Lyle Palm

Lyle Palm

Welding Instructor/Dean of Welding and Fabrication


United States Navy / Workshops for Warriors

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
I went to trade school and earned a certificate in welding.
I entered the military wanting to learn more about welding; I served in the Navy for over 20 years.
I went to all of the Navy's advanced welding schools and became a nuclear component welder.
While serving, I finished my bachelor's degree in education because I'd realized I wanted to teach.
After I got out, my brother and I started a metal fabrication shop.
I got my master's degree in 2012 and my grandsons got to watch my graduation on the internet.
It made me proud to know that I was setting a positive example for my family and grandsons.
I volunteer at Workshops for Warriors, teaching transitioning veterans welding, a viable skill.
Keep following my journey

Education

High School
Bachelor
Adult and Continuing Education and Teaching
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Graduate
Space Studies
University of North Dakota
Certification/License
Welding Certificate

Career

Welding Instructor/Dean of Welding and Fabrication

I'm the dean of welding at Workshop for Warriors and I help vets realize a new career in welding.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Armed Services
Education
Teaching / Mentoring

Day to Day

I roll out of bed at 4:30 a.m. and drive up to Camp Pendleton to start my day. I teach welding for about eight hours, constantly interacting with and mentoring staff and students, and helping them work through projects and problems. Around 3:00 p.m., I drive another hour south to teach at Workshops for Warriors for a few hours, then I get home at about 9 p.m. It's a long day, but I'm extremely invested in paying it forward, helping my fellow veterans, and helping them grow bankable skills.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Working with service members, veterans, or wounded warriors, I feel like it's an unwritten requirement for you to have served in some branch in the military. When you're trying to teach or mentor someone, you have to be able to relate to that person in that moment, and it's much easier to understand what my students are going through because I've been there. There are certain things-combat, deployment, living on base, being separated from your family-that only fellow veterans can empathize with.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Make sure you understand what welding is: a lot of people see a video, think it looks cool, and fail to understand the hard work that has to be put in. It's going to be hot, you're going to be handling electricity and getting shocked, and it's going to be noisy, loud, and uncomfortable. If you're wired to handle all of that, this could be the job for you. But in most cases, people aren't cut out for this, and that's okay, too, as long as you don't waste too much time and money figuring that out.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Adult and Continuing Education and Teaching
graduate
Graduate
Space Studies
certification
Certification/License
Welding Certificate

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Teachers:

"You're not especially strong academically."