Well another summer is over, and I did survive. Despite a nagging back problem and having to fix almost every machine in the shop. I successfully certified 13 people, mostly in Stick, and Dual-shield, with a few MIG certs.
We are going to start doing AWS certs along with the WABO certs we already do. (WABO = Washington Association of Building Officials) The reason for the AWS certs comes from the railroads. The mechanics in the rail yards need to be certified in 7018 for railcar repairs, but WABO no longer offers a 3/8" 7018 cert, so we are using AWS D15.1 rail code to run them through a 3/8" 7018 cert.
It opens up a lot of possibilities as far as certs go. My boss and I both have our CWI's so it is all legal, but it does mean more paperwork and regular AWS audits.
Right now I am looking into getting our test plates mass produced by a local cutting shop.
That way we can just sell them to the students in the bookstore. It would be a better system to cover our costs and would stop some students from running piles of test plates on the theory that by some stroke of luck they happen to pass their test.
I try to explain to them that you can't really pass a 1" plate test by luck, but they rarely listen.
Now I get a month away from school to complete a pile of projects.