marquez, her Welding Technology instructor at TSTC’s Brownwood location.

“Any questions I have, he will always provide me assistance,” she said. “If I need a visual example, he will show me the proper techniques.”

One area in which Jones admitted that she needed additional guidance was with the tungsten inert gas welding technique.

“It was hard for me to get both of my hands working at the same time,” she said. “But with patience and practice, I was able to get it down.”

Jones said she performs best in layout and fabrication assignments and blueprint reading exercises. She credits that to one of her stronger high school subjects: math.

“In high school, I fell in love with welding, especially the math part of it,” she said. “I also think I have a very strong work ethic, which helps in this profession.”

Marquez said he has noticed Jones’ work ethic in the lab.

“She has picked up everything we have shown her in class,” he said.

Jones said math plays an important role in fabrication.

“We have to learn how to fit up the pieces and make sure the angles are properly aligned,” she said.

With welding being a male-dominated industry, Jones wants to see more women enter the field.

“I want to show people you can accomplish your goal,” she 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. Learn more at tstc.edu.

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