(ROSENBERG, Texas) – Carlos Ulin Jr. may have just earned his Associate of Applied Science degree in Welding Technology at Texas State Technical College’s recent fall 2021 commencement ceremony, but he already has his sights set on what comes next: a certificate of completion in Structural and Pipe Welding from TSTC.
The Sugar Land resident hopes to apply his welding skills at power plants or on pipelines in the future — with travel as a main goal.
But there was a time when Ulin was not as certain about what he should be doing.
He was actually studying psychology at another college when someone at his job mentioned TSTC’s Welding Technology program to him.
“I’d always found it interesting, but I’d never researched it,” Ulin said of welding, adding that he appreciated the art of the craft. “I’ve also always been a hands-on person. I wasn’t sure about the other school because I didn’t like sitting down much.”
The proximity of TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus to his home helped motivate Ulin to apply. Some of his existing credits transferred to TSTC, and he completed his degree ahead of schedule.
His experience has already led him to recommend TSTC to others.
“I say, ‘You should come to this school – it’s close, you’ll have a fun time, it feels like home, you can be yourself, and you’re still learning a lot,’” Ulin said.
He added that TSTC’s instructors go above and beyond in teaching their courses, including teaching students about measuring and fitting pipes.
“I feel very blessed for the instructors I’ve had for the past year,” Ulin said. “I learned not only welding, but specific stuff I can do out in the real world.”
The essential work that welders complete — and the potential for quality pay — also drew Ulin to the industry.
“It will be a stable job, and it will always be in demand,” he said.
In Texas, welders can earn an average annual salary of $45,250, and the number of welding positions in the state is expected to grow by 13% through 2028, according to onetonline.org.
Texas employs the highest number of welders in the nation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Out of all the metropolitan areas in the United States, the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area has the highest number of welders, positioning welding graduates at TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus for success.
TSTC’s Welding Technology program is part of the college’s Money-Back Guarantee. If a graduate of this program does not get hired within six months of earning their degree, TSTC will refund their tuition.
If a prospective student might be feeling unsure about the choices they are making for their future, Ulin suggests that they reach out to TSTC.
“TSTC will help you make that decision become clearer,” he said. “I enjoyed my entire time here. It’s a really good experience and an important industry.”
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Welding Technology, certificates of completion in Structural Welding and Structural and Pipe Welding, and an occupational skills award in Basic Welding – Multiple Processes.
Enrollment for the spring semester at TSTC is underway. Learn more at tstc.edu.