TMCC College News

Accelerated Welding Course Launches this Summer

Posted: May 7, 2014

Phil Dunievitz Picture

Phil Dunievitz, currently taking Welding III, works on a project in the welding lab on Monday, May 5.

On the way to Truckee Meadows Community College today, a person might use some water washing hands, notice a jet overhead, turn a steering wheel, drive over a bridge or admire the fish sculpture along the highway … and every one of these things has touched a welder’s hands.

Upon successful completion of a new accelerated welding program at TMCC this summer, a student can earn an American Welding Society (AWS) Certification in under three months.

The compressed course begins on Monday, June 2 and continues until Thursday, August 14. Classes are held Monday-Thursday each week from 3 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. To enroll, a student needs to complete an application for admission to TMCC and then take a mechanical aptitude test. There is no “cut” or failing score on the aptitude test; its purpose is to gather data in order to better assist students.

“We’re teaching the regular Welding I, II, and III courses in 11 weeks, which would normally take three semesters to complete,” said Trenton Schoppe, Welding Instructor. “It’s a great way to get instruction four days in a row and easier to learn this way.”

Students will be trained in equipment and proficiencies typical in numerous fields that use welding.

“We want our students to have confidence with the equipment they will most likely see,” Schoppe said. “We’re training for the most commonly needed welding certifications needed in Reno and hopefully we can place almost everyone.”

Welders are needed for many industries in Nevada

Schoppe lists the industries that need welders include:

  • HVAC
  • Auto repair
  • Pressure piping
  • Aerospace
  • Artistic landscaping
  • Manufacturing and production
  • Heavy construction, building
  • Diesel technology
  • Highways and bridges
  • Motorcycles building and repair

Welders have either been trained in welding as an extension of other responsibilities in their job at a manufacturer or have learned skills from those already working in the field.

“I think the opportunity to leave a college program with the AWS certifications definitely puts a welder ahead of other candidates for job positions,” said Heather Vincent, Administrative Assistant in Equity and Inclusion. “The AWS Certification is an industry recognized standard.”

Schoppe agrees.

“Some candidates have learned on the job and might not have formal training,” Schoppe said. “We have students now that have come back to build on their skills.”

Schoppe, who has worked as a professional welder for more than 11 years has witnessed a high demand for welders, specifically in the Reno/Sparks area.

“Make it anything you want it to be; most of the trades in the area need someone with welding skills or certifications. There is wide opportunity,” Schoppe said.

The AWS Certification is a hands-on test, and students can also continue to a degree

Students in the accelerated welding program will learn to a great extent with practical, hands-on, skill-based activities and practice. Vincent said that most welding students enjoy hand working and visually centered projects. There will also be some homework each night.

The program includes Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) and Flux Core Arc Welding (FCAW) processes. OSHA regulations, and the OSHA General Industrial Safety course will also be covered.

Near completion of the accelerated program, the American Welding Society certification examination is taken. It is a practical, hands-on test, completing an exercise with actual materials.

The fast-tracked welding program offers 19 credits that a student can also turn around and apply toward a Certificate of Achievement or AAS degree.

There are eligibility and attendance requirements due to the compressed nature of the course

“It is an active occupation and students need to be in generally good health and be able to bend and lift, plus you need good hand-eye coordination for welding,” said Barbara Walden, Grant Project Manager. “Attendance is especially crucial because three semesters are covered with an accelerated schedule.”

Walden says that there are a limited number of seats for the summer welding program, and that timely application is recommended.

Cost for the entire course ranges from $2,517 to $3,008, based on what type of welding gear purchases are needed and the protective equipment a student already owns, such as a welding hood.

For more information about the accelerated welding program, contact Walden at 775-856-5304 or

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TMCC's Public Information Office
Telephone: 775-673-7087

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