Students completing New River CTC’s welding programs have the opportunity to receive five certifications through the American Welding Society.
The welding programs at New River CTC are built around industry certification standards. Students are tested each step along the way, and each test has rigid standards for success.
The welding curriculum is designed to teach all four major processes used in welding. Starting with the gateway class, students move on to classes in Base Metal Preparation, Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, Gas Metal Arc Welding, and Flux Cored Arc Welding. Other required classes include a course in technical math, blueprint reading, communications, and general computer use.
Welders must learn a range of techniques for welding a variety of metals, including steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. Students at New River CTC learn several welding positions: flat, horizontal, vertical, and overhead. In addition, students will learn several cutting techniques.
New River CTC offers a core first year component giving students the knowledge of different welding types, allowing the student to select a concentration in either structural or pipe welding for the second year. Within each stage of the welding programs, there are embedded AWS certifications. Depending on the concentration, a student has the opportunity to leave New River CTC with the following skill sets, certification, and nationally recognized certifications and associates degrees:
- General Welding Advanced Skill Set Certificate
- Physical Plant Welding Advanced Skill Set Certificate
- Welding Technology Certificate of Applied Science (core first year)
- Welding Technology Pipe Welding Certificate of Applied Science
- Welding Technology Structural Welding Associate of Applied Science
- Welding Technology Pipe Welding Associate of Applied Science
Industry recognized AWS embedded certifications:
- AWS D1.1 SMAW 1” plate
- AWS D1.5 GMAW
- AWS D1.1 GMAW 1” plate
- ASME 6” SMAW
- ASME Section IX 2” pipe
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New River CTC Welders Find Success Near and Far
Welding students built steps as a service-learning project for the city of Princeton, W.Va. in Mercer County.
Successful welding graduates can be found working as far away as Texas and Oklahoma. Others remain local working on a variety of construction projects in West Virginia.
Former New River CTC welding student Jerrod Mitchem is in Fayette County, W.Va. doing bridge and heavy highway construction for state and federal projects, earning $25 to $32 per hour. Another graduate, Zach Amon, is in Oklahoma working for Tall Oak Midstream, an oil and gas piping company, earning $35 per hour, plus a travel per diem.
You don’t have to wait to graduate before getting hands-on experience. Welding students complete community service projects in the field. For example, a recent metal steps project for Town Square Park in Princeton, W.Va.; students fabricated the steps at the Advanced Technology Center using donated metal, and then installed steps for valuable real-world experience.
New River CTC welders even were recently featured on national television. “Barnwood Builders” television series on Great American Country Network features craftsmen who salvage and re-purpose barn wood.
One of the show’s projects was to transform a standard shipping container into a tiny log cabin by overlaying it with barn wood. To make the transformation, windows needed to be cut and the metal roof needed removed, in order to construct a sloped roof. The show’s producers needed welders, and New River CTC had students with the skills to get the job done.