Research EngineerBoeingSeattle, WA
My focus is friction-stir welding of titanium parts. Friction-stir welding is a solid-state joining process that softens rather than melts metals.
|High School: ||Entiat High School|
|College: ||University of Washington, Engineering||
High school students today face some difficult choices about what they want to do with their lives. Amid this information overload, professional counselors can steer students toward careers they may have overlooked. As a career expert, you can point out the benefits of a future in the growing field of welding.
From spaceships to bridges to nanotechnology, welding is an essential part of the structure of our world. A new generation of skilled technicians will be required in the future. You can help fill that need by pointing students in the direction of a rewarding career at all training levels.
The welding industry has something to offer to just about every student. Some may be drawn to the precision of a nanotechnology career. Others may like the adventure of an underwater welding job. Work locations are as varied as the projects. Welders are on location at military bases, at space centers, on construction sites and in university labs, hospitals and auto shops. A growing number of graduates enter the field building cell phones and computers.
You can help future metalworkers decide whether one of the myriad of welding jobs would be a good career fit by asking a series of questions like the ones on the State of Indiana’s Drive of Your Life website (www.driveofyourlife.org). This is a great place to check out college options to determine what fits a student’s career goals.
Another free online Career Personality Assessment is offered by FunEducation (www.funeducation.com). Students rate for accuracy a series of 485 questions such as “Am I the life of the party?” The whole process takes about an hour, and the resulting report gives a range of jobs that may fit the student’s personality type.
Asking questions about workplace, salary, along with hobbies and interests, can start a conversation about a career in welding. You can help bridge the gap between possibilities and reality by showing the things they are already doing in their spare time–jewelry making, auto repair or odd construction jobs– that could lead to a profitable career and help them balance their dreams of family, home and stability.
For more on the future of welding careers, check out the American Welding Society’s Welding Technology Roadmap at http://files.aws.org/research/ roadmap.pdf.
The U.S. Department of Labor also sponsors www.careeronestop.org, a snapshot of jobs, salaries and search tips that can help paint an accurate picture of life as a welder. These resources will allow students to make informed decisions about which of the many welding careers may fit their educational and lifestyle goals. Once you show them what is out there, watch the sparks fly.