WHAT WAS YOUR BACKGROUND BEFORE ATTENDING TRADE SCHOOL?
Before attending Elite Specialty Welding, I was just working with my parent's in a shipping company. I had recently graduated from high school and I was looking to make my next move. I had always known about welding since it was somewhat of a family trade, they taught me so much about it throughout the years. My uncle knew a teacher that taught at Elite and my cousin was already taking the class, so I decided to enroll there.
HOW HAS ELITE SPECIALTY WELDING AFFECTED YOUR CAREER PATH?
At Elite Specialty, I applied for the combo pipe welding course. It helps students learn about a variety of different techniques, so I thought it would be a more complete approach to welding. Once I graduated from the program, I looked into becoming a CWI, certified welding inspector, and I’m currently completing that course now. Once I’m certified, the earning potential varies depending on your region. If you’re willing to travel, you can earn up to $150K, but the average salary is around $75-$100K.
HOW DID MIA SHARE HELP YOU ON YOUR EDUCATIONAL JOURNEY?
One of my teachers told me about Mia Share and the Income Share Agreement plan. My parents were supportive of my enrollment in trade school, so they would have helped me pay out of pocket for the course. But I was looking to earn the certification with as little help as possible, especially since I knew I wanted to continue my education to become a CWI. The ISA plan helped me become a welder without the financial burden of working through my course or feeling dependent on my parents.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS?
I hope to be practicing within the welding industry. I am looking into traveling as a CWI once I graduate, but within five years, I hope to own a house that I paid off with my earnings. I think that’s one of the most rewarding experiences I look forward to.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THOSE PURSUING A TRADE SCHOOL EDUCATION?
The time you put in, is the progress that you will make. When you keep practicing in a trade school, eventually you'll get better at it because you become comfortable with the technique or the material. A friend of mine applied to the same course I completed, and I advised the same for him. He practices every day and he sees improvement. Welding is one of those industries where the more time you put into it, the more reward you’ll receive.