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Guidance and school Counselors

s u c c e s s A c h i e v i n g

Tips for Counselors, Teachers and Parents Navigating Students toward Welding Careers

in the direction of a rewarding career at all training levels.

right fit The welding industry has something to offer to just about every student. Some may be drawn to the precision of a nan- otechnology career. Others may like the adventure of an underwater welding job. Work locations are as varied as the proj- ects. 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 gradu- ates enter the field building cell phones and computers.

TiPs for CoUnselors

High school students today face some difficult choices about what they want to do with their lives. Amid this information overload, professional coun- selors 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

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 lifestyle questions like the ones on the U.S. Department of Education’s Prepare for My Future Website (www.ed.gov/students/ prep/college/consumerinfo/index. html). This is a great place to check out college options to determine what fits a student’s financial, family and career goals.

Another free online Career Person- ality Assessment is offered by Fun- Education (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.

18 | Careers in Welding

photo courtesy of miller

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 do- ing 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.

resources 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.

Along with the other resources in this guide, you may want to visit the U.S. Department of Labor Career Voy- ages Website (www.careervoyages. gov). The Career Changers section is a valuable tool to show students that welders, cutters, solderers and brazers are considered an in-demand occu- pation. This site is also home to the Career Myths brochure, in the Career Advisors section, which can be a valu- able resource in educating students about the opportunities available to them. For instance, one of the myths busted is “No one will hire me because I lack experience, have low grades, and have gaps in my work history.” The Oc- cupational Outlook Quarterly encour- ages students to not only find ways to overcome these challenges, it lays out strategies for informational interview- ing to get to the next level.

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.

TiPs for ParenTs

did your child build elaborate castles out of blocks as a toddler? did he glue the remote control to the television? does she like to work on cars? these may be signs your child has a natural instinct for welding. Welders understand that by joining things together, they are creating more useful products

sharing the dream

the earlier teens start thinking about what kind of career they would enjoy, the better off theyll be. Just because they change aspirations every six months doesnt mean they arent dedicated. they are trying on different possibilities to find the right fit. you can help in this process by asking questions and guiding them to resources that will give them answers.

the u.s. department of educations think college Website (www.ed.gov/stdents/ prep/college/thinkcollege/edlite-index.html) can help. it includes basic questions about desired education levels, sources of funding for higher education and tips for picking the right school.

another way to spend a productive afternoon is at the vocational information center Welding and metalworking career guide (www.khake.com/page29.html). you will find career descriptions, skill requirements, schools and job-market statistics. or cruise over to careers in Welding (www.careersinwelding.com) for a sampling of the jobs available.

you can also help your teen get a part-time job or internship. even if it is unpaid volunteer work, it will help prepare him or her for college and narrow the choices.

encourage your teen to think big. opportunities abound regardless of financial background. the aWs foundation can make dreams reality thanks to a number of scholarships and fellowships offered each year. you can learn more at www.aws. org/w/a/foundation/index.html.

get Personal share your career choices with your teens. talk about what you do, how you got to where you are and your goals for the future. take your child to see where you work and why you get up in the morning. you can do this through the national take our daughters and sons to Work day (www.daughtersandsonstowork.org) or on your own, informally. use the experience as an opportunity to ask questions. What do they think about the prospect of doing something similar? What would be more interesting? What are their income and lifestyle goals? What is realistic?

do you have an interesting career in construction? volunteer to speak in your teens classroom or at a career day. Who knows, it just may get you fired up about going to work tomorrow.

encourage your teens to do the best they can regardless of their educational goals. Whether their future includes college or technical school will depend on the individual student but make sure they get a high school diploma. counsel your student to take as many courses in math and science as possible. if your child hasnt caught the math is funbug yet, try finding a summer math camp at www.ams.org/employment/mathcamps.html or check out www.sciserv.org.

math and science skills will help them in work and everyday life. teach them to speak and write effectively. regardless of their career choice, the ability to communi- cate is essential in todays world.

Careers in Welding | 19


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