Don’t just grind through college: Why welding might be your perfect spark

As April rolls in, so does National Welding Month. This year, I want to urge our graduating students to consider a path less traveled: welding. While college is a great option for many, it’s not for everyone. Welding offers a rewarding career with excellent pay, all without the burden of mountains of student debt.

For over three decades, I’ve seen the satisfaction that comes with creating something real, something strong, with my own two hands. Welding isn’t just about joining metal; it’s about precision, creativity, and problem-solving. It’s about being part of a team that builds bridges, skyscrapers, even the ships that carry goods across the world.

The demand for skilled welders is high, and it’s only going up. Many industries, from construction to manufacturing, are facing a shortage of qualified professionals. This translates to excellent job security and competitive salaries. You could be earning a good living right out of training, without years spent in a lecture hall.

Welding programs, like the one at Marshalltown (and Ellsworth) Community Colleges, offer a hands-on learning experience that gets you job-ready fast. The sense of accomplishment you get from completing a project, from seeing the tangible results of your hard work, is unlike anything you’ll find in a textbook.

Now, don’t get me wrong, welding isn’t easy. It requires dedication, a strong work ethic, and the ability to learn new things. But if you’re looking for a career that’s challenging, rewarding, and pays well, then welding might just be the spark you need to ignite your future.

So, graduating students, take a moment to consider this alternative path. Explore your options, visit your local welding school, and see if this fiery trade might just become your passion.


John Sly is a member

of the welding faculty at

Marshalltown Community College.


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