Ranger College offers three welding curriculum options in the form of a certificate or an associate degree. The program offers the latest in the variety of welding processes used in today’s industry. Students will be provided with the technical skills for employment as welders in SMAW, GMAW, FCAW, and GTAW welding at local companies in the manufacturing, construction and agricultural industries.
Courses cover a variety of welding applications, including welding fundamentals, blueprint reading, layout and fabrication, shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, flux cored arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, oxyacetylene welding, and plasma arc welding.
Welding is the most common way of permanently joining metal parts. In this process, heat, either by flame or electricity, is applied to metal members, melting and fusing them to form a permanent bond. Welders use many types of welding equipment set up in a variety of positions to perform manual welding, in which the work is entirely controlled by the welder, or semiautomatic welding, in which the welder uses machinery to help in performing welding tasks. Skilled welders generally work from plans and specifications or use their knowledge and select and set up welding equipment as needed to meet standards. Jeff Jones, Ranger College welding instructor, is an AWS Certified Welding Inspector and has over 20 years of experience in the field.
“We teach multiple processes because the industry uses a variety of processes. Industry is looking for multi-talented individuals. There’s almost no singular element to the world of industry – you have to be multi-talented in order to succeed.” Jones helps students develop these skills which will provide opportunities for them to garner employment in the field of welding and fabricating. Graduates from the welding program will use their skills in many trades such as metal fabrication, ironworkers, boilermakers, steamfitters, repair and maintenance personnel, and as welding supervisors and welding inspectors. Job prospects should be excellent for skilled candidates with employment opportunities expected to grow about as fast as the average for welding workers on construction projects or in equipment repair. These jobs are not affected by technological advances. “Graduates have gained employment through companies such as John Deere, Caterpillar, Komatsu, Davenport Works, and Case IH. Others have taken a more entrepreneur-type approach and have found success. Graduates have shared that they have gone on to receive anywhere from $15 to $22 an hour in a 40-hour week.”