Welding school set to open in Owatonna - Owatonna MN: Owatonna Peoples Press

  • Welcome!
    Logout|My Dashboard

Welding school set to open in Owatonna

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 2:57 pm | Updated: 8:41 pm, Wed Dec 5, 2012.

OWATONNA — Cody Huber wants to give people the opportunity to develop skills for a field that is looking for workers not only in Owatonna, but across the country.

Huber, regional sales manager for Huber Supply Welding Outfitter in Owatonna, said the business will start hosting a welding school in January. Classes are slated to begin Jan. 23.

“We’re starting it because there is an extreme shortage of welders not only in our area, but across the whole United States,” Huber said. “In 2010, the shortage was around 200,000. In 2006, 50,000 welders retired but only 25,000 entered the workforce.”

Huber said welding is a high-paying job that often starts with welders making $45,000 per year when benefits are included. He said a lot people don’t really understand what welders do today.

“The only thing they’ve ever had is a stigma of a dirty shop in high school where they went. They struck an arc and they got burned by the sparks that were thrown back at them,” Huber said.

That kind of welding, known as stick electrode welding, is not the type of welding that will be taught at the welding school. Students will learn techniques mostly for MIG welding, or gas metal arc welding, along with some TIG welding, or gas tungsten arc welding.

“Welding isn’t as archaic as it once was,” Huber said.

There will be eight students in each class, with classes being held every other week. The classes will last for three days for eight hours each day. During that time, student will be taught by a trained instructor. Huber said the plan is to start small and then add more students to the classes if needed.

“We’re going to give you the basics and get you started at least,” Huber said. “Through that class there is going to be hands-on participation as well as some book studies.”

The classes are being taught by Huber Supply and won’t go through any program or college class, and will cost $500.

Owatonna has a strong manufacturing base, which bodes well for welders who are looking for work in the area.

“Almost anywhere you go, one of the hardest employees to find would be a welder,” Huber said. “That’s one of the most open jobs. They’re always searching for more.

“Around here in the Owatonna area, there are a lot of jobs to be had in welding. With welding, you’re able to move further up the chain too.”

People have already expressed interest in the classes, Huber said. Those interested in enrolling in the class can do so by signing up at the store. When a person signs up, they need to make a 25 percent down payment for the class, with the remaining 75 percent being paid before the class starts.

Reach reporter Al Strain at 444-2376 or follow him on Twitter.com@OPPalstrain

© 2015 Southernminn.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More about

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Kasteel posted at 9:13 am on Tue, Dec 18, 2012.

    Kasteel Posts: 2

    There is no doubt that the shortage of qualified welders will have a huge economic impact for at least the next decade or so. The key here is "qualified" and with what process are they qualified. Not everybody can weld proficiently enough for employment and that can be because of many varying factors. It takes 11 months of intensive training to make an average welder. It takes 2 years to make a welder that is an entry level Boilermaker, Pipefitter or all around process welder. Take into consideration as well, the quality and welding knowledge of the available welding instructor. It takes a program with roughly 30% classroom and 70% hands on training for students to be successful in the field of welding. There are no shortcuts or quick fixes to train welders. It takes more time to be a good welder than most people, business and state leaders want to invest in. State leaders lump all post secondary education together and that is why our technical training programs have declined in quality and preparing students for the world of work. So, if I read this right there will be 24 hours of training. If you are just trying to generate interest in welding, I applaud your efforts. If you even think this is a training program for even the lowest level job, you need a major reality check.

    Private Welding Consultant
    MN Technical College Welding Instructor, 34 Years

  • BillyBob posted at 8:42 pm on Thu, Dec 6, 2012.

    BillyBob Posts: 20

    Well if soitgoes says it, it must be true!!

    We are so lucky to get 248 posts of their undisputable knowledge.

    Thank you - oh wise one. I will never disagree with you again. (Especially with results of surveys done of those in the industry).

  • unconcernedcitizen posted at 11:29 pm on Wed, Dec 5, 2012.

    unconcernedcitizen Posts: 547

    The further north you go the more the pay increases along the I35 corridor. Go to Mankato and welders are making a respectable starting wage of around $14-$15 an hour.
    Manufacturing is hurting for qualified welders. This is an entry level welding basics course. No one is going to walk out of that class and right into a $45k job. They still have to prove themselves before an employer is going to pay them well.

    For $500 and a shot at a job, I can't find anything wrong with this program. I do agree with soitgoes that the area wages are a tad off. Metal fab shops have been staying strong throughout the lousy economy and many have actually expanded. There's work.
    BUT, the most important skill needed in any field is reliability and a work ethic. A lot of schleps out there that can weld like crazy and have all the skills to succeed but they just can't seem to get their butts to work. Those skills don't do an employer any good laying around the house all day.
    Good attendance is crucial. So, if you have the basics and show up to work when you're supposed to, you'll look like a rockstar. After that, the sky's the limit for where you go. lot of guys worked the Alaska pipeline in the 70's and retired young and healthy.
    Think Williston and the Canadian pipeline.

  • Soitgoes posted at 9:55 pm on Wed, Dec 5, 2012.

    Soitgoes Posts: 852

    Bon jour! It's on the internet, it must be true.

