(ABILENE, Texas) – With construction projects increasing in West Texas, the need for welders will only grow.
Greg Nicholas, Texas State Technical College’s Welding Technology instructor in Abilene, said the number of area job postings for welders increases on a weekly basis, and that means construction is underway.
“Currently there are more jobs available than we have welders in our area. That is a good problem to have,” he said.
With two major construction projects underway in the area, Nicholas said TSTC will play a key role in filling positions. In Abilene, Great Lakes Cheese Co. is planning to build a facility, and Georgia-Pacific is building a second gypsum plant in Sweetwater.
“There are several construction projects going on in our area, and I know many contractors will be needing qualified welders,” Nicholas said.
In West Texas, the average salary for a welder is $46,490, according to onetonline.org. Indeed.com lists more than 60 welding jobs in West Texas.
Nicholas said many of his students are already working on jobs while attending school. One of those students is Jeremiah Hall, who is working toward an Associate of Applied Science degree.
“People are looking for welders all over. I am working at a fabrication shop and doing some welding on the side,” he said.
Hall said when Texas began reopening businesses, people were looking for jobs. He said with more businesses opening up, construction will return at a brisk pace.
“I know that the oil and gas industry is still not what it used to be, but once we get that going, Texas will be booming with even more welding jobs,” he said.
Hall said many contractors are looking for welders to do frame work on projects, and having a degree or certificate from TSTC will help.
“The program is amazing and will prepare you for a great job with great pay,” he said.
Donavan Gomez is also pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree and will have a job waiting when he completes the program.
“I know things are going to pick up for us, and I am glad I am studying for a degree,” he said. “The instructors want all of us to be successful, and that is the most important thing. Our success is the school’s success.”
Nicholas said welding opportunities will always be available, and he works to make sure that TSTC provides quality employees.
Welding Technology is one of five programs at TSTC that have money-back guarantees. The college’s commitment to welding students is simple: If they do not have a job within six months of graduation, they will receive a full refund of their tuition. For more information on the money-back guarantee program, visit https://www.tstc.edu/about/moneybackguarantee.
Registration for the fall semester is underway. Scholarships are available. For more information, visit tstc.edu.