Getting a welding or metalworking degree from a technical college can help prove to potential employers that you are serious about welding and that you’ve mastered the necessary skills.
However, when competition is rough for a high-paying position with good benefits, you’ll need to separate from the pack to prove that you’re something special.
Now, this can be a difficult task for a welder just entering the work force, but there are several ways to distinguish yourself while you are still in school. These tips will lead to more jobs, higher paying jobs and job stability.
#1 – Take Initiative
Take initiative while you are in school by taking as many classes as you can afford the time and money for.
This means taking a class even if you’re not particularly interested in that particular welding technique. You never know where the high paying jobs are going to shift to and learning many techniques at school can show employers that you are willing to master them on the job.
This also means taking a few math classes to brush up your arithmetic and geometry. Learning even basic skills will help as any job in welding requires basic math skills. Take the initiative outside class to add, subtract and multiply in your head. Learning this skill can save time and can separate you from the pack.
Finally, learn a bit about the science of welding. Understanding the chemical reactions that are taking place during welding will show potential employers and colleagues that you are serious about welding.
# 2 – Build Good Relationships
Human resource representatives around the country say that most people get jobs because of the people they know. While you can do a lot to make yourself stand out in an interview or welding trial, often it is the people you know that get you the interview.
While you are in school, build relationships with all of your teachers and instructors. They likely have spent years in the welding industry and will have numerous contacts.
If you get to know your professors and distinguish yourself among your peers, they will likely help you get a job when you finish your degree.
Also build relationships with your fellow students, as you never know where they will end up in 10 years and how they can help you in your career. Maintain contact with your classmates.
#3 – Enter Contests
While you are in school, enter as many contests as possible. Winning a contest or prize will stand out on a resume no matter if it is local, regional or national.
Enter contests no matter what your skill level is. Choose contests for students to level out the playing field and increase your chances of distinguishing yourself.
#4 – Complete Internships
When you graduate it is important to have a full and impressive resume. You can accomplish this by doing summer internships or work programs. Most internships are unpaid but they may provide a stipend or cover your work expenses.
Look for internships at your technical college. Ask your teachers and trainers to help place you in an internship.
If you are unable to find one, approach a welding company that you like and ask them if you can apprentice with them. Offer to work for free to get some on the job training and experience.