TSTC student challenges the traditional notion of welding

(ABILENE, Texas) – Andrea Green admitted she wanted to do something different in her life.

Researching college opportunities, Green, a native of Abilene, learned about Texas State Technical College’s Welding Technology program. Without any welding experience, Green enrolled in the program and is working toward an Associate of Applied Science degree.

“I wanted to do something different and something big,” she said. “I am good at hands-on work and have watched welders do what they do. I said to myself, ‘I can do this.’”

Green knew the welding field was dominated by men, but that did not deter her.

“I knew welding was mainly a field for men, but I have done things a lot of women normally do not do,” she said. “So I went for it, and I have enjoyed it.”

Green is entering her second semester in the program and has a goal in sight.

“Looking at the big picture, it would be cool to tell people I help build skyscrapers or build space rockets,” she said.

She admitted some of her classmates were impressed that she was working on the process of gas tungsten arc welding.

“After a few weeks of work, I liked what I was doing and the way it looks,” she said.

Green said her classmates were “shocked” but welcoming when they saw her the first time.

“Throughout the semester they saw my progress, and we learned to help each other,” she said.

The instructors are also key to helping Green and other students.

“Everyone has a different technique. It is good to see techniques from more than your point of view,” she said. “The instructors show us something, and I tell myself that I can try that. I try it, and it gives me the outcome I like.”

She also said instructors are approachable when it comes to helping students.

“You do not have to be intimidated to ask for help. The instructors are always willing to help,” she said.

Green said she hopes more women will look at a career in welding. She has seen a trend in which women are working in male-dominated fields and hopes welding is added to the list.

“Slowly but surely, women are working their way into male-dominated fields,” she said. “Just because men dominate a field doesn’t mean you can’t do it. You just have to try.”

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.