The world is currently experiencing a shortage of qualified skilled welders as part of the greater “Skilled Trades Gap”. Filling this gap is necessary, as welding impacts many industries and supports the maintenance and growth of infrastructure.

With the demand increase in welding career fields, so has the number of women seeking career-focused training to have the skills to take advantage of these opportunities. At Tulsa Welding School (TWS) and The Refrigeration School Inc (RSI), we have witnessed firsthand the way Gen Zers are diversifying their options for careers and rejecting gender stereotypes, such as the idea that welding is just for men. As the need for welders in the United States grows, women have the chance to lead the charge in filling these important roles—a chance to be part of HERstory.

The increase of women in professional welding can be contributed to many factors. Here are just a few:

  • The growth of career and technical education (CTE) classes at high schools.,
  • Exposure to successful women welders on social media platforms, such as the Tulsa Welding School YouTube channel.
  • Equality in hiring practices with companies using weld test to for all candidates for selection of employment based on skill ability.
  • Seeing “HERstory” being made by women in the industry like Celia Reyes, a 2010 Tulsa Welding School graduate and a successful professional welder.

Celia was recruited at a career fair at the Tulsa campus by her employer, John Zink Hamworthy Combustion,  based on her welding skills. Celia is also mentoring the next generation of female welders with her part-time work as a welding instructor.

Female welding students at TWS and RSI experience firsthand that career-focused welding education is for everyone, no matter their gender. With diversity and inclusion being two of our top priorities, they also get to interact with a diverse student and instructor population at school.

As more students enroll in career-focused education, the number of scholarships in the skilled trades continues to grow. Over the last three years, recipients of the Imagine America Foundation Scholarship have used the scholarship to invest in their training at TWS and RSI. Our High School Admissions Representatives work to educate students, parents, and school counselors about the benefits of the Imagine America Foundation Scholarship, as it truly helps students fund their career-focused training goals. TWS and RSI offer additional scholarships for those who qualify, including the “Women in the Skilled Trades” scholarship.

The employment landscape is changing, and as more women seek employment in welding, providing opportunities for them to learn and succeed in the welding industry is crucial. At TWS and RSI, we see our women students make “HERstory,” learning the skills they need to succeed in the trades and thrive as skilled trades professionals after graduating. The women of TWS and RSI create a legacy that women in the future can follow.


Learn more about the Women in the Skilled Trades Scholarship at Tulsa Welding School

Learn more about the Women in the Skilled Trades Scholarship at The Refrigeration School, Inc.