The Best Training for
Welding in 2021

Welding is an exciting career if you’re interested in taking risks, traveling the world, or even working underwater. The welding process consists of joining two metal parts by applying heat. You can create all types of projects, from home furniture to roller coasters and Ferris wheels.

In the old days, people didn’t need to go to school to be a welder. On-the-job experience was enough. However, those days are long gone. Now you need to complete a training course and receive a welding certification to become a welder. In this guide, we will show you the best welding schools and programs in the United States.

Rundown: The Top 10 Welding Programs in 2021

To become a certified welding professional, you need to receive career training. You can receive this through a welding training program at a trade school, community college, or university. Getting a degree is valuable, but obtaining a bachelor’s degree is not necessary to work in the field.

Below are the top welding schools in the country. Note that tuition information comes from either the schools’ websites or the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

School State Programs and Cost Certifications
Albany Technical College GA Welding and Joining Technology Diploma
Tuition: $100 per credit hour
None
Arizona Automotive Institute AZ Combination Welding Diploma
Tuition and fees: $20,663
None
Ashland Community and Technical College KY Associate Degree in Welding Technology
In-state tuition: $179 per credit hour
Out-of-state tuition: $358 – $627 per credit hour
None
Brigham Young University – Idaho ID Bachelor of Science in
Welding Engineering Technology
Tuition for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: $2,150 per semester
Tuition for non-members: $4,300 per semester
None
Central Louisiana Technical Community College LA Technical Diploma in Welding
Tuition: $133.92 per credit hour
None
Ferris State University MI Associate in Applied Science of
Welding Technology
Tuition: $12,404 per year
Bachelor of Science in Welding
Engineering Technology
Tuition: $12,404 per year
None
Hobart Institute of Welding Technology OH Structural Welding Diploma
Tuition: $11,700
Combination Structural and
Pipeline Welding Diploma
Tuition: $19,500
AWS Certified Welder
Modern Welding School NY Combination Welding Diploma
Tuition: $16,200
SMAW Welder Certification
South Georgia Technical College GA Welding And Joining Tech Diploma
Tuition fee: $100 per credit hour
None
Tulsa Welding School OK, TX, FL Welding Specialist with Pipefitting Diploma
Tuition: $20,465
Associate of Occupational Studies in
Welding Technology
Tuition: $16,974
Professional Welder with Pipefitting Diploma
Tuition: $20,465
Welding Specialist
Tuition: $17,857
Professional Welder
Tuition: $17,857
None
How to Pick the Best Welding School for You

How to Pick the Best Welding School for You

There are several factors that will influence your choice of schools. Below are four concrete things to look for in a welding school.

Program Resources

Not all schools come equipped with sufficient tools to practice with, making it harder for students to gain practical experience. You don’t want to be fighting classmates over who gets to use a piece of equipment. To avoid this issue, make sure you ask an admissions representative about the school’s facilities.

Variety of Offerings

Before choosing a particular school, you should ask yourself what type of welding you’d like to specialize in. Two common specialties are pipe and plate welding. Whichever specialty you choose, ensure that your school offers a matching program.

Tuition, Fees, and Other Expenses

Another aspect to consider is tuition. Is this something you can afford? If it isn’t, you should consider a different institution. However, many schools offer different financial aid options to make payment easier. You can apply for federal grants, take out private loans, negotiate monthly installments, or earn a scholarship to partially or fully fund your studies.

Program Length

Every program has a different length, so it depends on your priorities. For example, an apprenticeship program lasts about a year, an associate degree takes two years to complete, and a bachelor’s degree requires four years. Choose a program that fits your current lifestyle and expectations.

The Best Welding Schools of 2021

Many universities struggle to prepare students for the workforce, but that’s simply not the case for the top welding schools. The following list surveys the best welding schools and programs, based on tuition fees, financing options, the quality of the curriculum, and yes, job preparation.

Albany Technical College

Programs

Welding and Joining Technology Diploma

Accreditation

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Online Options

N/A

This Albany Technical College program offers hands-on experience training by teaching you the most fundamental aspects of professional welding. Some of the things you’ll learn are oxy-fuel and plasma cutting and 6G welding.

By the end of the program, you’ll be able to perform flat surface welding, overhead welding, horizontal welding, uphill welding, and downhill welding.

Welding and Joining Technology Curriculum

General education: English, math, and interpersonal relations

Blueprint reading

Oxy-fuel and plasma cutting

6G welding

Arizona Automotive Institute

Programs

Combination Welding Diploma

Accreditation

Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)

Online Options

N/A

The Arizona Automotive Institute is a vocational school focused on automotive occupations like heavy truck technician or refrigeration specialist. However, you can also study combination welding with a focus on welding mechanics.

This is a certificate program and a license preparation course at the same time. You will learn everything you need to know to pass the professional welder certification exam from the American Welding Society (AWS).

Combination Welding Curriculum

Gas tungsten arc welding

Plasma arc cutting

Welding repairs

Par fabrication

Ashland Community and Technical College

Programs

Associate in Applied Science in Welding Technology, Associate in Applied Science in Pipeline Welding, Combination Welding Diploma

Accreditation

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Online Options

N/A

The Ashland Community and Technical College is one of the most reputable institutions in Kentucky and has some of the lowest tuition fees. The school has an enrollment of 2,600 and offers three welding programs, including two associate degree options and one technical diploma option.

