“I found out that if you make yourself more valuable to a company by learning and applying the knowledge that you have obtained, you will stay employed in your craft because you make yourself an asset; not just an employee,”
~Michael Garcia, Welding Instructor at Vocademy.
Michael has been a Certified Welder since 1980. He has obtained 9 welding certifications and has used approximately 12 processes. Michael has had two main welding careers in the last 30+ years.
Michael Garcia‘s first career was at San Bernardino Steel for about 12 years. It was spent doing structural steel for buildings. There was where he realized he he didn’t want to just be a welder. Michael taught himself to study and read blue prints and he became a combination Layout, Fitter, Welder. He eventually became the Welding Foreman and the Quality Assurance Manager.
Mr. Garcia‘s second career was at National Oilwell Varco. It lasted 18 years, without ever being laid off. He wore many hats there. Michael started as a combination Layout, Fitter, Welder which eventually led him to the Research and Development area where he helped design, make, and implement fixtures for production. He also became a Production and Welding Foreman, and later on, he became the Fabrication Quality Control Inspector. While there, he inspected all fabricated items in the fab shop. He did this for 13 years in the Fabrication section.
For the past 5 years, Michael was the Weld Fabrication and Machining Quality Control Inspector, where he was a regular member of Six Sigma meetings to assist engineers in trouble shooting problems that developed with difficult weldments and also machined items. The goal was to make the item easier to fabricate and therefore, less expensive. He also inspected very large weldments at some of the various outside companies so he could get them inspected prior to having them shipped to his facility. This would ensure the item was fabricated and machined correctly. This process eliminated the need to return large items back to the supplier.
He performed internal audits, prior to the visits by the external auditor. During both careers, he obtained his C. A. W. I. [Certified Associate Welding Inspector] certificate, and his C.W.E. [Certified Welding Educator] certificate, On top of all that, Michael took classes for Magnetic Particle Inspection, Ultrasound, and has had hands-on training with Die Penetrant testing.
Michael is now happy to have a chance to show the next generation of fabricators what he has learned.
“Multi-tasking is the key to a great career in this field and anything you want to do, ” ~IronMaster Mike