Faculty Appreciation Month – Meet Akeem Scott

TWS is a Great Training Option for Everyone

Learn more about how we can prepare you to advance your career.

Akeem, 40, from Port Arthur, Texas, is a welding instructor at Tulsa Welding School & Technology Center in Houston. He has been an instructor at TWSTC for a little over two and a half years. 

Thanks for your time, Akeem; how long have you been welding?

Professionally, about 15 years now. 

So, you’re 40 years old, that means you had a career before you started welding, what did you do?

From the time I was 18 years old, I worked in a hospital around health information records. 

Have You Considered a Career in the Skilled Trades?

Fill out the form to recieve a no obligation info packet.

You are giving your express written consent for Tulsa Welding School to contact you regarding our educational programs and services using email, telephone or text including our use of automated technology for calls or texts to any wireless number you provide. This consent is not required to purchase goods or services and you may always call us directly at (855) 237-7711.

+ Read More

So, how did you go from there to welding in your mid-20s?

My grandfather was a welder. He had a welding machine at home. I always messed with it, and I finally got good at it. One day I applied for a job and took a weld test. Later I did a short four-month welding program.

Tell us briefly about your welding career.

I was a refinery welder my whole career. I’ve welded from New York to California, throughout the United States. I’ve supervised welding departments of more than 90 welders, and I’ve done inspection work.  

Was that traveling contract work or working for a particular refinery.

I could have been in operations and welded for one company for a long time, but I kept doing the traveling contract work. It paid more money!

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I was actually going to go into the dental field, maybe be a dentist. But I ended up getting in trouble when I was younger, and that threw my financial aid off. That put me on a different path. 

What made you go into teaching in 2021?

As I mentioned, I was the boss of the welding department, supervising over 90 welders. So, I’m interested in that side of welding. I don’t like playing with my students, especially when they’re paying an ample amount of money. I’m serious about teaching. If I wasn’t serious about it, I’d just go ahead and leave.

What do you like best about teaching?

I enjoy seeing the students happy that they’re actually picking up welding, that they’re getting it. Also, teaching makes me a better welder too, I benefit from it. Showing them makes me an even better welder.

Tell me something most people don’t know about you.

I’m a master chess player, an expert! That’s my hobby.

If you could choose to have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would that be.

Man, all my grandparents. I’ve lost them all.

You get an unexpected day off, what would you do?

I’d probably just relax at home, maybe play a couple of chess games with a couple of buddies. I have a couple of retired NBA player friends that live down the

street from me in the Woodlands area, I might go meet them. Welding changed my life. It put me in a position to meet different people, people that are on a whole another level. People like Kendrick Perkins, who is on ESPN right now, he’s one of my good friends.

What was your favorite part of the industry when you worked in the field?

I liked the love we got. The love is coming to work and knowing we’re pretty much the most important people on the job because nothing can get done in a refinery unless we weld it. Welders get a lot of love and a lot of respect. That’s what I liked about the business. Everybody knows we make the most money. The general foremen, they only can do so much. We always make more money than the foremen! 

What advice do you have for new students just starting out at TWS? 

Don’t come to welding school just because you hear that welders make a lot of money. Welding is a craft, it’s a skill. You have to prove yourself every single time you get a job, on every weld. Welding is not for everybody. I’m not trying to stand in anyone’s way, but you have to really love it.

So, you have to have a passion for welding to be successful?

I always tell students that you have to love what you do. You can’t just do it for money. When students start the program, I tell them not to think about the money, don’t think about a job. Think about mastering their craft first, then the money will come. Just like LeBron James, like Floyd Mayweather, they just wanted to do what they do, and then the money came. You understand what I mean? 

Yes, you have to be motivated and focused for the right reasons. 

Some students lose it. They get so focused on wanting to make all this money down the road that they can’t catch on to the craft, the welding, in school – they’re not focused on the now, which is trying to master the craft. If you don’t master the craft first, you’re not going to make the money you’re already dreaming about. When I started welding, welding wasn’t even cool. Now everybody wants to weld! I didn’t even know how much money was there to be made until I was actually good at welding. I didn’t go to a welding school like Tulsa. Tulsa Welding School is the best school you can go to, to actually become a welder.

If you could tell anyone “Thank you” for helping you become who you are today who would that be?

It would be my mom. I got myself into welding, and I’ve got to thank my grandpa for that, but my mom has been there for me forever, so I’d say my mom. In fact, I was just on the phone with her before this!

Thank you, Akeem for your contributions to TWS!