Best Welding Schools in the US
By 2028, there are expected to be over 488,000 job openings in the field, making welding a vocation with a lot of employment chances that simply keeps increasing. Welders are in high demand across a wide range of sectors, including the military, building and construction, automotive, and aerospace. You could work as an assembler, manufacturing welding technician, welding inspector, in robotics repair and maintenance, technical sales, or one of many other specialized welding fields after receiving welding training.
A career as an industrial pipeline welder, an underwater welder, or even a military support welder could earn you an annual salary in the six figures despite the fact that the median annual salary for welders is just over $40,000. This is because there are so many opportunities for specialization. Of course, obtaining a welding degree or certification from an accredited college or institution is the initial step along any of these professional routes.
The 15 schools and colleges listed below are some of the best welding schools in the US for helping you get started on your welding career and move closer to finding a job that pays well.
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Qualifications for Becoming a Welder
Let’s look at some of the fundamental abilities you’ll need to be a good welder if you’re thinking about enrolling in a welding apprenticeship or trade school. You may be wondering what skills are required to master welding technology and launch your career as a welding professional.
1. Mathematical Competence
To be a great welder, you must have fair math abilities. You’ll perform considerably better in your job if you can read blueprints, calculate dimensions, and comprehend 2D and 3D designs.
If you frequently need to trim metal components and objects to precise measurements as part of the welding process, math abilities will be especially useful. Overall, being able to readily understand mathematical concepts will aid you in your responsibilities.
In order to maintain a solid bond, good welders must always pay attention to the little things, such as cleaning grease and rust off of workpieces, double-checking their equipment before use, and remembering suitable PPE.
Minimal errors are permissible when welding, but you must always be mindful of your actions. You’ll have a lot easier time becoming a skilled welder if you’re good at paying attention to detail.
3. Consistent Hands and Excellent Hand-Eye Coordination
Technically speaking, welding can be a difficult job. You need steady hands and good hand-eye coordination to produce high-quality welds. One of the abilities that takes the longest to master when you enroll in a welding apprenticeship or trade school is this one.
Learning to regulate weld pools, hold your tools steadily, and produce results that are robust and have a smooth appearance will all take time. It’s common to start off by making poor welds and costly errors.
But if you persevere and keep honing your welding dexterity, your welds should start to get better quickly, and you’ll start to develop the skills you need to become an expert.
4. Physical Stamina and resilience
Being physically strong and able to handle some challenging workplace conditions are great skills to have because welding may be a physically demanding job. Depending on the nature of your work, you might be required to lift heavy objects weighing 50 to 100 pounds or more.
Due to the possibility of spending a considerable amount of time in one position while welding, as well as the potential necessity to work in inclement weather such as rain, snow, or other unfavorable conditions, both mental and physical endurance will be very helpful to you in your profession.
5. The Willingness to Constantly Learn New Things
The capacity and willingness to learn are the most crucial qualities for a welder, especially when you’re just starting out as an apprentice or in trade school.
Over time, you’ll learn a great deal about various welding processes, including stick, MIG, and TIG welding, as well as details regarding shielding gases and welding processes, as well as important welding joint-making procedures.
The finest welding methods frequently change along with welding technology. When you first start out, learning new things is essential if you want to be a great welder. Later on in your career, it’s best to keep training and learning through professional development courses.
6. Effective Teamwork and Communication Skills
Although welders may work on individual workpieces by themselves, most welding tasks are part of a larger total, so it’s crucial to be a team player and have effective communication skills with everyone else in the factory or job site.
It’s critical to be a dependable employee, communicate when you have questions, assist teammates, use your time properly, and get along with others. You will undoubtedly become a useful member of any welding team by developing these talents.
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Best Welding Schools in the US
1. Lincoln Electric Welding School
The Lincoln Electric Welding School, a specialized institution that solely deals with welding, offers eight conventional courses as well as advanced welding courses that will help you get ready for a lucrative future in the industry. Given that Lincoln Electric is one of the most well-known manufacturers of welding supplies, it should come as no surprise that they operate one of the top welding trade schools.
You will only be instructed by highly skilled and competent individuals, and you will receive lots of supervised, hands-on instruction while you are here. When you finish your course, you’ll receive a diploma bearing the reputable name of Lincoln. You may use this as a springboard to one of the greatest careers in the welding industry.
You may study everything about welding at the Lincoln Electric Welding School, from the fundamentals in Intro to Welding to more complex methods like submerged welding. You will undoubtedly be ready for a lifelong profession as a master welder after completing their extensive training.
2. Hobart Institute of Welding Technology
Another well-known and reputable brand in the welding industry is Hobart. Although they are well renowned for making excellent welding equipment, they also work on other types of equipment. Their welding school, the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology, has been instructing welding for more than 80 years. Their reputation is international in part because they are a welding-specific school that teaches nothing else.
You can complete their industry-leading curriculum in less than a year and receive an American Welding Society-accredited certificate. Additionally, they provide employment aid to its graduates so that you can use your newly acquired welding abilities in a professional setting and transform your education into a functional career. Hobart Institute of Welding Technology is an excellent school to get you ready for a rewarding career in welding, whether you desire individual classes or a whole 24-week program.
