Learn how Christian from Texas, went from making $63,000 annually as a pipe fitter to $115,000 as a welder in just 5 months with the help of Mia Share.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING PRIOR TO WELDING?
I was a pipe fitter for a TEiC construction company that services power generation and processing plants around the country. I met a lot of welders through my job and was intrigued by welding and the growth it could provide. About a year ago, I decided to pursue the next step and enrolled in a local trade school to receive my welding certification.
HOW DID IT FEEL GOING BACK TO SCHOOL?
The instructors helped me out a lot because the teacher-to-student ratio was perfect. In other places, there are too many students to an instructor, and you hardly even have the chance to talk to your instructor. At certain times, it was frustrating. Really, the most difficult thing for me was working while still going to school. Some days I was too tired to go after work, especially since welding it a hard skill to learn, but I just told myself I needed five months. But the students and teachers are all cool. We all got along very well. That's what made it fun to be around, you know, people that have the same goals and are in the same field as you.
WHAT COURSE DID YOU TAKE?
I enrolled in a combo welding class at Weld Live Nation. I looked into paying out of pocket, but also had a bunch of other expenses and was unsure I was able to budget it out while paying out of pocket. That’s when Brandon, the owner, told me about Mia Share and that it was an easy application. I thought, the more time I spend sleeping on this opportunity and not being in school, the more money I am losing. I sent in my application, got accepted, and began my course in a week.
HOW IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH MIA SHARE?
I’ve been surprised, it's pretty straightforward. It’s easy to navigate, I just have to update my income and pay my portion. If there’s ever any error or question, I just call in and get someone to help me immediately. It’s just really easy, there’s not much to say. You should have no headache trying to navigate through the platform, you guys make it so easy.
HOW HAS YOUR WORK LIFE BEEN SINCE GRADUATION?
After graduating from school, I was able to gain the confidence to take a welding test, right where I worked, they went ahead and promoted me to a certified welder after that. So, I’m still welding at the same company I was pipe fitting for. I’m actually working nights at the moment, working on turnaround. I used to make between $20-$22 an hour doing random pipe fitting, now I make about $33 an hour plus my per diem rate as a structural welder.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE THINKING ABOUT PURSUING HIGHER EDUCATION?
One piece of advice I would give is, that this isn't the time to get frustrated, just go for it, it’s going to benefit you in the end. Don’t be afraid and just take that leap. A lot of people tend to be scared of messing up, but in reality, you gain more from failure than you do comfort. For welding specifically, you get to weld the whole entire time in class. There are those that say you learn more on-site, but I would disagree. I got so much time under the hood during my time at school. Instructors teach you how to get started in welding, really teach you the basics, what to look for, what mistakes to not make, and then how to fuel, and that's when you get the real-world scenario. The more you get to apply these skills, the easier it gets to progress, I promise.