(RED OAK, Texas) – In the welding field, it helps to be diverse in one’s skills.
Ashley Yezak, statewide lead instructor in Texas State Technical College’s Welding Technology program, said the need for welders in the Dallas-Fort Worth area has not slowed down as the country continues to grapple with the pandemic.
“With energy production, technology and such, life still goes on,” he said. “There is a need for welders in the plants, on the bridges and in the fabrication shops. Everything is still being transported by rail, so you have that industry that is still strong and steady.”
Yezak said employers are looking right now for welders who can work with different processes, such as shielded metal arc welding and gas tungsten arc welding.
Warren Ketteman, senior director of economic development for the city of Waxahachie, said welding is a topic that is discussed by business prospects involved in the metal industry.
“(Welders) always seem to be in short supply,” he said. “Of special interest are those who can do MIG and TIG welding. Most businesses inform me that they want prospective employees that know the basics and perform them well. They can train them to do the rest.”
Ketteman said welding jobs at metal companies are abundant in Waxahachie.
“This is a field of work where the growth rate has been positive for some time and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future,” he said. “For those students interested in this career, I believe a job will always be available for someone with a good skill set and a willingness to be trained. The pay is pretty good too.”
There have been more than 500 jobs seeking brazers, cutters, solderers, machine setters, operators, tenders, welders and welder fitters from December 2020 to late May 2021, according to Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas in Arlington. That figure encompasses 16 counties in North Texas.
The fields of construction, manufacturing and administration, support and waste management and remediation services needed the most workers, totaling almost 300. Some of the companies that sought workers include Martin Sprocket & Gear Inc., Minco Construction Co. and Republic Services Inc., according to Workforce Solutions.
Some of the top specialized skills that businesses look for in potential workers include experience in gas metal arc welding and flux core welding, knowing how to read schematic diagrams, using hand tools and operating grinders.
At its North Texas campus, TSTC offers certificates of completion in Structural Welding and Structural and Pipe Welding, and an occupational skills award in Basic Welding – Multiple Processes.
Registration continues for the fall semester, with scholarships available. For more information, go to tstc.edu.