More Than Smoke and Flames


For David Velador, KCC’s welding program is the starting point for his life’s new direction.
“I got a new lease on life. I’m a recovering alcoholic. I have a year and a half sober. I actually enrolled at KCC when I was in treatment,” Velador says.
Velador, 36, hails from Tulelake and moved to Klamath Falls to attend KCC. He is working toward a two-year Associate of Arts in General Studies and earning a welding certificate. He plans to complete his degree this year.

KCC's Welding Program

Students interested in careers in welding, engineering, automotive or diesel technology, or any number of trades, should consider earning a welding degree at KCC, according to KCC welding instructor Matt Walter.
KCC offers two paths to welding-related careers: a pathway that focuses on one aspect of welding – stick, TIG or MIG – and can be completed in about two terms or a pathway that allows students to earn a welding certificate in one year.

Growing Career Field

Walter says welding is more than just smoke and flames.
“There are actually a lot of different areas in the welding field – ag, structure, marine, oil, shipbuilding, marketing and sales – and graduates who pursue these careers can earn a decent wage right out of school,” Walter says.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in welding, cutters, solderers and brazers are expected to increase about 4 percent over the next seven years. The agency says in 2015, welders averaged $38,000 per year and made $18.34 per hour.
“If you become proficient in welding, you can pretty much get a job anywhere. Depending on your ambition, you could make six figures. There’s a lot of room for advancement if you want to work hard at it,” Walter said.
Learn more about KCC’s welding options on our website in the KCC catalog.