Helpful Information About Potential Welding Careers & Trucking Jobs

Check out this selection of articles below to learn more about career choices and how to prepare for in-demand job opportunities.

  • An image of parents watching their kids get on the bus, waving to the school bus driver.

    The Keys to Success for School Bus Drivers

    Parents trust bus drivers to be their eyes and ears during their child's school travel. What can a bus driver do to ease parent anxiety and ensure emotional and physical safety for the children in their care? A school bus driver who follows these three tips will help worried parents feel confident and secure.

    1) Nurture a personalized relationship with each child.

    Learn the name of every child on your route and greet them daily. Ask them how they're doing--if they tell you it's their birthday, or they're about to take a trip or they have new shoes, take the time to comment. Bring it up during the next week, saying things like "How was your trip?" "Those shoes still look great!" or "How did your birthday party go?" Children are more relaxed and comfortable when they feel recognized and important.

    2) Establish a stable routine.

    Make sure all the children on the bus know what you expect of them. Letting them know your standards of behavior and safety compliance will help them feel more secure (and they'll be telling their parents). Use a calm voice when addressing your passengers, and make sure you apply the rules consistently to all children equally. Children thrive with clear, consistent boundaries.

    3) Be transparent.

    If there is an issue between children on the bus, notify all parents immediately with your observations. Don't make assumptions or judgements; make sure all parents receive the same information. If you have to make decisions about disciplining children on the bus, make sure it's clear to all parties exactly what the violation was and why the discipline is called for. Staying calm and providing clarity are important ways to prevent children from feeling frightened. The bus ride between home and school helps children learn about independence, accountability and collaboration. Parents count on you to provide a safe, consistent environment for their children while they practice these skills. By following these three tips, you can show parents that their children are in competent, nurturing hands on your bus. Do you have other ideas on how school bus drivers can ease parent anxiety and keep children safe? Send us your thoughts through our contact us page. Or share the article on Facebook and tag Advanced Career Institute! Know anyone who would be a great school bus driver? Tell them to check out our Class B CDL training. Our training will have them on the road to their new bus driving career in no time!
  • An image of a welder who incorporates welding stress relief exercises into this everyday work.

    How Welders Can Take Care of Themselves

    People may not believe it, but welding is a unique art form. Along with producing the welds and beads comes stress and frustration. The wrong material or the fluctuation of an arc can make a weld look knotty and somewhat sloppy. Many welders try extremely hard to produce smooth, even looking welds. The stress they experience during the performance of their job takes many forms. There are several welding stress relief mechanisms that are both effective and simple.

    Maintaining the Same Position for a Long Period of Time

    When completing a long bead, holding the same position can cause muscles to become tight and sore. In between welds, take a few minutes to stretch. Reaching toward the ceiling stretches the arms, legs, and back. Hand exercises will keep the fingers and wrist flexible. Stretching improves blood flow and keeps a person alert and focused.

    Intense Concentration While Completing a Difficult Weld

    Having to maintain strict focus for long periods of time can lead to headaches and eyestrain. Once every couple of hours, step away from the welder and take a few deep breaths. Closing the eyes and listening to music through headphones will help to unravel the mind and allow it to relax, even if only for a short period of time.

    Measure Twice, Weld Once

    One of the biggest stressors is making a mistake and having to scrap a piece of metal. Measure twice and take added precautions to ensure you have the exact specifications before you begin welding. This reduces the risk of a mistake and will eliminate much of the stress associated with precision projects.

    Preventing Flash and Its Effects

    Flash can occur on the hands, face, and arms. It is extremely painful and causes major stress when having to continue to weld in the heat. Before work, apply a thin layer of sunscreen and make sure it absorbs completely into the skin. Always check the helmet and safety glasses to make sure there is no way the bright flash can reach sensitive areas of skin. While it's easy to get caught up in work, don't forget to take care of yourself. Practicing these welding stress relief mechanisms will allow you to become a healthier, more productive welder.
  • How Welding Has Changed Through the Years

    Welding all started centuries ago, yet many people still wonder what welding is all about. This quick snapshot will walk you through everything you need to know about the history of welding.

    What is Welding?

    Welding is the process of joining or melting two or more pieces of metal together. This process is also used for plastic, but the term "welding" often refers specifically to the use of metal. The process of welding creates strength and reinforcement for structures, ships, and modern machinery.

