2020 AWS Behind the Mask Welding Competition

DCTC hosts event in Welding Tech lab and Dakota Room

Dakota County Technical College hosted the 2020 AWS Northwest Section Behind the Mask Welding Competition Thursday, February 27, 2020, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the college’s main campus in Rosemount, Minnesota.

A raffle was held throughout the day for vendor-donated items, including a Lincoln Power Mig 140C. Fronius held a welding contest within the contest for a Fronius TransSteel 2200 3-in-1 Multi-Process Compact Welding Machine.

Competitions ran from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the college’s Welding Technology lab; nearly 340 welding and cutting tests were conducted with the results reviewed by a three-judge panel. Three fundraising welding competitions were offered in the Heavy Construction Equipment Technology shop.

Prizes were awarded to competitors who finished in first place, second place and third place in four events:

All contests were open to industry professionals and welding students. A dinner and awards ceremony were hosted on campus in the Dakota Room, which also served as a venue for vendor and job-fair contact booths during the event.

2020 AWS Behind the Mask Welding Competition winners: professionals and students

2020 AWS Behind the Mask Welding Competition winners: professionals and students

More about Welding Technology at DCTC…

The Welding Technology program offers a variety of training in different welding processes specific to our trade. As a student in our program, you will gain knowledge through theory in class and hands-on experience in our state-of-the-art welding lab. Major topics and welding processes will be covered in this nine-month course to ready you for entry-level positions in the industry.

Subjects covered include:

  • Shielded Metal Arc
  • Gas Metal Arc
  • Flux Cored Arc
  • Gas Tungsten Arc Welding Processes
  • Oxy/Fuel
  • Plasma Arc
  • Carbon Air Arc Cutting
  • Gouging Processes

You will work with a variety of metals, including steel, stainless steel and aluminum. Shop Fabrication, Blueprint Reading, Math, Visual Inspection, and Safety are covered in the curriculum.

2020 AWS Behind the Mask Welding Competition gallery

View more event photos by visiting the DCTC Flickr album:

2020 AWS Behind the Mask Welding Competition

Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers

Weld or join metal pieces together using hand-welding, flame-cutting, or brazing tools.


Above the statewide median of $20.07/hour.


Median: $21.65/hour
High: $25.61/hour

Seven-county Twin Cities metro

Median: $22.77/hour
High: $27.52/hour


This career is currently in very high demand and seeing high growth compared to other careers. Growth rate is 6.8 percent. There will be a need for about 11,037 new Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers to meet market demand between 2016–2026. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.

Minnesota State CAREERwise Education

About the American Welding Society (AWS)¹

The American Welding Society (AWS) was founded in 1919 as a nonprofit organization with a global mission to advance the science, technology and application of welding and allied joining and cutting processes, including brazing, soldering and thermal spraying. AWS strives to move the industry forward in both thought and action, as well as inspire new generations to see the exciting career opportunities available today.

Uniting the Welding Industry

Headquartered in Miami, Florida, and led by a volunteer organization of officers and directors, AWS serves more than 70,000 members worldwide and is composed of 22 Districts with 250 Sections and student chapters. The Society is dedicated to supporting hundreds of thousands of industry professionals, including: welders, business leaders, sales and service teams, manufacturers, vendors, associations, educational institutions, committee volunteers, and students. We connect welding communities from around the world into a collaborative force, built on a foundation of higher standards; advanced learning; and rewarding growth.


Learn more about Welding Technology at DCTC by contacting:

Bruce Hartung
Welding Faculty

Byron Emory
Welding Faculty

Blake Goehring
Welding Faculty

¹ Courtesy of AWS