That's the struggle with skilled trades-experience required. I too am kind of welding school and the big thing our teachers say is be a butt-kisser and you'll move up fast or get other benefits from the company I don't think it is right for me to tell you what to do being how young I am, but what I will tell you is that if you go into welding find a job that has a wide range of welding positions so there is plenty of room to grow because it is easier for the most part to grow inside of a company then it is to switch jobs and companies all the time. Do whatever the company tells you to, show up a little early, stay a little late if you have to. Make it so that if the company lost you they would regret and would have a hard time replacing you. By doing this you're more likely to get promoted, get a raise, get more overtime, or if you do want to go work for someone else, you have a very good reputation. Again, I don't think it is right for someone my age to tell you to switch jobs, but if you have the skills and the attitude, you'll find it is fairly easy to move up in our world.
A student now but really want to weld everyday. Want to learn everything about everything.
warning!! Bad English may be in post. It's off a phone/autocorrect. I've had teachers with worse spelling!