(RED OAK, Texas) – Stephanie Aguilar, Shawna Long, Casey Osgood and Hailey Thomas, all third-semester female students in the Welding Technology program at Texas State Technical College’s North Texas campus, recently voiced their hopes that other women pursue the welding industry.
Aguilar said that although her family includes several welders and welding had interested her from a young age, it was not until later that she began to think of welding as a possible career.
She said that the relationships she has built at TSTC have helped her eliminate any apprehension she might have had about pursuing a certificate of completion in welding.
“At first I was intimidated … but no, you get close to everybody,” Aguilar said. “The teachers are always really involved. You’re not alone. Everyone is there to help you, and you don’t feel alone in the journey.”
Long said one of the things that she has loved about welding is the opportunity to challenge herself to do better.
“I can push myself more than anybody else can, and I feel like I don’t have a limit to that (with welding),” she said. “If you have the desire, you can go far. My grandpa always told me, ‘Aim high, and wherever you fall after that will be better than aiming low.’”
All four students said that despite welding being primarily a male-dominated industry, they had never felt that being women made a difference.
“Everybody is at the same level,” Aguilar said. “A lot of times I’m teaching the guys, or vice versa.”
Thomas encouraged women considering the welding industry to give it a chance.
“Just try it,” she said. “You might love it. It can get tough, but don’t quit. Keep trying.”
Osgood echoed the statement.
“Just do it; don’t be afraid,” she said. “If you don’t do it, you’ve never done it, so you’ll never know.”
Long urged those interested in the industry to at least try.
“Just try,” she said. “If you fail, that’s trying. You’re not really living unless you’re doing something you want to do.”
TSTC offers Welding Technology at each of its 10 campuses located throughout Texas. North Texas’ campus offers several certificates of completion in the program.
According to onetonline.org, welders, cutters, solderers and brazers can earn a yearly median salary of more than $48,000 in Texas. These jobs were expected to increase in the state by 23% between 2020 and 2030, according to the website.
Welding Technology is one of nine programs at TSTC that have money-back guarantees. The college’s commitment to participating students is simple: If they do not have a job in their field within six months after graduation, they will receive a full refund of their tuition. For more information on the Money-Back Guarantee program, visit tstc.edu/mbg.
Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.