    Those wages are not reality for our local manufacturing industry. Period. Especially not for the type of welding being discussed and certainly not as a starting wage.

    Under water welding (highly specialized) and pipeline welding (highly specialized, requiring major travel), possibly.

    It's a negative because it's not true. That's how. AND if it's true, I'm TOTALLY open to being proven wrong. Not gonna happen.

  • BillyBob posted at 8:43 pm on Wed, Dec 5, 2012.

    BillyBob Posts: 20

    From the mn careers website

    25% 50% 75%
    Southeast Minnesota Hourly $14.60 $16.83 $19.22
    Yearly $30,360 $35,010 $39,970

    Half of the workers in this occupation earn less than the median wage and half earn more. Twenty-five percent earn less than the low amount (25th percentile) and twenty-five percent earn more than the high amount (75th percentile).

  • Red_Chip posted at 6:27 pm on Wed, Dec 5, 2012.

    Red_Chip Posts: 160

    If you look at Indeed.com it shows welder salaries in MN can range from 21 to 83 thousand. This seems like a pretty good opprotunity for those that are having a problem finding a job. Here's a chance to get trained and have a job making a good wage. How does one make this a negative thing?

  • Soitgoes posted at 5:40 pm on Wed, Dec 5, 2012.

    Soitgoes Posts: 852

    $45,000.00 starting pay (with benefits)? You seriously need to share your drugs. I don't know a welder in town that STARTED at that, and I know many who have been doing if for 20+ years who are barely making that. Get your facts straight before touting what the outcome will generate. Additionally, if you follow the job postings, the starting wage is generally posted at a disrespectful $11.00 per hour. Through a temp agency, which means there will be no benefits. Welcome to reality. That's $22K per year, half of what you're marketing as the outcome.


Online poll


Reader ToolBox

Forms, Contests and Special Content

Owatonna Peoples Press Forms

Contact Us


Ron Ensley, Editor and Publisher, 507-444-2367, rensley@owatonna.com


Debbie Ensley, Advertising Director, 507-444-2386, densley@owatonna.com

Betty Frost, Advertising Assistant, 507-444-2389, bfrost@owatonna.com

Shawnea Hull, Advertising Consultant, 507-444-2385, shull@owatonna.com

Steve Arnold,  Advertising Consultant, 507-444-2383, sarnold@owatonna.com

Alisha Davidson, Advertising Consultant, 507-444-2388, adavidson@owatonna.com

Jennifer Sorenson, Advertising Consultant, 507-444-2395, jasorensen@owatonna.com

Bonnie Nguyen, Classified Ad-Visor, 507-444-2397, bnguyen@owatonna.com

Danielle Schmitz, Classified Ad-Visor, 507-444-2396, dschmitz@owatonna.com

Tawn Eikel, Digital Media Sales Specialist, 507-444-2398, teikel@southernminndigital.com


Carol Harvey, Circulation Manager, 507-444-1561, charvey@owatonna.com

Crystal Grovdahl, District Manager, 507-444-2362, cgrovdahl@owatonna.com

Melissa Johnston, District Manager, 507-444-2361, mjohnston@owatonna.com


Jeffrey Jackson, Managing Editor, 507-444-2371, jjackson@owatonna.com

Tony Borreson, Chief Copy Desk Editor, 507-444-2373, tborreson@owatonna.com

Kelli Lageson, Copy Desk/Paginator, 507-444-2377, klageson@owatonna.com

Ashley Stewart, Reporter, 507-444-2378, astewart@owatonna.com

Matt Hudson, Reporter, 507-44-2372, mhudson@owatonna.com

Editorial Assistant, 507-444-2379, news@owatonna.com

Obituary Notices, 507-444-2370, news@owatonna.com

Kaleb Roedel, Sports Editor, 507-444-2374, kroedel@owatonna.com

Jon Weisbrod, Sports Reporter, 507-444-2374, jweisbrod@owatonna.com

Samantha Schwanke, Editorial Assistant, 507-444-2379, sschwanke@owatonna.com

Kim Hyatt, 507-444-2376, khyatt@owatonna.com


Kelly Kubista, Creative Services Supervisor, 507-444-2391, kkubista@owatonna.com

Jenine Kubista, print/web ad design, 507-444-2390, jkubista@owatonna.com

Naomi Kissling, print/web ad designer, 507-837-5452, nkissling@owatonna.com

Nicole Gilmore, print/web ad designer, 507-444-1565, ngilmore@owatonna.com

Keeley Krebsbach, print/web ad designer, 507-444-1564  kkrebsbach@owatonna.com

Lauren Barber, Print/ Web Designer, 507-444-1563, lbarber@owatonna.com


Dianna Schmidt, Bookkepper, 507-444-2365, dschmidt@owatonna.com

Paula Engebretson, Bookkeeper, 507-444-2364, pengebretson@owatonna.com

The Owatonna People's Press is published daily Tuesday-Saturday.

Business hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Phone: (507) 451-2840

Fax: (507) 444-2382

Mail: 135 W. Pearl St.

Owatonna, MN 55060

Sponsored Links

5,000 Guns at Ahlman's

Browning products on sale for Black Friday

Looking for good holiday ideas?

Your local Hy-Vee has them. Click here to see

Follow us on Facebook