6 Reasons to Train for a Career in Welding

Welding is a career that is in great demand right now. Lack of skilled trades in the work force has made welding a very sought after profession. “Hard work, dedication and the drive to be the best we can at what we do, sets welding apart from other trades,” boasts, STVT San Antonio, Combination Welding Instructor, Samuel Elizondo. We asked him for his professional thoughts why welding is such a beneficial career path. Here are 6 reasons why you should train for a career in welding:

  1. Skilled Welders Are Always in High Demand

 Welding is one of the few career choices that is always in high demand. Since welders are vital in almost every industry, they have the flexibility of moving from one industry to another without changing careers. As a career choice, welding has endless opportunities that continue to fuel the demand.  There are very few things made in the world today that have not been in the hands of a welder, at one point or another. In addition, according to a report by Weld-Ed, the National Center for Welding Education and Training, between 2009 and 2019, there will be a need for 238,692 new and replacement welding professionals. One major reason for the high need is that the average age of the welder in this country is about 60 years old. As this generation of welders retires, the demand for skilled welders to replace them, increases.

  1. Welders Have Endless Career Paths to Choose From

Demand for welders has been high all over the country, but in Texas, in particular, the demand has been strong for the past few years, largely because of the booming energy-related industries. Welding is career that offers a vast number of industries to work in, which greatly increases the number of career paths to choose from. A few examples of the fields in which you can work are: inspection, engineering, education, project management, sales, and robotics.

  1. Welders Have the Opportunity to Travel the World

Welders travel the world due to their jobs and their unique skill sets. Welding is done everywhere from the bottom of the ocean, to outer space and everywhere in between.  It is a profession that can take you places.

  1. Welding Can Be Quite Lucrative

Welding is one of the higher paid skilled trades in the industry. Depending on skill level most welders make very good money. Did you know that welding is one of the few careers where you can earn a six figure income without a college degree? Highly skilled welders willing to travel and/or work in hazardous conditions can earn upwards of $100,000 a year.  But remember, just like any other profession, when it comes to welding, salaries can vary a lot.  If you are well trained, at a welding school like South Texas Vocational Technical Institute, willing to work hard, and possess a good work ethic, the sky’s the limit.

  1. Job Satisfaction: Welders Love What They Do

Welders are used to hard work and do not mind doing it. Becoming a welder takes patience, practice and persistence. Completing the perfect weld is a feeling like no other. Welders take pride in their work; that coupled with the fact that they are actually making something with their own hands, contributes to the level of job satisfaction.

  1. Welders Aren’t Stuck Behind a Desk

Many people choose welding as a career because they don’t want to be stuck behind a desk all day. Welders get to work in a variety of different environments from hot to cold, or high in the sky, to deep under water. The choices are endless.

As you can see, there are many reasons to pursue a career in welding and the possibilities are endless. To get started or to request information about the Combination Welding program at STVT click here.

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator/Blog Editor – STVT Institute

Tips for a Healthy and Happy Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is one of the most celebrated holidays of the year and rightfully so.  We’re celebrating the birth of, not only our nation, but the birth of democracy itself.  And how do we choose to celebrate? With fireworks, family, sunshine and barbecues, of course!

But the holiday can also come with a few potential hazards if you’re not careful. Not to worry; we’ve got some helpful tips to make this Fourth a happy and healthy one!

Bring some earplugs

And no, they’re not to tune out your annoying cousin Larry.  Fireworks can produce a sound output that is in the 150 to 175 decibel range. The World Health Organization recommends that adults not be exposed to more than 140 decibels of peak sound pressure and for children, the recommendation is 120 decibels. Ear protection is recommended for decibels above 85.  So be sure to grab a pair of earplugs before you head out to enjoy the fireworks.

Apply Sunscreen

To keep your skin from matching the red, in the red, white, and blue of the American flag, you’ll want to apply sunscreen.  According to the American Academy of Dermatology it takes approximately 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you. So you’ll want to put it on before you’re out in the sun. You’ll want to use something with an SPF of 30 or higher, that is water resistant and provides broad-spectrum coverage. Reapply every couple of hours to prevent sunburn. Follow the American Academy of Dermatology’s tips on How to apply sunscreen and you should be covered.

Stay Hydrated

Being outside in the sun for a picnic or barbeque cookout can make you more susceptible to dehydration and other health risks. Keeping a bottle of water nearby will help to keep you cool and hydrated throughout the day’s festivities. Plus alternating each alcoholic beverage (if you are of age) with a bottle of water, will help to stave off alcohol-induced dehydration.