    Welding's Ancient Roots

    The practice of welding dates back to the Bronze Age, the era in human history when people began to use metal. People living during this time created small gold boxes using pressure welding on lap joints. As welding techniques became more refined in the Iron Age, this gave people the opportunity to build things using iron. During this time, Ancient Egyptians and other cultures used the skill for welding tools, among other necessities. While useful, this trade was limited by the tools used to perform the welding function.

    Advancements in Welding

    The 19th century saw great advancements in welding and its capabilities for modern applications. In 1800, Englishman Sir Humphry Davy introduced the arc to welding, a form made between two carbon electrodes using a battery. In 1836, Edmund Davy discovered acetylene, a gas capable of producing the hottest flame. This discovery led to a rise in popularity for gas cutting in 1850. While there were other notable welding innovations, the next major advancements came in the 20th century.

    The Creation of Modern Welding

    The 20th century saw many exciting advancements in the welding field. These advancements were, in large part, due to electrical power companies figuring out how to generate and distribute power. This accomplishment motivated scientists to find a way to use electrical power for welding. In 1920, General Electric's P.O. Nobel invented automatic welding thanks to his use of a bare wire electrode guided by a direct electrical current using arc voltage. From here, further research led to the discovery of various types of electrodes as well as alternate forms of gas welding and resistance welding. Work to refine welding techniques continued into the 1950s and 60s. In 1954, the Dualshield process gave welders a more efficient, portable option by using an external supply of shielding gas. This process was later abandoned for Innershield welding, which left the shielding gas behind and eliminated the need for welders to lug heavy containers around the job site. This improved process also made it possible for welders to work in outdoor conditions without having to worry about the wind blowing the shielding gas away and contaminating the weld. Since then, welding processes have become modernized, leading to the use of friction welding and laser welding. Welding techniques are sure to evolve as technologies advance. Scientists and inventors continue to look for more precise, safe, and environmentally friendly ways to build the products and infrastructure needed. The future for welding is bright. If you're looking for an opportunity to move the world forward, welding could be a great fit for you. We offer welding training at our Visalia and Fresno campuses. Learn more about our welder training program today.
  • An image of a woman welding a fence at a construction site, wearing proper safety gear.

    4 Myths About the Welding Workplace

    Only about 5.8 percent of working welders are females, according to the American Welding Society. Companies are doing more outreach to women to help replace the welders who are approaching retirement. Welding is a career that can offer many benefits, but there are still a few misconceptions about women doing this type of work.

    Myth 1: Companies Don’t Want to Hire a Female Welder

    Metal fabricating companies are desperate to find good welders to replace the workforce that is rapidly retiring now. Both women and men are great candidates for these positions. Anyone can have a promising career in welding, as long as they get the proper training. Having additional skills, such as blueprint reading, will help you be a more valuable employee for prospective employers. Keep in mind that there may not always be welding jobs available in your area, and you may have to move to a more industrial city to find the job you want.

    Myth 2: Male Co-Workers Don’t Respect Female Workers

    Although male welders may have resented women coming into the field in the past, the younger generation is less apt to hold on to these gender differences in the workplace. They may have worked alongside women in the military or in other fields of work. They respect anyone who does good work and can work well as part of a team.

    Myth 3: Welding Work is Hard, Dirty and Dangerous

    Not all shop settings are alike. Some companies may not have state-of-the-art equipment or the safest environment. However, there are welding positions in forward-thinking companies with clean, climate-controlled environments and manageable materials. Female and male welders can benefit from staying fit in order to manipulate the heavy materials. They should also take safety classes to ensure that they can protect themselves and others in the work environment.

    Myth 4: There’s No Room For Professional Growth in Welding

    Many welders become supervisors or consultants. They work on projects that involve welding processes for construction or manufacturing of products. In addition, welding offers the opportunity of starting your own business, which can bring increased financial benefits. Women in welding is still a relatively new concept, but it is fast becoming the norm as more companies look for reliable people who can perform the highly technical work that welders do every day. Interested in joining the community of women welders? Learn more about our welder training program today!
  • An image of a smiling woman sitting in the driver's seat of her red truck.

