PASADENA, Texas (KTRK) -- A recent graduate of Pasadena ISD's Career and Technical High School is looking to turn his skills into a career.
"Welding for me, it's an art," said 18-year-old Alvaro Torres.
"It takes time, it takes skill, it takes patience to be able to do this kind of craft."
This year, Torres was one of only two high schoolers to compete in the National Craft Championship in California.
He took first place.
"I would say Alvaro is the person who takes pride in his work," said welding instructor David Gutierrez. "When you take pride in your work, it's going to take you a very long way."
Welding jobs pay from $18-$36 an hour, making the skill a big focus at CTHS, where most students hope to jump directly into the workforce after graduating.
And it looks like Torres is already on his way to landing a job.
"We've been hiring students from this high school for the last five years," said Chad Whetro, with the industrial construction company Performance Contractors, Inc. "Alvaro will be, if he passes the welding test, the fourth student from his senior class to get hired."
"Eventually, I would like to get all the knowledge I've learned from my various instructors and people that have been in my life. I want to share with others. I don't want to be selfish," Torres said.
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Pasadena teen eyes future with national welding championship win