Source: WJ August,2017
Before entering the welding industry, Karen M. Beaman earned a degree in business administration and marketing and owned a commercial cleaning business. However, she felt this career path wasn’t right for her.
“I am not cut out to sit at a desk all day,” explained Beaman. “That is when I decided to go back to school for welding, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I chose welding as a career because I like to work with my hands. It’s challenging and fun.”
Soon after, Beaman earned an associate degree in welding technology. Currently, she is a 10-year AWS member, a Certified Welding Inspector and Educator, as well as a full-time welding instructor at Southeast Community College (SCC) in Lincoln, Neb., where she has taught for eight years.
Beaman is proud to work at SCC, which has recently expanded its facility to meet the growing demand for skilled labor. The school is also an AWS Accredited Test Facility.
“It’s a great benefit to our students because they graduate as a certified welder in whatever they choose,” she said. “Many of our students have more than one certification when they graduate, which really helps them get their foot in the door when they apply for jobs.”
Beaman also encourages students to join AWS to keep them current on the latest industry developments.
“When our new students start the program, I encourage all of them to join AWS right away because it is the best place to stay in touch with everything about welding,” she said.
Beaman’s passion for teaching is propelled by student success.
“It is very satisfying to watch the student’s level of skill and knowledge increase as they go through the program and help prepare them to get a job,” she explained.
In addition to teaching, Beaman serves the AWS Southeast Nebraska Section, where she has held multiple roles including second vice chair, vice chair, and chair.
Her role includes helping the Section hold yearly fundraisers for student scholarships as well as facilitating student access to the industry.
“We take a tour of local businesses each month to stay connected to the industry and help students learn more about employment opportunities,”affirmed Beaman.
This profile appeared in Society News, Welding Journal, Aug. 2017; written by Katie Pacheco, Editor.