g u i l l e r m o g a l l a r d o A g e : 4 0 P r e s i d e n t C o m p l e t e W e l d i n g & C u t t i n g s u p p l i e s , P o m o n a , C a l i f . Q A &
College: University of Washington, seattle,Wash. HigH sCHool: entiat High school, entiat,Wash.
What is a typical day like in your job? Paul: I lead the welding and forming technology group for commercial airplanes. My focus is friction-stir welding of titanium parts. Friction-stir welding is a solid-state joining process that softens rather than melts metals. I’m also in the shop developing ideas or making test parts.
Why is your job important? Paul: We facilitate new airplane designs and high-per- formance structures that allow Boeing to make a better airplane. But the work we do here impacts the state of technology across multiple industries and countries. We explore innovations at the leading edge of research. We’re the guys working on new stuff for the future.
What do you like most about your job? Paul: Being in the shop and playing with the machines. I’m not stuck behind a desk. I get to work with my hands, apply the fundamentals of science in the real world and see the fruits of my labor.
What kind of training and education did you need to get this job? Paul: An engineering degree in any field gives you the background you need, but mostly you are learning on the job. I’ve always liked science and math and enjoyed hands-on work: things like shop class in high school and machine class in college. I didn’t know what I would end up doing until I was in the middle of my master’s program and began working with one of my professors on a stir-welding project. Now I’m pursuing a Ph.D. with support from Boe- ing’s “Learning Together” program, which covers tuition and includes a stipend for books.
12 | Careers in Welding
College: riverside Community College, riverside, calif. HigH sCHool: la Zaro Cardenas High school, tijuana, mexico
How did you get interested in your career? guillermo: Right out of high school I started driving trucks for a welding supply company in California. I did that for four years until I broke a finger rolling a cylinder, and then they put me at the counter. Working in the shop made me want to learn more about welding so I enrolled at Riverside Commu- nity College. Eventually I worked my way up to store manager and then an opportunity in sales came up. I found out that’s what I do best.
But entrepreneurship is in my genes. At 28, I opened my own store using $50,000 from a loan against my house. It was just a small shop, but within a few years I could afford to open two more. Five years after I went out on my own, I bought the company I started at, after my old boss died.
Why is your job important? guillermo: Nothing is built without welding supplies. Even if it’s plastic, it came from a mold, and that has to start with an alloy. Welding is part of every industry. It’s one of the last industries that will ever die.
What advice do you have for young people who are considering this career? guillermo: They need to stay focused. For 10 years I was making $10 to $15 an hour. But I was learning. If anyone had told me I would end up owning my own business, I would have worked for free. The experience and knowledge I gained to start my own business was priceless.
P a u l e d w a r d s A g e : 2 5 r e s e a r c h e n g i n e e r B o e i n g , s e a t t l e , W a s h . Q A &
C a l e b H a s t i n g s A g e : 2 4 r o b o t i c s W e l d e r T h e s h a w g r o u p , C l i f f s i d e , n . C . P r o j e c t Q A &
College: florence darlington Technical College, darlington, s.c. HigH sCHool: Hartsville High school, hartsville, s.c.
What is a typical day like in your job? Caleb: Right now I’m working at the site of a powerplant ad- dition in North Carolina. I’m doing orbital welding using robot- ics. The job requires 24 hours of welding and two people per shift. I work the night shift. We sit at a computer monitor and control a robotic machine that does the welding. It’s almost like playing a video game. But we still have to wear protective gear: long sleeves, safety glasses and other equipment.
How did you get interested in your career? Caleb: In high school I wasn’t very good at math and I didn’t like computers much. But I wanted to make good money. I went to a technical college, and the first time I welded I knew it was what I wanted to do.
What kind of training and education did you need to get this job? Caleb: Years ago a lot of pipe welders were trained on the job. Now most employers want trained people. After technical col- lege I did hand welding in a fabrication shop. Later, I returned to technical college for further training in orbital welding. I use computers now because that’s where welding is heading.
What do you like most about your job? Caleb: I love what I do. Pipe welders are near the top of the project organization. The pay is great. You can work anywhere in the world, and I definitely plan to travel. You’re doing some- thing different every day and meeting new people all the time. The sky is the limit. It’s an awesome career choice.
j o r d a n K a y A g e : 2 0 W e l d i n g t e c h n i c i a n C i t y o f M i n o t , n . d . Q A &
College: north dakota state College of science, Wahpeton, n.d. HigH sCHool: Minot High school, minot, n.d.
How did you get interested in your career? jordon: I’ve been in a wheelchair since I was six years old. I first tried welding when I was a kid. I liked the fire and using my hands to make things. I want to do TIG [Tungsten Inert Gas] welding. It’s a clean kind of welding that uses a tungsten elec- trode to heat the metal. It requires a lot of patience and steady hands. I’m pretty good at it.
What kind of training and education did you get? jordon: All through high school I took welding classes. In college, I got an associate’s degree in welding technology.
Several instructors and students helped me build a wheel- chair that raises and lowers so I can reach equipment more easily. It looks like a regular wheelchair, but it’s pneumatic. Two cylinders under the seat raise it up and down. There are restric- tors so it lowers gently. Two legs push down in front so it doesn’t roll.
Students in the machine class made the parts. I welded them with the help of my lab teacher, Joel Johnson. My fabrication teacher, Jay Schimelfenig, actually designed the chair. We worked out the kinks together.
What advice do you have for young people who are considering this career? jordon: Take as much math as you can in high school. I’m terrible at math but I had to take advanced math in college. I wish I had taken more math classes in high school.
Careers in Welding | 13