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Tiffany Dunlap
Pipe Welder


The Shaw Group
Aquasco, MD

Category:  Pipe/Hull/Structural Welder
 
High School:  Hannah Pamplico High School
Pamplico, SC
 
College:  Florence Darlington Technical College
Darlington, SC

It was my grandmother's idea. She read about the increased demand for welders. At first I dismissed the idea, but I was working in a clothing store then, and I knew I didn't want to do that forever. So I tried a welding class.

How did you get interested in your career?
I've never been book smart, but I've always been good with my hands. I like crafts. In high school I took auto mechanics and could change a brake drum faster than anyone. Even my dad and uncle are welders, I never thought of being one.

It was my grandmother's idea. She read about the increased demand for welders. At first I dismissed the idea, but I was working in a clothing store then, and I knew I didn't want to do that forever. So I tried a welding class.

What's a typical day like in your job?
I'm working at a powerplant in Maryland right now. Every morning we start with a safety meeting. There are a lot of hazards on a jobsite, a lot going on. You need to be alert and aware, or you can get hurt. After that, we grab our tools and go do our assignment.

What do you like most about your job?
Seeing end product, knowing I made it, is a big deal to me. The fact that the work is different every day keeps my attention. I like the physical challenge, too. Often you're carrying 25-30 pounds of equipment up steps or scaffolding. You need a lot of strength.

Why is your job important?
I think a lot of people don't realize how many everyday things are welded. I didn't until I started doing it. Now when I go into a restaurant or a store, I'm always noticing the welds everywhere.

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