Signed up for the fall for a welding class, 6-10pm one day per
week. Should cover all welding processes such as stick, mig, tig, and
O/A. I am sure that I will learn quite a bit of stuff and maybe will
get "re-educated" on things that I already learned to do incorrectly.
Would be nice to be introduced to MIG and O/A, also.
You're going to love it if you get a good teacher. I was fortunate and got
some good ones. Believe me, they can make you remarkably better in just a
few hours a week. And most will skip the stuff you already know and let you
advance to something you're having problems with or need to learn, and you
don't have to spend a lot of time going over stuff you already know how to
It's nice, too, from the standpoint that usually you get to weld on steel
that has proper root and bevel configuration. Sometimes this translates to
the real world, but a lot of times, it just gives you an idea of how it
would be done in ideal circumstances, and then you will adapt from that to
the real situation in your shop.
Let us know how you do, and share those AHA! moments.
I'm envious! The great stateof Wyoming has consolidated all of its CC (and
university) welding classes to the Casper CC. At 175 one way miles at
todays or even last years fuel prices not an option. There is no other.
Joe Pfeiffer wrote in
It's a cost-effective way of maximizing the use of the existing equipment
without spending anything upon either maintenance or consumables.
The CCC may also get a subsidy from the Feds as part of a job-training
Which do you want first the good news or the bad news? Okay, I'll give you
the good news. Taking a beginning welding class is in general a good idea if
you plan to do much welding. I took one a year or two ago and since I knew
absolutely nada about welding at the time it was a necessity that I learn
the basics, which I did. The bad news; unless you are very lucky you will
not get nearly as much help from the teacher as you need. There will be a
bunch of other people constantly asking him for his help, so you have to get
in line. The other thing is that all you will learn is the most basic
principles of each type of welding so you won't get very good at any of
them. What it does most is prepare you for the next class where you will
learn a lot more because after the first class you will know what's going
on. So you really need to take about a year to really get things down pat.
I'm glad I took the class, for sure. But I didn't get nearly as much as I
wanted to out of it. Then there was the part of reading the book and taking
tests and having to be graded on everything. Maybe you won't have that to
worry about but I went to a community college and they make the whole thing
like the rest of the curriculum. Have fun and get the fundamentals down as
well as you can because that's all you will probably glean from it.
John means that only the Casper school has welding classes --
there are 9 more CC's in 7 other Wyoming towns. Wyoming is #50
in population among US states, has about 5 people per square mile
and 10% as many people as Cook County, Illinois.
What I will get out of the class, is all speculation at this
point. Hard to say. Even in the worst case, I will get an introduction
to welding methods that I never tried, like O/A and MIG. Also, I will
get a chance to practice harder welds like vertical and overhead, and
have someone knowledgeable who would correct my mistakes.
Plus, having access to proper welding setups, test materials etc, will
also be useful.
My welding experience for now is 90% stick like this one
I expect it varies quite a bit. When I took a similar evening welding
class the book portion was pretty much limited to the first class and
just about everything after that was practical hands on time. The
student to instructor ratio was low enough to get an adequate amount of
time with the instructor. There is usually an advanced class or welding
II you can continue in, or given the low cost of most of these classes,
you can easily take it twice if you need more instructor time.
From my perspective (I'm a computer science professor at NMSU), it
just seems totally contrary to the whole community college concept.
Having local access to vocational training like that is exactly what
CCs are supposed to be good at. Let's see... three of NMSU's four
community college campuses offer welding (I wonder why the fourth
Wouldn't surprise me a bit.
I fully realize I was very lucky to get as good and patient an
instructor as the one I had. I hope I'm as patient with my backward
CS students as he was with me!
Well, yeah. How much of a skilled craft can you learn in 10 weeks?
Actually, the videos/book/tests were the easy part for me. But then,
that's the sort of thing I'm good at....
Having spent several years working for a community college system, I can
tell you that the sad truth is that colleges exist to serve their
bureaucracies and the egos of their faculty, not the needs of the real
world and certainly not the needs of their students.
Welding and other "dirty" classes aren't trendy, so they get shoved to
the side in favor of trendy classes and of course the handful of classes
that serve no purpose other than to employ otherwise unemployable
Even calling those classes "vocational" is a sign of the discrimination,
since virtually all classes beyond art appreciation are "vocational".
Here's what you'll get, from my experience. You won't get any of the hard
welds like vertical or overhead, that is advanced. What they do in a college
class is just like any class. They start at the very beginning and give you
the basics, a lot of safety, different metals, history of welding, etc. Then
they start you out on O/A because once you have the hang of that you can
pretty much do the rest. In my school we only got through oxy, stick, and
barely some mig. But once you understand how to do oxy the only thing you
need to know about mig is how to set up the machine for your specific job.
The joke is that a monkey can mig weld if a human sets up the machine for
him. We never even got to TIG at all. I doubt if you'll get to that in a
first semester class. That's why I said you just scratch the surface in a
first class in a community college. You really need to do another semester
to learn what you probably want to know. That said, I'm glad I learned all
the fundamentals the right way. Welding can be dangerous if you don't know
what you are doing. You have to start somewhere though and that first class
is a must even though you won't learn what you hoped to.