Jackie F.

Certified Welder/Daycare Provider

South Dakota

United States


Three words that describe you?

Caring, shy, attentive.


Who are your role models and mentors?

My parents. I have always looked up to them for things in my life. They have been supportive all my life, it’s hard to not look up to that.


What is your favorite thing about your current job?

Currently I am at home full time and weld on the side. I love welding and love that I have that skill and have maintained certifications for that, however I currently have the opportunity to stay home and raise my boys as well as a few other wonderful kids. My favorite thing is I am at home with my kids, I get to be there for all those “big” moments in their lives. That is priceless to me.

What originally got you interested in your current field of work?

My kids are what made me turn to daycare for now. Welding though, I was two years into a respiratory therapy degree. I was not happy, I needed something different. On a whim, hanging out with friends, one put the welder in my hand and said try this. I loved it. Dropped out of school, went to tech school, obtained two certifications, and have held both since. One day welding will become full time again and not just a side job.

What career advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t change a thing. I wouldn’t be where I’m at now if I changed my path.


When you started your current job, what most surprised you?

With welding it was how different school was to real work. I’m very thankful for my tech education as I knew nothing about welding prior to the first day, but nothing compares to real work experiences.


Do you have any suggestions on how to encourage more women to try a career in the trades?

Just go for it! The trades need more women. The only other female welders I have met were one of my weld instructors and one classmate.


Who has had the biggest impact on your career choice?

My parents. No matter what I choose to do in life, they support it.

What does your family think of your career?

They love it. I’m the on-call farm fixer for a lot of the equipment. I can get it done correctly and quickly.


If you could do anything, besides what you're doing now, what would you do?

I honestly don’t know if I would change much, if anything. Being able to weld and still raise my kids right now is a great thing for me.

What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?

A pharmacist of all things.


What type of role do you want to take on after this one?

More full time in weld. As my kids grow, they will need me at home less.

What is the worst job you’ve ever had?

My first weld job out of school.


What are people always surprised to discover about you?

I am a FANTASTIC baker


Who is your favorite person in the world?

My boys. And my husband but he knows the boys have him beat. They are my whole world.

What is the craziest thing you hope to do one day?

Win the lottery and do whatever I please, whenever I please.


Anything else you would like to add or comment on?

Girls can do anything. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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