Roger Dorsey is a welder from Bossier City, Louisiana. As a younger welder, Roger knows what it's like to be new to the trades after years of being interested in welding. We wanted to learn about Roger's work and his thoughts on getting started as a welder.
We discuss how he got started, and ask him about his journey in the world of welding so far:
Can you share with us how you became interested in welding? What got you interested in the trades and this line of work, or was it something you always wanted to do?
I became interested in welding when I was 15 years old, I used to weld structural with my dad around that age. I got interested in this as a trade once I started learning how to weld with all processes.
How did you learn to weld? In your opinion, what is the best way to learn to weld?
I learned to weld a little bit from my dad, but when I was a junior in high school I was selected to enroll in the trade school and I chose welding. In my opinion, I think trade school is the best way to learn to weld, so you can understand what amperage looks like (and the positions too) -- but in the field it’s a lot different.
What was the toughest aspect of becoming a welder? Was there a particular process that was difficult to learn or any work that was especially technically complicated back when you were a beginner?
The toughest aspect was TIG welding on pipe when I started out, but practicing more and more and asking for help improved my skill.
I'd love to learn more about the work you do now. Is there a welding process you specialize in, and can you tell us about the work you do for a living?
The work and process I specialized in was TIG welding pipe, but I still have a lot of room for more improvement.
The work I do for a living fluctuates because when I go to different jobs they have me doing different procedures, so it’s good to learn how to weld everything instead of one thing.
It can be a challenge to work in the trades. Have you experienced any obstacles during your career so far, and how did you overcome them?
I experienced a lot of obstacles in this trade, such as failing X-ray, negative talk, and racism, but at the end of the day I look at this way: I’m 20 years old and still have a lot of learning to do and more obstacles to go through.
The way I overcome is just keeping God first and going hard everyday while I’m at work, to learn as much as I can from the old cats 'cause they will teach you a lot.
What advice would you offer to a younger person who is interested in pursuing a job in the trades?
My message to upcoming youth who want to get into the trade is stay humble, and strive to be the best and be great. Ask questions if you don’t understand something -- and learn how to pipe fit and weld, cause you will never be out of a job if you can pipe fit and weld.
There’s really no do’s and dont’s out here, just be safe. It’s all trial-and-error, you know? We all make mistakes -- but learn from your mistakes so it won’t happen again.