College News

Barton Community College welding program alum finds fulfilling job at local company

woman welder holding equipment with her protective helmet flipped up
Barton Welding Alum Devin Christiansen takes a break from her job at Primus Sterilizer in Great Bend.

January 17, 2024
Story and photo by Joe Vinduska

Ellinwood resident and Barton Welding Program alum Devin Christiansen gets to work each day, puts on her safety gear at her station, and once she pulls down her welding helmet all the distractions of the world fade away while she focuses on her job as a welder at Primus Sterilizer in Great Bend.

“My favorite part about being a welder is that I can zone into my work and what I’m doing, I don’t have to worry about dealing with the public or anything like that,” she said. “I enjoy being able to be in control and see cause and effect in my actions.”

Christiansen enrolled in the program with zero experience, but she knew the job market for welders was solid and was looking for something she could sink her teeth into.

“I became a welder because I wanted to challenge myself,” she said. “I wanted to build a career with something that I could start with the basics and then build on.”

Barton’s program allowed Christiansen to earn her certificate in a year and get right to work.

“I immediately found a job after I was done at Barton,” she said. “I went straight from Barton to work. There was no downtime.”

While welders are in high-demand, Barton’s program deliberately includes developing relationships with local employers so that they can help students find jobs.

“The instructors out at Barton helped me go straight from school to the workplace,” she said. “They took initiative and introduced me to different companies and helped me get placement right away.”

Christiansen said her time at Barton helped her be ready for the tasks her job required her to do.

“Attending Barton’s welding program prepared me entirely for this job,” she said. “If I hadn’t had the knowledge that I gained from Barton, I would not have thrived the way I have here at Primus. Now, I think I need to build the confidence a bit more, and there will always be things that you have to learn at any job because you can’t learn everything in such a short amount of time, but the program definitely gives you your basics so you can get started, and if you apply yourself, you will do well.”

For more information about Barton’s welding program, or to enroll, visit