Associate in Applied Science in Welding Technology Curricula

Tack welding

Production line welding

Pipeline welding

Brigham Young University – Idaho

Programs

Bachelor of Science in Welding Engineering Technology, Bachelor of Science in Welding and Fabrication Technology Management, Associate of Applied Science in Welding and Fabrication Technology

Accreditation

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Online Options

N/A

BYU-Idaho offers three programs in welding technology. You can choose the associate degree for a shorter two-year program or go for a four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Welding Technology or Welding Technology Management. Both of these programs help prepare you for the professional welder certification exam from AWS.

These programs are more technical than the ones offered at the aforementioned schools. You will learn how professional engineers approach welding technology, including how to use specialized software like CAD/CAM.

Bachelor of Science in Welding Engineering Technology Curriculum

Chemistry

Engineering statistics

Engineering materials

CAD/CAM software

Welding inspection

Welding manufacturing

Central Louisiana Technical Community College

Programs

Technical Diploma in Welding

Accreditation

Accrediting Commission of the Council on Occupational Education

Online Options

N/A

Central Louisiana Technical Community College is one of the largest schools in the region. It offers a technical welding program validated by the American Welding Society (AWS). Students receive the proper training to pass the professional welder certification exam from AWS.

Technical Diploma in Welding Curriculum

Oxy-fuel cutting

Carbon arc cutting

Plasma arc cutting

Shielded metal arc welding

Gas tungsten arc welding

Blueprint reading

Flux-cored arc welding

Gas metal arc welding

Weld symbols

Pipe welding

Ferris State University

Programs

Associate in Applied Science in Welding Technology, Bachelor of Science in Welding Engineering Technology

Accreditation

Higher Learning Commission

Online Options

N/A

Ferris State University offers both associate and bachelor’s degree options for aspiring welders. The school’s welding department is one of the largest in the country. Graduates typically find work in several industries, including construction and robotics. According to FSU’s website, the average graduate earns a starting salary of $62,000.

It’s important to mention that this school has excellent laboratories to practice robotic welding, inspections, and mechanical testing.

AAS in Welding Technology Curriculum

General education

Welding engineering

Welding design

Mechanical testing

Metallurgy

Fabrication of weldments

Hobart Institute of Welding Technology

Programs

Combination Structural and Pipe Welding Diploma, Structural Welding Diploma

Accreditation

Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)

Online Options

N/A

Hobart Institute of Welding Technology has more than 90 years of experience teaching welding and its programs have gained international recognition. They offer career and job placement services to help students build up their soft skills. According to the school, 92 percent of graduates are working in the welding industry.

Both of Hobart’s main welding programs provide you with a wide variety of welding skills, including four weeks of oxyacetylene welding training and two weeks of welding technology training. The Combination Structural and Pipe Welding Program lasts 40 weeks, while the Structural Welding Program lasts 24 weeks.

Structural Welding Curriculum

Advanced blueprint reading

Gas tungsten arc welding

Oxyacetylene welding

Gas metal arc welding

Pipe cutting

Brazing

Modern Welding School

Programs

Combination Welding Diploma

Accreditation

Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

Online Options

N/A

The Modern Welding School offers a full-time combination welding certificate program that provides you with bottom-up welding training. This school has special opportunities for women and veterans.

The program lasts 900 hours and uses books, equipment, metals, and supplies for training. The school also offers career services and has a high post-graduate employment rate. According to the school’s 2019 annual report, 82 percent of graduates got jobs in the welding industry.

Combination Welding Curriculum

TIG welding

Steel/aluminum/pipe welding

Oxyacetylene welding

MIG welding

Flux-core welding

South Georgia Technical College

Programs

Welding and Joining Tech Diploma

Accreditation

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Online Options

N/A

South Georgia Technical College offers a technical diploma. Its program prepares you for employment by emphasizing laboratory classes. To be eligible for this particular degree, you must have a high school diploma and be over 16.

This school has a reputable and large welding department with a wide variety of specialized courses. These welder programs focus on particular skills like welding blueprint reading, gas tungsten arc welding, and pipe welding. You can learn all of these skills in the technical degree program, but you can also get a professional certificate in a particular skill.

Welding and Joining Tech Curriculum

Vertical shielded metal arc welding fabrication

Advanced shielded metal arc welding

Flux-cored arc welding

Welding blueprint reading

Gas tungsten arc welding

Pipe welding

Tulsa Welding School

Programs

Professional Welder, Welding Specialist with Pipefitting, Professional Welder with Pipefitting, Associate of Occupational Studies in Welding Technology

Accreditation

Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

Online Options

N/A

TWS is one of the largest welding institutions in the country. It offers several welding programs, including an Associate Degree in Welding Technology. Most programs are short-term and flexible. They range from seven to ten months long.

The associate degree is a two-year degree that gives you the tools you need to start a career in welding. You will learn about welding codes, metallurgy, quality assurance, and more.

The program includes job placement services and career guidance. The school also has several hiring partners that make your job hunt easier.

Professional Welder with Pipefitting Curriculum

Blueprint reading

Plumbing codes

Pipe systems installation

Mathematics

How Much Can You Earn as a Welder?

How Much Can You Earn as a Welder?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a welder is $44,190, which is about the national median income. The demand for welders is expected to grow three percent by 2029.

The Highest-Paying Welding Roles

Role Required Education Approx. Average Salary
Pipe Welder Apprenticeship certificate,
American Welding Society (AWS) certification
$69,841
Structural Welder High school diploma $43,203
Welder/Fitter High school diploma $38,804
Fabricator/Welder Associate degree $38,252
MIG welder Apprenticeship certificate $36,131

Why You Should Be a Welder in 2021

Welding is one of the highest-paying trades in the US. Construction companies will continue to hire welders and offer long-term positions. Welding is an important profession in industries like aerospace, construction, manufacturing, and natural gas distribution. If you’re interested in one of those sectors, it may be a good occupation for you.

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