Pickens Technical College’s Welding Pathway: Fighting the Skills Gap
The Welding Program at Pickens Technical College sets students up with the best chance to succeed in a variety of jobs that require and will continue to require welding skills. Many businesses and entire sectors rely on welders to deliver services and products to their clients and customers. Many of those businesses have ground to a halt over the last six weeks due to COVID-19, but with the gradual easing of social distancing measures insight, those businesses will need skilled welders now more than ever.
Before COVID’s fears shut down many businesses that rely on welders, welding was an extremely in-demand skill. In fact, many businesses have had to get creative in their recruiting of these skilled workers, while training programs have expanded across the country to try and train people new to this line of work. There has been a skills gap in this sector for years, and when the COVID pandemic finally ends, there’s no reason why these skills won’t be in high demand again.
Training and Education Shifts
One of the reasons why welders are in such high demand is the nature of the job itself. It’s not exactly a glamorous job, and many people looking for a career or a career change don’t even consider the important work welders do as an option.
The truth is, welding is an important component of many repair and manufacturing businesses, and they’re willing to pay handsomely for quality work. Welder salaries in Colorado start at around 30k a year, and with some on-the-job training and experience, it’s common for welders’ salaries to grow quickly.
Some larger companies have started offering their own certificates to welders as a path to lucrative entry-level work, which gives you another way to show your skills and get on a fast track to success. The key to welding education is hands-on practice. The skill of welding takes concentration and repetition to be effective, so many colleges and education systems are taking steps to get welding students the experience they need through internships and other hands-on opportunities.
Pickens is already uniquely set up to deliver the required real-world practice and experience you’ll need to be a successful welder. With the connections that instructor Jeff Oliver has with the local industry, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to be put on shortlists for companies and jobs when you graduate from the Pickens’ Welding Program.
Hope for the Future
The future is uncertain for almost every industry right now. Companies that employ welders have shuttered, some of them forever. But the businesses that survive will need more welders than ever to make up for the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. There could be more competition for the prime jobs when the quarantines lift, but businesses will also be more motivated to get back to their pre-COVID levels.
No one knows how the future of the manufacturing and heavy repair industries will be affected in the long run, but the best thing you can do now is get started on a plan for when business returns to some semblance of normal.