#WhyWeWeld: WorldSkills Competitor Jordan Packer

#WhyWeWeld: WorldSkills Competitor Jordan Packer

Sometimes compared to the Olympic Games, WorldSkills is considered one of the most prestigious events that tradespeople can compete in. The event comprises a set of competitions designed to showcase a wide array of trades and vocational skills, with competitions in fields ranging from carpentry to cooking. Of course, welding is no exception to the representation of a broad set of trades in intensive competitions at WorldSkills.  

Phase1...Test welds
Source: https://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/worldskills-welding-2022.html

Jordan Packer, a welding student, has represented his school and state in welding competitions, and has been selected to represent the United States at the international level, competing in the WorldSkills 2022 Special Edition. The event, originally scheduled to be held in Shanghai earlier this year, was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic and rescheduled to be held in Cleveland, Ohio, from October 17th.  

Source: https://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/worldskills-welding-2022.html


Jordan’s journey

“This story hasn’t been told much but I grew up on a farm so I have always been surrounded by welding. During my freshman year of high school I took on the challenge of restoring a 1941 Ford 9N tractor” Jordan explains. “By the end of my freshman year I needed to do some welding on this tractor and begged my dad to teach me how to weld. I fell in love with it the first time I struck an arc which led me to take a class sophomore year of high school and was completely hooked.”

Finding his passion for the world of welding, Jordan decided to pursue an education in the field. “In the beginning I attended a technical college senior year of high school. I can see the use for technical colleges but it wasn't enough for me.”

Photo by @jordan_packer20

Determined to go as far as possible, Jordan took up a welding degree at at Utah State University Eastern, which he says has intensified his passion for the trade. He chose to study at USU Eastern because of what he describes as a “reputation for being the best program in the nation and after my experience there the best program in the world”. 

Source: https://www.castlecountryradio.com/2022/12/06/usu-eastern-talks-leadership-applications-and-recognition-of-student-welder/From Utah to the world

Jordan has risen to the top by embracing the ambitious spirit of welding competitions, which he first learned about as a beginner welder in high school. “There is nothing like being in a random booth with a welder you’ve never seen, with nothing but your skills and knowledge to prove that you have what it takes. I have a super competitive personality that is bolstered by the competitive welding culture,” he tells YesWelder.

Jordan’s competitive nature and improving skills placed him among the top five for three years of competitions at the state level, and qualified him to represent his state on the national level in college. 

After this lengthy selection process, which judges competitors according to the WorldSkills standard Jordan prevailed, winning the honor of representing the United States in Cleveland. “Representing the greatest country in the world is a great privilege for me and I have never worked harder to perfect my skills,” Jordan says, noting that WorldSkills competitors must meet a number of criteria to participate in their respective events, including age requirements and competing in pre-trials. 

The left is Jordan. Photo by @jordan_packer20

Getting to this point has been no easy feat. Jordan isn’t living the life of an ordinary college student, given that he has had to practice welding rigorously for months. “Daily life is welding and sleeping,” Jordan says. 

“Welding and sleeping” is no exaggeration, either, considering just how busy schedule his schedule is. In the run-up to the October event, which requires meticulous welds, Jordan’s workload is peaking, and multi-tasking is necessary: “I started in the pretrials doing at least 60 hours a week. Then during competition in trials I did upwards of 75 hours a week all while juggling school and work. Now I am welding every second I possibly can to make up for the lost time. Nearly 100 hours a week is the new normal to ensure I am ready.”

Photo by @jordan_packer20


A high standard

The WorldSkills standard is higher than that of the industry itself, and is described by Jordan as tougher than “any welding code in the world”. 

Photo by @jordan_packer20

“Each module is designed to test the skills of each welder beyond the limits thought possible. Module one is a set of test plates including two fillet weld breaks, one 3⁄8” thick V Groove, one 5⁄8” thick v Groove and a 4-inch schedule 80 pipe,” he tells us.

The competition also challenges welders to show their skills with different metals in a limited timeframe: “I have 20 hours split over 4 days to complete 4 different modules,” Jordan explains, adding that modules two through four include pressure vessel, aluminium, and stainless steel projects. 

Photo by @jordan_packer20


The path ahead 

Being in conversation with Jordan, his passion for welding is clear, he is inspired not only by the potential for his own future as a welder, but by the act of welding itself: “The mere fact that you can build anything out of the strongest materials on the planet is truly what has kept me hooked.”

While the WorldSkills competition would be a high point in any welder’s career, Jordan has big plans for the future. He gives no indication of letting up on the many tasks he is working on at a time. “I will be getting my business up and going. This I will run while also going for a Bachelors in Welding Engineering,” he tells YesWelder.

Jordan‘s work

“I also plan to help those that are behind me and help to improve the welders coming into the community. As we improve the education of our up and coming generation we altogether improve the country as a whole.” 

Jordan is also eager to encourage more young people to take up a skilled trade, but doesn’t stop there. He emphasizes the importance of a strong work ethic and is keen to inspire youth to take advantage of everything that the trades have to offer. 

“There is great stigma around trade skills nowadays. We are what keeps the world running and the need for welders or other skilled trades is only getting greater and greater. I would also say don’t just do it. Work harder than anyone around you and set yourself apart. The opportunities are endless in this industry.”

Thank you to Jordan for answering our questions. You can follow his Instagram here. 


  • YesWelder

    Hi Kernan! Thank you. We’re glad that you love it! :)

  • Kieran

    Another great read from you guys. Great job Jordan Packer, You have a very bright future in the industry. It's great to see the young guys seeing the awesome opportunities and enjoyment in the industry. Thanks, Yeswelder for shining a light on this industry.

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