Women Weld Too

Women Weld Too

Female Welders' Spotlight

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Scholarships for Women

In addition to the AWS Scholarships, there are a number of exclusive scholarships for women:

William A. Rice Family, Women in Welding
Awarded to a female candidate attending one of the following universities: Ferris State University, The Ohio State University, LeTourneau University, Pennsylvania College of Technology, or Montana Tech of the University of Montana.
Women of Gases & Welding - District 20
Founded in November 2011, the Women of Gases & Welding (WGW) has a mission to enhance the success of women in the gases and welding industry through advocacy, recruitment, and professional development.
Air Products Women of Gases & Welding
The new scholarship was inspired by the WGW, an organization launched last year for the advocacy, recruitment, and professional development of females in the gases and welding industry.

Applications open December 2018 at scholarship.aws.org

Scholarship Recipients

The AWS Foundation would like to recognize some of last year’s scholarship recipients who are helping to blaze a trail for women in welding.

Air Products Women in Gases and Welding Scholarship
Leah Clifton
LeTourneau University
Materials Joining Engineering

Donald J. Beneteau Scholarship
Erin Beaver
Pennsylvania College of Technology
Welding & Fabrication Engineering Technology

D. Fred and Marian L. Bovie Scholarship
Emily Flitcraft
The Ohio State University
Welding Engineering

D. Fred and Marian L. Bovie Technical Scholarship
Haley Cohen
SUNY College of Technology at Delhi

Gadomski, HeatherWilliam A. and Ann M. Brothers Scholarship
Heather Gadomski
Pennsylvania College of Technology
Welding & Fabrication Engineering Technology

Mellott-ElianaBarbara and Richard Couch Hypertherm Scholarships
Eliana Mellott
Rochester Institute of Technology
Software Engineering

Deere and Company Scholarships
Katya Pechacek
Pennsylvania College of Technology
Welding & Fabrication Engineering Technology

Kelly-CheyenneDonald F. Hastings Scholarship
Cheyenne Kelly
Ferris State University
Welding Engineering Technology

Logue-JessicaJohn C. Lincoln Memorial Scholarship
Jessica Logue
Pennsylvania College of Technology
Welding & Fabrication Engineering Technology

William A. Rice Family, Women in Welding Scholarships
Ashlyn Childs
Ferris State University
Welding Engineering Technology

William A. Rice Family, Women in Welding Scholarships
Tylah Fortson
The Ohio State University
Welding Engineering

Jones-AshleyJohn M. Stropki (STEM) Scholarship
Ashley Jones
Eastern Michigan University
Technology Management

Arizona Section Hall of Knowledge Scholarship
Hope Struse
Cochise College
Welding & Fabrication Engineering Technology

Hawk-CherylColorado Section Scholarship
Cheryl Hawk
Colorado School of Mines

Detroit Section Scholarship
Maria Cantin
Washtenaw Community College

Kimberley-SusannahDetroit Section Scholarship
Susannah Kimberley
St. Clair Community College
Weld Art

Nye-LindsayDetroit Section Scholarship
Lindsay Nye
Pennsylvania College of Technology
Welding & Fabrication Engineering Technology

Russell-KatherineDetroit Section Scholarship
Katherine Russell
Michigan Technological University
Materials Science Engineering

Arreola-OliviaFox Valley
Olivia Arreola
Fox Valley Technical College

McGill-JacquelineRon Van Arsdale – Houston Section Scholarship
Jacqueline McGill
Lone Star College
Inspection Technology Specialization

McCormick-KatieDale & Marolyn Mortensen – Idaho/Montana Section Scholarship
Katie McCormick
Helena College-University of Montana

Morris-DaniellaJohn F. Hinrichs Memorial Scholarship
Daniella Morris
The Ohio State University
Welding Engineering

Mesec-MindyTri-Tool, Inc.–Sacramento Section Scholarship
Mindy Mesec
Sierra College
Nondestructive Testing

Canteberry-RebeccaLouis DeFreitas–Santa Clara Valley Section Scholarships
Rebecca Cantaberry
Sierra College

Machen-CassandraAim High - Jerry Clay Scholarship
Cassandra Machen
Ferris State University
Welding Engineering Technology

Meyers-ErinChicago Section Scholarship
Erin Meyers
Moraine Valley Community College