    Better Opportunities for Women Truck Drivers

    Women can be terrific truckers and many find success in the trucking industry. Still, the field of trucking has its challenges, which can be different for women than for men. Almost every trucker, man or woman, will agree they enjoy the freedom, the chance to visit new parts of the country and the amazing window-framed views that come with being a trucker. What's more, women in trucking can look forward to more and wider-open doors these days.

    Trucking Industry Working to Make Women Welcome

    More women are breaking through the "typical male trucker" stereotype these days. Also, more employers see the value of women behind the wheel. This new attitude of opportunity in trucking owes partly to the current, growing truck driver shortfall of nearly 50,000 due to Baby Boomer truckers retiring. Evidence that the world is ready for women truckers include the women-focused recruiting campaigns of trucking companies, (like Werner for example), and the interest groups and conventions that gather women in trucking, such as the Teamster Women. Chances are greater than ever these days that you won't be the only woman at the truck stop.

    How Women in Trucking Can Turn Challenges to Advantages

    Some of the things that women should be prepared to encounter when working as truck drivers include:
    • Safety challenges: Pay extra attention to where you're stopping and walking at night, whether at truck stops or in remote areas. Don't roll down your window for anyone other than police or someone you know. Focus on safe driving and your employers will value you for keeping yourself, along with their equipment and loads, safe.
    • Interpersonal issues: Women may face criticism from co-workers or loading dock personnel. Don’t be daunted by bad attitudes. Let respect received equal respect given. Ignore disrespect and laser-focus on the work, and your job at hand--and don’t let others blow your cool.
    • Staying connected to family and friends: Staying in touch is easier with today’s tech. Use Skype or Facetime to have video chats at stops. Send regular text updates (which help with safety concerns, too). Schedule time at home for work/life balance.
    If you’re up for the challenge of starting a trucking career as a woman, like one of our many successful ACI women graduates, we can help. Get more details on Truck Driver CDL Training Programs available at Advanced Career Institute. At ACI, we have the experience and commitment to help you achieve the goal of becoming a successful truck driver. Contact us today!
  • An image of truck stop restaurant and gas signs for OTR truck drivers.

    The Daily Trucking Job Routine

    OTR truck drivers live on the corner of freedom and responsibility. They have the freedom to travel the highways and explore new locations on a near daily basis. They also must obey the rules of the road, listen to their dispatchers, and deliver their loads on time. There are more rules of the road for truckers than for drivers of non-commercial vehicles. These include log books, weight limits, and lane restrictions. While they have the most spectacular window views and are never confined to a stationary desk, that freedom is carefully recorded and monitored. After picking up a heavy load, truckers head off to the scales to make sure that they're weight is within the correct limit and distributed properly. This is routine business. The same goes for carefully monitoring the hours you’ve spent driving and keeping your logbook up to date. These tedious chores ensure that you don’t end up sidelined when you slip through the chicken house and receive an unexpected inspection.

    Routine & Flexibility

    The average OTR truck driver will travel about 100,000 miles per year. They tend to sit behind the wheel for an average of 500 daily miles. Most company drivers have little control over where their next load will take them. They may rush to hit a tight deadline and then enjoy some downtime while waiting for their turn to unload. You could say they live on the corner of Hurry Up and Wait. It is critical, though, that drivers maintain the willingness to work hard and the flexibility to handle delays and unexpected circumstances. While trucking requires flexibility in scheduling, most drivers do establish routines that provide some sense of stability. For instance, they establish favorite truck stops in every region of the country. There’s nothing like a friendly face, warm cup of coffee, and hot shower when you’ve been on the road eating from your personal stash of snacks or at fast food restaurants for days. These routines often center around grooming, which is critical for an OTR truck driver. They don’t have direct access to showers but need to remain presentable when representing their company at delivery points. Identifying truck stops with clean showers, laundry facilities, television rooms, and other amenities is important.

    Modern Trucking

    The trucking life has changed considerably due to technological advancement. Drivers are no longer cut off from their loved ones or forced to talk via pay phone. They can now video chat with loved ones in their downtime. They can receive text messages, emails, and make phone calls from their trucks. This has created a more socially connected trucking world that is healthier for the OTR truck driver as well as those back home missing a truck driver. Connection and Solitude is just another corner on which many drivers now live. Interested in living the trucking lifestyle? Learn more about our Class A OTR truck driver training programs!