Practice Safe Barbecuing

So you’re the one who’s manning or woman-ing the grill; then it’s up to you to make sure that you’re practicing safe barbecuing. This means that you’re designating different plates for the raw and cooked meat, you’re marinating food in the refrigerator and not out on the counter, you’re cooking the food thoroughly, you’re not leaving the food out in the sun for more than 2 hours (one if temperatures are really extreme), and you’re following the manufacturer’s instructions for safely operating your grill.

Follow these tips and you’re sure to have a happy and healthy Fourth of July!

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator/Blog Editor – South Texas Vocational Technical Institute

8 Essential Auto Repair Tools

Whether you are starting your career as an automotive service professional or starting career training in the Automotive Service Technician program at STVT San Antonio, one thing remains true for both, you are going to need some tools.

Here is a list of 8 essential tools used in auto repair, compiled by our very own Automotive Service Technology instructor, Adam Moore:

  1. Cordless Impacts – Cordless power tools are replacing most lighter-duty pneumatic tools due to the advantages of not being tethered to a hose. Hoses/couplers can be an impediment to using the tools in tight spaces and present an additional danger to customers’ paint finish as well as a tripping hazard on the shop floor.
  2. Ratcheting Wrenches – Ratcheting wrenches have become essential time-saving tools. The ratcheting function can be combined with a number of other features such as flex-head, locking flex, reversible ratcheting mechanisms, and offset or ‘socket’ style inserts to make ratcheting wrenches useful in situations where conventional wrenches are ineffective or overly tedious.
  3. Long-handled Ratchet – In days past, a non-ratcheting ‘breaker bar’ was kept at hand to ‘break’ fasteners loose before using a ratchet to quickly remove them.  In may cases, ratchet mechanisms have now surpassed the strength of non-ratcheting breaker bars, making a long-handled ratchet able to loosen, as well as tighten, fasteners that would have damaged older ratchets.
  4. Power Probe – A power probe is essentially a test light which identifies voltage or ground continuity on a circuit and can also be used to connect power or ground into the circuit to test circuit/component functionality. In spite of the danger it poses to expensive electrical components while in untrained hands, a properly used power probe is now considered almost indispensable to top-level technicians.
  5. Pocket LED Flashlight – The ‘LED Revolution’ is bringing major benefits to automotive technicians. LED bulbs have a long lifespan and are extremely vibration/impact resistant, making them ideal for portable lighting in harsh conditions. They’re also much more efficient than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, which combines with ever-improving battery technology to give LED flashlights and other portable lighting much greater endurance and allows them to replace corded lights in many applications. Technicians can now meet most of their lighting needs with a pen-sized flashlight that fits in their shirt pocket and can run for many hours on a charge.
  6. Torque Wrench – A professional technician cannot do his job without being able to tighten fasteners to a precise torque specification, making an accurate torque wrench an essential tool for professional technicians.
  7. Service Information – Having access to vehicle-specific service information from a manufacturer program or independent provider such as AllData, ShopKey, Mitchell OnDemand or Identifix is essential for technicians to be able to correctly diagnose and repair modern vehicles.
  8. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Technicians’ careers, earning potential or lives could be cut short by failure to protect themselves with PPE appropriate to their work.  Technicians in training need only ask those who are experienced in the industry to hear innumerable stories and reasons to ensure your own safety at all times.

If you aren’t familiar with these tools and their uses, don’t let that stand in your way of becoming an automotive technician.  At STVT, you’ll get the hands-on training that you need to become more comfortable with these tools and the classroom instruction to help you know when and why to use them.

For more info on the Automotive Service Technician program at STVT San Antonio click here!

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator – South Texas Vocational Technical Institute

To Be Your Student

Graduating from a traditional, four-year college, I didn’t have the privilege or experience of learning from the skilled professionals at Arizona Automotive Institute, Platt College, and South Texas Vocational Technical Institute. While I was able to learn many of the same important life lessons you instill upon our students – professionalism, sacrifice, service, leadership, respect and discipline. I cannot help but wonder how great it would have been to be one of your students.

