The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

The (Good) Economics of America’s Energy Boom

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted January 8, 2015

The $140,000-a-Year Welding Job

Wall Street Journal: Justin Friend ’s parents have doctoral degrees and have worked as university lecturers and researchers. So Mr. Friend might have been expected to head for a university after graduating from high school in Bryan, Texas, five years ago.

Instead, he attended Texas State Technical College in Waco, and received a two-year degree in welding. In 2013, his first full year as a welder, his income was about $130,000, more than triple the average annual wages for welders in the U.S. In 2014, Mr. Friend’s income rose to about $140,000.

That has allowed the 24-year-old to buy a $53,000 Ford F-250 pickup truck, invest in mutual funds and dabble in his hobbies, such as making jet engines, including one he attached to a golf cart.

“Not everybody needs a four-year college degree,” said Kathryn Vaughan, his mother, a retired biology lecturer who spent part of her career at Texas A&M University.

Read more: http://on.wsj.com/1xJP2jX

More industry news: 

  • Keystone XL Approval Bill Clears Major Hurdle in Senate Despite Obama’s Veto Threat: http://bit.ly/14vi0sn

  • Blog: In Veto Threat, President Claims 6 Years Isn’t Enough Time to Study Keystone Pipeline: http://uscham.com/1xJSYRL

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mary Schaper is a Digital Communications Manager for the American Petroleum Institute. She previously worked on Capitol Hill for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as Digital Director and for Senator Lisa Murkowski. Before coming to D.C., she spearheaded digital strategy for Murkowski's successful Senate write-in campaign in 2010. Schaper enjoys traveling and taking in the local culture alongside her husband, their son and loyal springer spaniel.