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Montana Woolley Shares her Journey into Welding 

Tell us about your career journey and your educational pathway. 

My journey into welding began immediately after high school when I enrolled in a two-year pre-apprentice Welding and Fabrication program at St. Lawrence College. The program was exceptional, transforming me from a novice into a certified welder. After graduation, I spent five years gaining hands-on experience at various welding and fabrication shops. I then transitioned into Welding Inspection before moving to Alberta and eventually joining the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB). 

What do you love about your job? 

In my current role, I find immense satisfaction in collaborating with clients to help them achieve their goals and in the meaningful connections I make along the way. In welding, I particularly enjoy working with my hands and seeing my efforts materialize into tangible results. 

Who has inspired you to pursue this career? 

No one specifically inspired me to pursue this path. It just looked like a rad job to have, and I wanted to give it a go. When I started the program, I was among the few without any welding experience. I hadn’t even used a grinder before. One of the instructors, Mark Metzloff, took me under his wing and provided me with an invaluable skill set that I could carry into the industry. I’m incredibly thankful to him for everything that he has taught me. 

What type of career opportunities exist within your industry? 

The welding industry is rich with opportunities. My own career has evolved from welding to inspection to working with the CWB. The possibilities are vast. You might be drawn to welding technology, progress from welder to supervisor, or pursue inspection and non-destructive testing (NDT). The industry offers a variety of roles to suit different interests and skills. 

What is your career advice for young people who want to pursue a career in this field? 

My advice is to never stop learning. Stay updated with new welding technologies through watching videos and reading materials, or go more in-depth into areas where you may struggle. Additionally, always be willing to take on extra work and new challenges. Consistently showing up on time and being open to new opportunities has opened many doors for me. 

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