  • To work side-by-side with a master welder bending molten metal
  • To learn medical ethics and patient care from nurses who have experienced the joy of life and sadness of death throughout their career as part of their calling, credo & DNA
  • To sweat under the hood of a tractor trailer or automobile with someone who could tear an engine apart and rebuild it in their sleep
  • To trace the veins of a patient with a Medical Assisting Instructor on route to a perfect stick
  • To replicate a sterile operating environment ensuring the field and formation exceeded the expectation of a seasoned Surgical Technologist
  • To roll egg whites delicately, flip a crepe perfectly, or flambé a dessert elegantly as my chef instructor stood watching with admiration, pride and nervousness
  • To properly learn dosage calculations, effectively administer air management techniques and recite recent revisions to medical record coding
  • To be on the roof of a commercial building identifying faults in an air conditioning unit with an instructor who knew the problem before we took our first step up the ladder
  • To take impressions and fabricate crowns, as a Dental Assisting Instructor stood by as a mentor & cheerleader
  • To mimic the graceful motions of a Professional Massage Therapist as they outlined a flawless Swedish technique
  • To sit completely awestruck in a class where a general education or CAS instructor was able to effectively connect theory to reality, and reality to my career aspirations

While my list of missed educational opportunities is long, as the President & CEO of Ancora Education, I have had made up for it through my many interactions with each of you – our esteemed faculty.

As we close out National Teacher Appreciation Week, I know I am a better person for working with, and learning from, each of you. As a company, we stand in complete admiration of your contribution and commitment to student success. You are the reason our educational model works. You are the reason our students work. Their experience, in your presence, creates life-long opportunity, tangible change, and a better future.

Sincerely,

Michael J. Zawisky

President & CEO

5 Reasons to Celebrate Your Instructors during Teacher Appreciation Week

When you really add up all the time we spend in school, from kindergarten to high school graduation and even on to higher education for a lot of us, it’s evident how important a role teachers really play in our lives. Without teachers, we would have no doctors, nurses, or presidents. We would have no mechanics, engineers, or welders. We wouldn’t even know how to read this very article.

With all things considered, we should show our appreciation for our teachers every day, but since this week happens to be when, we as a nation, observe Teacher Appreciation Week, here are five reasons to celebrate your instructors:

  1. Their Inspiration –

Your instructors possess an immeasurable amount of knowledge and understanding of their field, and they have chosen to share their passion and knowledge with you, as their students.

  1. Their Dedication –

As instructors they have chosen to dedicate their lives to helping their students have a successful future. They give of themselves, day-in and day-out to help you along your educational journey.

  1. Their Support –

When you’re having a hard time understanding a concept or struggling with preparing for a test, your instructors are there to offer you their support. They want to see you succeed and will go out of their way to make sure you have the support you need.

  1. Their Willingness to Challenge You –

Your instructors are there when you’re struggling, but in the same way that they will support you, they are also willing to challenge you. It is through these challenges that you learn to grow, both as a student and as a person.

  1. For Believing in You –

Even when you might not have believed in yourself, your instructors believed in you.  Because they believed that you could succeed, you believed that you would succeed.

Share your reasons to celebrate your instructors in the comments!

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator – Ancora Education

What Food Labels Aren’t Telling Us

Food Labels 101

You would think that if you wanted to know exactly what is in your food, you would just read the label. Think again. Although labels are supposed to be there to tell us exactly what’s in the food we’re about to purchase, they can be extremely deceiving. With consumers being more health conscious than they ever have been, food companies have figured out how to trick us with misleading claims and clever marketing phrases.

Labeling claims are carefully crafted to catch your attention and convince you that the product is healthier than it actually is. Look out for these common, but misleading phrases found on food labels.

Natural

This is possibly the most misleading term in the food industry. This does not mean that the product is healthy or even all that natural. The word “Natural” is used to reel in unaware consumers who tend to believe it means the same thing as “organic”, which it does not. In fact, when it comes to labeling foods, the term has no clear meaning and isn’t regulated by the FDA, much less, any agency. A recent survey of 1,005 adults  by Consumer Reports found that more than half of consumers usually seek out products with “natural” on the label, based on the false belief that they’re made without GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms), hormones, or artificial ingredients.

Low Fat

Food labels claiming that the product is “low fat” can be found on everything from yogurt to salad dressing. Unlike the term “natural”, the FDA does regulate when this claim can be used. This may seem to offer the assurance that the food has a significant nutritional benefit, but in fact it could be the opposite. Low fat products are processed to reduce either calories or fat and some products are simply watered down. Often when these things are removed something is added in their place, like sugar or artificial ingredients.

