Skilled Trades Careers

SkillHero Spotlight: Cody, Structural Steel Fabrication Welder & U.S. Army Veteran

DateApril 4, 2024
Cody Allen

Cody Allen, a structural steel fabrication welder, sat down with SkillHero for a discussion that delves into Cody's transition from military service to a welding career but also offers guidance for veterans navigating their way into civilian professions, particularly in the skilled trades.

Cody Allen - U.S. Army

This dialogue aims to enlighten veterans and aspiring trade professionals on the opportunities and personal growth the skilled trades offer. Check out our post on Instagram spotlighting Cody. You can also view this Q&A on our LinkedIn account. Let’s dive in!

Q&A with Cam, Red Seal Carpenter & Instructor

SkillHero: Cody, could you share how you pivoted from military service to welding?

Cody: I entered the military as a mechanic, a role that resonated with me partly due to my dad's background in the same field. Once I got out, I was looking for something different. That lead me to rekindling my interest in welding, which I had first explored in high school. It actually became something that I enjoyed, and ended up going to college for two years to get my associates degree of applied science in welding and fabrication. I graduated last year and started a structural steel fabrication job.

Cody Allen - Welding

SkillHero: Why did you choose structural steel welding?

Cody: It presented an opportunity to enter the welding industry and offered variety and challenge. From working on simple projects to complex structures, it keeps me engaged and continuously learning.

SkillHero: Did any skills from the military aid in your welding career?

Cody: Absolutely, the hands-on experience and attention to detail in the military were invaluable. In welding, precision is key, and my military background reinforced the importance of getting things right the first time.

SkillHero: How did the GI Bill support your education?

Cody: It was crucial. I utilized the GI Bill for my education post-military. It's a fantastic resource for veterans, allowing us to transition smoothly into civilian careers with the right training.

Cody Allen - Welding Project

SkillHero: What advice would you give to veterans considering a trade career?

Cody: Ask questions and seek out the right training programs. There's a wealth of resources, like Helmets to Hard Hats, designed to help veterans transition into trades. Some veteran’s first step is joining their local union, but even just utilizing the GI Bill can provide an edge in gaining hands-on skills.

SkillHero: How critical are welding certifications in your field?

Cody: They're a significant advantage. My degree and AWS D1.1 structural steel welding certifications make me more qualified than those without formal training. It's about showing you've mastered the necessary skills.

SkillHero: With technological advancements, where do you see the future of welding?

Cody: Despite automation and robots, the need for skilled human operators remains critical. Understanding welding fundamentals is essential, as there will always be tasks that require a human touch.

For veterans and civilians alike, Cody's story not only highlights the importance of trades in our economy but also offers a roadmap for those looking to forge a meaningful career path post-service. Cody’s commitment to excellence, lifelong learning, and adaptation to technology exemplifies the essence of a successful trade career in today’s world.

Inspired by Cody’s journey and considering a career in the trades? SkillHero is your go-to guide from the start. Explore our other blog posts for insights on becoming a welder, what a typical day as a welder looks like, and learn how to craft an outstanding welding resume. Then, join SkillHero for free to uncover opportunities and launch your trades career.

SkillHero Welder

Embrace the opportunity to craft your future in the trades. Join SkillHero for free and discover a world where education, career advancement, and a supportive community converge to empower the next generation of skilled trades professionals. Start your journey today and be part of shaping the landscape of the trades for tomorrow.