Becky began welding at Loyalist College in Canada after watching her grandfather weld horse stalls out of old steel on her mom’s farm. According to Becky, from that moment she “began to seriously consider welding as a future career choice.”
“Advice I’d want to give a woman entering the welding field. Keep your head down and work hard!
You’re a woman, so you’ll be the talk of the shop/company as soon as you’re hired! Give them no reason to talk badly about you and all they have to say is ‘Yeah she shows up on time, eager to work and is good at what she does!’”
Since enrolling in college, Becky has earned numerous certificates and even scored herself a sweet gig at boatyard.
1. What’s your educational background in welding? Do you have any certificates?
I attended college and received my Certificate in Welding and Fabrication. During my time there I learned the basics of brazing, GTAW, SMAW, GMAW and FCAW. I learned how to draft blueprints on AutoCad and some CNC machine work. Almost all of my training was focused on steel work. After my graduation, I became CWB (Canadian Welding Bureau) certified in Flat SMAW/Stick mild steel and flat horizontal GTAW/TIG mild steel. At my current place of employment I am in-house bend and X-Ray tested and all position aluminum GMAW/MIG welder. I have my level 2 certificate in my New Zealand standard, Boatbuilder apprenticeship with 4 more years to go!
2. What’s your favorite type of welding?
My favorite process of welding is GTAW (TIG) on any material! Unless it’s sand cast; then forget it!! I love TIG for its precision. All the controls are literally in your hand. You can read the puddle and act on what you see instantly. Too hot, scroll the heat down. Too much filler rod, add less! The amount of concentration TIG takes is a good stress reliever too. All you can think about is the consistency of your weld; the rest of the world’s problems float away!
3. What inspires your work?
I’m inspired by all the talented welders I see everyday posting on Instagram as well as the ones I work with! Seeing the quality and consistency of their work pushes me to strive for better in my own. I strongly believe in the age old saying “You’re only as good as your last weld.” If your work is only good 2 times out of 10, you can not make a good name for yourself or have quality work.
4. Do you have a favorite piece that you made?
Currently I work in a boatyard; building 70-foot fire Rescue boats and let me tell you everyday I feel very lucky to be in the position I am! To see something that large and impressive and to be lucky enough to say you helped build it is a very rewarding feeling.
5. Is it difficult to be a woman in this field?
You know what?! Yes, sometimes it is. You definitely have to have tough skin and broad shoulders. The guys will tease you to no end some days! But that being said, it’s no worse then what they would do to each other. You just have to take it in stride. There are tons of sweet hearts to work with and the occasional….[jerk ]….but you know you’ll find that anywhere you go! Most of the time, the guys will go out of their way to help me move a gas cylinder even though I am more then capable of doing it myself. I’ve had the pleasure to work with a lot of really talented, nice and hard working guys!
6. Where do you see the welding industry as well as yourself in 10 years?
Oh jeeze! I’m no psychic, but I do see a large shortage in all the trades coming in the years ahead. The Canadian government is already subsidizing a lot of trades programs in college to entice the younger generations into this career path. I myself received a bursary for my college tuition. In 10 years I hope to see myself as a successful 30 year old, TIG welding up a storm! To be honest, I have no clue where I’ll be. Maybe have a welder on the back of my truck doing my own work. Maybe out in Alberta working for the pipelines! It’s hard to say but every option I can think of sounds full of promise.
It’s women like Becky that inspire our work at Arc-Zone.com… if you know a woman welder who’d like to be interviewed and profiled for our New Rosies column, let us know!