HELENA — According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, jobs in the welding trade are growing at a slower rate compared to other jobs at just 2%. however, the number of jobs in the trade that are open currently sits around 10%.
BLS noted the number of jobs open in the industry is due in part to people retiring or leaving the industry for other employment.
At Helena High School on Wednesday, plenty of prospective professional welders showcased their work for families, students, and faculty.
“After next school year, I'm going to be going to one of the welding trade schools or welding program of some sort, getting some certifications and going to either like pipeline welding or something like that, where I get to travel to anywhere I want to go,” said Tithen Fitzgerald, a junior at Helena High.
The showcase on Wednesday was for welding students from various grades and skill levels in the Helena High welding program, with some pieces just up to display their work and others up for sale.
The projects included bracelets, wall decor, benches, and even a go-kart. While some of the students could see themselves making a career out of welding, others see it as a way to challenge themselves to be creative.
“Very interested in the creation process of What can I make? What stops me from making all these interesting projects? And then always trying to get better at something, always learning something new,” said Asa Wood, Helena High sophomore.
And both Fitzgerald and Wood agree there are plenty of reasons to enjoy welding.
“Being thorough and kind of meticulous,” said Wood. “It was taking apart a chain from our projects, figuring out all the different processes, the CAD programing to cut everything out.”
“I've done so many projects. I don't even know how many at this point. It's a lot. And I've just really enjoyed doing all of them,” said Fitzgerald. “It's pointed me to the career I want to do the rest of my life.”