(BRECKENRIDGE, Texas) – Braxton Wade knew what he wanted to do after graduating from Breckenridge High School earlier this year.
“I have always been interested in welding, and I lucked out that we have a (college) campus in my hometown,” he said of studying Welding Technology at Texas State Technical College.
Wade is no stranger to TSTC’s Breckenridge campus. During his junior and senior years of high school, he was enrolled in TSTC’s Welding Technology dual enrollment program.
“It is great to have the dual enrollment opportunity in Breckenridge,” he said. “I got to spend a couple of hours in the welding lab before starting my high school classes. That was a good way to start the school day.”
Stephen Hope is TSTC’s Welding Technology instructor in Breckenridge.
“Having Braxton come back to earn a certificate shows the importance of this program for our community and our high school,” Hope said. “Braxton came in determined to learn as much as he can to become a quality welder.”
Wade said he has not seen many differences in how Hope approaches the welding program with high school students versus college students.
“Stephen makes sure we know what to do,” he said. “We have a lot of one-on-one time if we have questions. Coming from the dual enrollment program, I was able to build a good relationship with Stephen.”
Wade said that after earning his certificate, he plans to make welding his career, no matter the location.
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. The college’s commitment to participating students is simple: If they do not have a job in their field within six months of graduation, then they will receive a full refund of their tuition. For more information on the Money-Back Guarantee program, visit tstc.edu/mbg.
Registration for the spring semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.