Flynn-SamamthaRoland Edward “Buck” Emmert - Kansas City Section Scholarship
Samantha Flynn
Metropolitan Community College

Houghton-SydneyDistrict 20 – Women of Gases & Welding Scholarship
Sydney Houghton
Pueblo Community College

Christensen-KristineDistrict 13 Educators Scholarship
Kristine Christensen
Moraine Valley Community College

Stegall-MelissaDistrict 22 Educators Scholarship
Melissa Stegall
California Polytechnic State University

Raymond-AshleyPraxair Limited Scholarship – Kansas City
Ashley Raymond
Metropolitan Community College

Low-JeannettePraxair Limited Scholarship – North Carolina
Jeannette Low
Wake Technical Community College (Triangle)


The sky is the limit for Women in Welding by Monica Pfarr

When a woman graduates from welding school, the only uncertainty she may have is which job offer to accept. Despite common misconceptions to the contrary, welding can be a great career for women, for a number of reasons:

  1. There is currently a huge demand for welding personnel, and women fit into the picture well because they are typically fast learners, manually dexterous, and reliable employees on the job. The demand comes from the fact that many welding personnel who have built their skills over a lifetime are presently retiring and there is a need to replace them. Combine this with the present and strong need to build and refurbish U.S. national infrastructure, and the opportunities become obvious.
  2. Welding provides relatively high average pay, and there is typically little or no gap between male and female salaries in this field. According to federal statistics, the average wage for welders, cutters, solderers and brazers tops $40,000 a year, and pay can go much higher in certain applications for highly skilled workers.
  3. Women proved their ability to handle tough construction and manufacturing jobs in filling labor shortages during World War II. Now, with the need for skilled welders again at a premium, many employers are specifically seeking women as a means of creating gender diversity in the workplace.

Concerned about working conditions? The notion that welding is “dark, dirty, and dangerous” is a proven myth, and many welding jobs are now undertaken in clean and pleasant workplace environments. In fact, there are tremendous opportunities in manufacturing and construction, and current jobs in this sector have greater demand than ever for complex skillsets. The result is a very favorable environment for welders and many other types of manufacturing workers entering the trade. Of course, greater skill needed for modern jobs typically means higher wages and improved working conditions. In addition to increasing wages, the demand for higher skills also improves job security.

So, how does one get the training to qualify for premium welding jobs? There are many dedicated welding schools throughout the U.S., and welding and technology programs are growing in traditional colleges and other post-secondary education institutions. A fast search on the Internet should reveal many training programs in a given area. When it comes to paying for welding-related education, the American Welding Society (AWS) offers a variety of scholarships through the AWS Foundation to help recipients pursue their career goals. In the past 25 years, AWS Foundation scholarships have been provided to more than 5,000 students, totaling well above $6 million. More information on obtaining a welding scholarship can be found on-line at www.aws.org/about/page/scholarships.

According to the American Welding Society, only about 5% of present welding personnel are female, so there is ample opportunity to join the field. One approach to encouraging young women to develop welding skills is a series of welding summer camps for girls throughout North America. As described in a recent AWS Welding Journal article,* the camps are based on the premise that it is unreasonable to let half the working population believe that welding and other manufacturing jobs are not for them. More and more, women are being recognized as a big part of the solution to the skills gap. In Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Fox Valley Technical College invites high school girls into its science, fabrication, and welding labs for summer camp. Called “Girls in the Shop,” the program focuses on welding, as well as other applications in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. In Mobile County, Alabama, a construction camp program for girls is offered to eighth- and ninth-graders for a week each summer to teach them the basics of carpentry, welding, pipefitting, and more. In Canada, the Canadian Welding Association Foundation offers “Mind over Metal” welding camps across the country to expose young people to welding.

AWS, in conjunction with The Lincoln Electric Company, has taken a mobile approach to exposing the public to welding by campaigning a Careers in Welding tractor trailer across North America.  For several years, the trailer has visited schools, fairs, and conventions to give people a chance to live the welding experience by operating “virtual” welding machines.

Any way you look at it, the future looks bright for young people who are considering entering the welding field. And, as mentioned, this is especially true for non-traditional welding job candidates, such as women.

Monica Pfarr is the Executive Director of the American Welding Society Foundation

*”Wendy the Welder to the Rescue,” by A. Babinski, Welding Journal, May 2016.






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