Page 8 - 2018 LWTech Tranformations Magazine
P. 8

LWTech Spotlight
LWTech Fills Demand for Skilled Welders
“If they get their degree,
The demand for skilled welders
is on the rise, yet there are
not enough trained workers
to meet the need. In fact, the
American Welding Society
estimates there will be a
shortage of 400,000 welders by
2024. While the growth of the
manufacturing industry is partially
responsible for this demand, an even
bigger contributor is the average age of
the current workforce: 57 years old.* As these
welders retire, the demand for skilled replacements will only increase. LWTech is helping meet that demand, with graduates of our Welding Technology AAS degree and certi cate programs.
“My problem is not helping my students  nd work for after they graduate. The problem is getting them to  nish their program,” said Assistant Welding Professor, Sarah Mason. The demand for welders is so great
that companies are hiring students before they can complete their program. “I have to tell my students
to not go work for these companies and only make $18/hour. If they get their degree, they will start out making more money, and move up in pay a lot faster,” Mason added.
Assistant Welding Professor, Sarah Mason, discusses welding technique with a student.
Mason worked as a welder for the Boeing Company for several years.
In addition to being a member of LWTech’s welding faculty, she still works as a welder and serves in
the U.S. Navy Reserves. Mason and the other instructors use a hands- on approach to teach students the
fundamentals of welding. “I love my teachers,” said welding student Gayle
Lunsford. “They help guide you – you just have to make the e ort to do the work.”
Lunsford, who started here in Spring 2017, says she likes the diversity of the students in her program. “There are people who are fresh out of high school, veterans, people who are retired, and those who just need a new career path. Everyone here has a di erent end goal in mind or an area of expertise they want to get certi ed in and the welding program is how they are going about that goal,” she said.
Whether you’ve just graduated from high school, been laid-o , want to enhance your skills, or are looking for a new career, our Welding Technology program can help you accomplish your goals. As Mason says, “There is no limit to what our students can and will do.”
Learn more at
they will start out making more money, and move up in pay a lot faster.”
Sarah Mason, Assistant Welding Technology Professor
* Source:
7 | Lake Washington Institute of Technology

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