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How welding sparked a career

Growing up among a family of teachers, it was assumed that Shanice Kirkland would follow a similar path. Instead, she decided to take her career in a completely different direction and became a welder. To say her family was surprised is an understatement.

A few short years later Shanice has a successful career as a structural welder with Asset Solutions Americas Process & Energy, where she has worked on projects across the Southeast US including the Siemens Lincoln County Combustion Turbine Station in Charlotte, North Carolina.

While Shanice has been in the construction industry for about six years and with Wood for three, her career in welding started purely by happenstance.  “I was looking through a course catalog and welding was the last option.  I decided to just try it,” she explained, "I liked that it was hands on.”

Shanice excelled in her class both academically and socially and while she only female in the class, she appreciated not being treated differently.

After graduation, Shanice worked as a pipe fitter helper, while continuing to hone her welding skills. Shanice is certified in shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), or stick welding, and is working towards a tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding certification. “I’m certified to work on pipe 24 inches and above.  Once I receive my TIG welding certification, I will be able to work on pipe smaller than 24 inches. My goal is to progress to quality control inspections.”

In order to do that, Shanice continues to focus on her work and let it speak for itself. “All of my welds have passed X-ray tests and visual inspections," she says, "I just want to do my very best. I am proud of everything I’ve done."

As is the team she works with and her family. When asked how her family feels now about her decision to go into welding, Shanice says they are very proud and tell her so every day.