Cage free or Free Range

The terms “cage free” or “free range” might conjure up lovely images of happy hens frolicking around a farm yard all day, without a care in the world, but unfortunately this is not the case. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) defines free range as having exposure to the outdoors. The problem is that there are no requirements for the amount, duration or quality of the outdoor exposure. Most “free range” or “cage free” birds spend their lives in extremely over-crowded warehouses, with little exposure to the outdoors. Diseases run rampant in these conditions, due to unclean surroundings, tight quarters and contaminated feed. If you are looking for eggs or poultry from happy birds, look for “pasture raised” on the labels.

Sugar Free

Products labeled “sugar free” may not contain refined sugar, but it is often replaced with something far less healthy. “Sugar free” usually indicates the presence of artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols. Aspartame, sucralose, and other artificial sweeteners can have just as many, if not more negative health effects than regular sugar. Just because a food has no added sugar, doesn’t mean that it’s sugar free! Juice, for example has no sugar added to it, but the naturally-occurring sugar in an 8 ounce glass of juice still contains anywhere from 24 to 36 grams of sugar – the equivalent of six to nine teaspoons.

Finding your way in the supermarket jungle

Making informed choices on the food that we buy for ourselves and our families can be difficult when food companies are constantly trying to mislead us, but here are a few suggestions to help you find your way:

  1. Stay informed – the best way to avoid being pulled-in by healthy-sounding deceptive marketing phrases is to become knowledgeable about the foods that you should be eating.
  2. Be skeptical – If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  3. Shop the Perimeter – The perimeter of the store is where the freshest and least processed foods are generally found, such as fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish.
  4. Keep it simple – Avoid foods that contain more than five ingredients, artificial ingredients or ingredients you can’t pronounce.

Want to see if you’ve learned a few things about food labels? Take the Web MD quiz here.

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator – Ancora Education

 

 

The Most Important Thing to Take on an Interview

The day has arrived and you are preparing for your first interview. You have worked hard to learn a new skill. You have studied and passed your certification exam. You have a copy of your diploma, transcript and certificates demonstrating great attendance and grade point averages in your portfolio. You have multiple copies, ready to leave one behind for anyone that asks. You have prepared an award winning resume. Your interview attire is perfect- clean and ironed. You have studied the top 10 questions you could be asked on an interview and you have prepared answers for all of them. But, there is still something missing. Self-Confidence.

The one thing that will win an employer over is a candidate that possesses self-confidence. Self-confidence is a magnet for success. It means that you believe in your own skills, goals, and ability to succeed. In an article posted in the Time Management Ninja, the author lists 10 reasons that self-confidence leads to success.

 10 Reasons That Self-Confidence Leads to Success:

  1. The Drive to Start Things – Confident people start things. They are not shy about striking out on a new idea even when those around them are still pondering it.
  2. The Ability to Stand Up for Oneself – Confidence allows you to stand up for yourself in a fair and consistent manner. Otherwise, you may find yourself unheard or unfairly treated.
  3. The Ability to Say No – Confident people have the ability to say “No” where appropriate. They do not take on unnecessary or inappropriate work or obligations.
  4. The Ability to Say Yes – And at the same time, confident individuals say “Yes” to opportunity. They do not miss new options because they are shy. I have seen individuals pass up opportunities (even promotions) because they didn’t think they were “worthy”.
  5. Confidence Overcomes Fear – Lack of confidence can lead to paralysis from fear. Fear of failure. Fear of what others think. Fear of the unknown. To succeed, you need the confidence to face and overcome your fears.
  6. Believe In Themselves – Self-confidence means believing in yourself. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.” He was right.
  7. Set the Bar High Enough – Confident individuals set the bar high and aim high. Lack of confidence leads to weak goals, setting the bar too low, and mediocre results.
  8. Stretch Your Limits – Confidence lets you know your limits and test them. By stretching your limits you increase them. You are stronger than you think.
  9. Confidence Asks Questions – Confidence allows you to ask questions, even when others are silent. Confidence even lets you “ask for the job”.
  10. Believe In Winning – Confident people believe in success. And more importantly, they believe in their ability to succeed.

As you prepare to land your new career opportunity, consider the most important thing you can take with you, self-confidence. When you believe in yourself, you stand out in the crowd and you will always have good success!

To ensure that you’re prepared make an appointment with your Career Services team.

Written by: Shaundra Hamilton, Ancora Education – Vice President of Career Services