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A Day in the Life with Danea Buschkoetter

Updated: May 20

woman welder in shop

Hello I am Danea Buschkoetter. You might know me as Welder Danea over on social media. I am a post-secondary welding instructor in Northern Kansas. I am very active within the welding industry. Other than being an instructor I also am an AWS arcstar. I am a co-chair of the ambassador committee for the 501c3 nonprofit Crew Collaborative. I am also a content creator and editor for EDGE Welding Cups, and most recently I have become an Arc Star for the American Welding Society. As an Arc Star I promote membership to the AWS through my social platforms. It is a dream come true to work more with the American Welding Society. 

If you would have asked me about four years ago if I wanted to become a welding instructor I would have told you no. At that point in time I was in the construction industry working as a millwright. I absolutely enjoyed being a millwright and was getting ready to be promoted to lead millwright within the company. However, that Canadian based company went into receivership and was left without a job. I was made aware of the teaching position and went for it! It was one of the best decisions I ever made. 

As a welding instructor almost every day can look different. My day usually starts early with me getting to my classroom and shop 30 minutes before class starts at 7:30 AM. I start off my class grading homework and going over any questions my students have. Then we cover the topic that the homework is over. I teach every single welding and cutting process along with blueprint reading and drafting. After we are finished with classroom time we then get out into the shop. I try to keep classroom time to a minimum because the type of student that is often in my class is not the best type of learner in the classroom. I have my students for about 8 hours a day. I think it is important for classes to be run similar to a job that way they are prepared going into the industry. 

Being a welding instructor every single day is different. Especially when we get into the semester when I have students going every which direction. Being a welding instructor you have to be up on all of your welding skills so that way you can help students when they need it, and being able to accept that you won’t put down a perfect weld every time but have a way to make it a teaching moment for your students. Another challenge is figuring out each student in the class and how they learn best. 

Yes, there are ups and downs of teaching one being the pay but that is not the reason I’m doing it. From a young age I’ve had an interest in helping people. Even at one point I wanted to join the military just to do that. I also only work 175 days of the year for my full time job that then allows me to do all the extra that I love doing. One thing I’m working on in my spare time is El Camino. I love everything about cars and have gotten into restoration within the last few years. One of my most recent projects made it to SEMA in Las Vegas this past November. I was one of the over 150 females that helped build the Iron Maven at Girl Gang Garage. I’m getting ready to start a new journey and if you would like to follow along you can follow me on Instagram and Tik Tok @welder_danea and on Linkedin at Danea Buschkoetter. 

By: Danea Buschkoetter

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Check out this article and others like it in our Empowering Women in Industry Digital Magazine.

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