The High School sports teams get all the attention this time of year but the skilled trades competitors will get the jobs and good-paying jobs at that.

So let's talk...welding.

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Builders Of The Future

Just like the District and Regional Basketball tournaments that are underway right now, the High School District Welding competition heats up the week as well.

Wednesday, February 23rd, will see more than 80 student welders from around the state gather at the Wapato High School Ag. Mechanics Shop to compete in a District Welding Competition.  Never assume, so..what is welding?

Welding is a fabrication process whereby two or more parts are fused together by means of heat, pressure or both forming a join as the parts cool. Welding is usually used on metals and thermoplastics but can also be used on wood. The completed welded joint may be referred to as a weldment.
In other words, welding is the process that holds much of the world together and in its proper place. That goes down as kind of important in my book!  (My Dad knew how to weld and I have an uncle and a brother-in-law that are both highly skilled professional welders)

Who Is Best Behind The Mask

 The competition in Wapato will be based on real-world industry standards with the students being judged on their abilities to read blueprints and work with others to successfully finish a project with the appropriate welds.

Welding Has A solid Future

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says

 Employment of welders, cutters, solderers and brazers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 49,200 openings for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers are projected each year, on average, over the decade that could change for the better for welders with babyboomers retiring and the Biden Infrastructure Bill generating projects that will require welders.
Welding is among the highest paying skilled trades in the country with a median entry-level wage of over $40,000 per year or about $20 per hour. It's also an accessible career since the requirement to begin learning the trade is usually a high school diploma (or GED).

Meet The Need, Make The Money

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has reported that 60 percent of the manufacturers looking to hire are rejecting about half of all applicants because they lack welding skills and training. NAM also says that over 80 percent of U.S. manufacturers complain that they cannot find enough skilled welders to meet the demand.

In Washington State, the average base salary for a welder is $21.67 per hour but welders working for the Dept. of Energy can earn 52.60 per hour...that's more than 100-grand a year.

And while welding is a male-dominated profession, there is always a chance you could meet someone like the attractive Alex (Jennifer Beals) who welded and wowed in the movie" Flashdance".   The song "Flashdance...What A Feeling" cleaned up at the best song in movie awards.

Good luck to the State's young welders, on Wednesday and into the future.

Check Out the Best-Selling Album From the Year You Graduated High School

Do you remember the top album from the year you graduated high school? Stacker analyzed Billboard data to determine just that, looking at the best-selling album from every year going all the way back to 1956. Sales data is included only from 1992 onward when Nielsen's SoundScan began gathering computerized figures.

Going in chronological order from 1956 to 2020, we present the best-selling album from the year you graduated high school.