How many jobs allow you to make superheroes? Not many, but for one graduate of Tulsa Welding School (TWS), this is his work and his passion. Nicholas Gilder (Nick) welds theme park attractions at Sally Corp in Jacksonville, FL. His latest project is called Battle for Metropolis, a Justice League ride with characters like Superman and Lex Luthor and is a hit for Six Flags theme parks.

Although Nick enjoyed the mechanical aspects of building things, he didn’t naturally drift to welding as a career at rst. He had a few jobs before nding TWS, but he wasn’t happy. He mentioned to his wife that he was going to get some in- formation about welding school, but he realized it was the right career for him and he quickly enrolled. “I realized it was the kind of place where you get out what you put in.” He quit his job to dedicate himself to school full time and put in extra hours for practice, which ultimately paid off.

When he started researching places to look for a job, he discovered that Sally Corp was not a big company and all their employees were at the top of their game. He wasn’t sure if he should even bother to apply. A couple of his instructors encouraged him to apply even though he felt he might not be qualified. Nick knew it was a unique company, and he needed to stand out as a candidate. He knew how to juggle swords and ride a unicycle and that’s how he sold himself. They were interested enough to talk to him, but he had to prove himself and they gave him a welding test. Days later, he received a job offer, and he hadn’t even graduated from school yet. In fact, his employer didn’t even know he hadn’t graduated yet until he was six months into the job.

Although Nick enjoyed the mechanical aspects of building things, he didn’t naturally drift to welding as a career at rst. He had a few jobs before ending TWS, but he wasn’t happy. He mentioned to his wife that he was going to get some information about welding school, but he realized it was the right career for him and he quickly enrolled. “I realized it was the kind of place where you get out what you put in.” He quit his job to dedicate himself to school full time and put in extra hours for practice, which ultimately paid off.

While some welders prefer to travel and make more money, Nick is perfectly happy being comfortable with one job and making a good salary. He has no plans to do anything else except maybe try his hand at teaching at TWS someday. Welding for Nick isn’t just a job. It’s his passion. He also does side jobs building custom drift bikes for people as a hobby. The bikes he builds aren’t for children — they can go up to 70 mph! 

What’s Nick’s advice for those going to Tulsa Welding School? “You only get out what you put in, and that’s all you really need to succeed there. That’s it.”