The average beginning salary of a welder in Texas is $41,799 as of September 27, 2021, according to Salary.com. The Copperas Cove High School welding classroom hosted teachers from across the region to receive training so students may become certified welders and be ready for the workforce upon graduation.
“Learning hands-on applications in a high-paying field seems to be a strong path to prepare for a future career in a skilled trade. Becoming certified will allow me a greater chance at securing a job, allowing a strong start to my future, post high school,” said agriculture mechanics student Rafe Anderson. “My ultimate career goal is to have a career I enjoy. As a kid I always had an interest in welding, and now I have the opportunity to exploit that while allowing for the betterment of my future.”
Education Service Center Region 12 selected CCHS for its American Welding Society training so educators are qualified to certify students for the AWS Certification, a Texas Education Agency approved industry-based certification, one of more than 30 that is offered to CCHS students.
“The training discussed weld defects, code criteria, and addressed the use of weld inspection gauges to assess weld quality,” said CCHS Career Technology Education Coordinator Sandra Perry. “Educators also took an in depth look at AWS Structural Code and (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) Pressure Vessel Code fillet and groove welder qualification testing and the equipment needed.”
The two-day training began at ESC Region 12 for classroom training. Teachers moved to the CCHS welding shop for the hands-on training on the second day. At the end of the second session, teachers were qualified to oversee students while welding, ensure quality and safety, and test the students for the two welding certifications for College, Career, and Military Readiness.
Educators reviewed both tack welder and fillet welder tests, discussed the AWS Structural Code and ASME Pressure Vessel Code, and the fillet weld break test and acid macro-etch test for welder certification.
Teachers were required to demonstrate their knowledge in using a V-Groove welder, open root and with backing, and the equipment needed. They also were required to show proficiency in using inspection tools to recognize weld defects and how to assess them. In the final step of the training, teachers demonstrated proficiency in how to complete the paperwork required to certify and track students’ qualifications.
“Through AWS, we will be able to send students out into the trade fields potentially certified in 21 welding positions and across three different welding processes,” CCHS Welding Instructor Richard Ellis said. “Through these certifications, we are expecting to be able to send our students out the day they graduate prepared to walk onto a job site and get to work.”
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