3. Advanced Welding Institute
For the greatest education that will equip you for your new welding job, the Advanced Welding Institute provides expedited programs that are jam-packed with hands-on instruction. Each student will receive individualized attention to ensure they have the resources necessary to succeed at the highest levels. You’ll spend at least eight hours a day in the welding shop, a cutting-edge training facility designed to provide you the most immersive education possible.
Low student-to-teacher ratios and small class sizes guarantee that you’ll receive lots of individualized teaching to help you advance quickly. With our 15 and 24-week full-time welding programs and AWS, ASME, and API certifications, you’ll receive the training you need to compete in the field. They’ll also assist you with job searching when you finish so your skills won’t be wasted.
4. The Modern Welding School
Your certification from the Modern Welding School is guaranteed to open a lot of doors for you because it is recognized by the ACCSC, the ASME, and the AWS. Offering both full-time daytime programs and part-time evening programs, you can acquire training in all sorts of welding on a schedule that works for you.
The length of the evening part-time program is 45 weeks and 665 hours, compared to the full-time program’s 30 weeks and 900 hours. When you’re done, you’ll be knowledgeable in a variety of welding processes, including acetylene welding, structural welding, pipe welding, MIG, TIG, and more.
They also provide a variety of workshops to help you continue your education after receiving your certification and make sure you never lose out on the most recent advancements in the industry.
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5. Welder Training & Testing institute
The Welder Training & Testing Institute is one of the best places to obtain your welding certifications and be recognized by potential employers because it has accreditations from the ACCSC and the American Welding Society. Depending on what you want to study and what field you want to work in, they offer a range of programs and certificates.
Their flagship career-level curriculum, the Welder Fitter course, takes 900 hours to complete. It’s ideal for novices with little to no prior welding experience to obtain the training required to secure employment in the welding industry. The 740-hour Combination Welding program is a little less extensive and omits skills like pipe fitting and blueprint reading. They also provide courses in sophisticated welding techniques so you can specialize your professional abilities.
6. Tulsa Welding School
The Tulsa Welding School is the biggest in the nation, with three locations spread across the US. Their seven-month professional welder curriculum, which is offered in both Tulsa and Jacksonville, is 80 percent practical welding instruction. Only one day a week will you be in class. You’ll learn from seasoned experts while conducting the welds on your own in a controlled environment the rest of the time.
You can balance your study with your busy life thanks to flexible class scheduling. You’ll learn about all the common welding techniques, such as structural welding, pipe welding, MIG and Flux core welding, TIG welding, and much more. You can complete the Welding Specialist program at the Texas campus. You can obtain an American Welding Society (AWS) approved certification whenever you complete any of their welding programs, demonstrating to potential employers that you are knowledgeable in your field and took the time to obtain the highest-caliber certification available.
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7. Davis Applied Technology College
You are quite likely to have a welding profession right out of school because Davis Applied Technology College’s Welding Technology curriculum has a placement rate of 72%. Your time is well spent knowing that future employers will view your credentials with the respect demanded of an AWS recognized graduate since their certifications are accredited by the American Welding Society.
Various welding techniques, such as gas metal arc welding (GMAW), flux core arc welding (FCAW), shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), and others, can be learned here. Your specialty welding credentials will carry more weight because they are from a technical institute, but not as much as if they were obtained from a welding-only school.
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8. Wichita Area Technical College
The Wichita Area Technical College will help you get there with either an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in welding or a Technical Certificate if you’re anxious to get out into the world and start making a living with welding (TC). Depending on how much time you want to devote to learning, you can pick between three distinct welding programs.
The Welding Fast Track program, which will grant you a TC in welding in just 19 credit hours, is the shortest route. In their comprehensive welding program, you can graduate with a TC after completing 46 credits, and an AAS requires 62 credits. Your search for work in the welding business will be aided by WSU Tech’s accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and the American Welding Society of their welding programs.
9. Reid State Technical College
You can earn your short-term certificate in welding technology from Reid State Technical College with as few as two semesters of full-time study and 28 semester credits. However, it’s not your only choice. With four semesters of full-time attendance and 58 credit hours, you can obtain a full Welding Technology certificate in Pipe Welding if you want a more in-depth curriculum.
But they also offer an Associate in Occupation Technology if you want something more than just a certificate (AOT). You will need to complete this program over the course of six full-time semesters and 77 credits, but you will graduate with a primary technical specialty in welding technology and a secondary in industrial electricity/electronics technology, fully preparing you for a lifetime career in construction and manufacturing.
You will be listed in the National Training Registry and have the option of voluntarily obtaining certification from the National Center for Construction Education and Research or the American Welding Society.
10. Mead Community College
Mesa Community College has a program to meet your interests, whether you want to quickly acquire a certificate and start working or take a little longer to earn your degree. You can obtain your Certificate of Completion (CCL) in welding technology with just 15 credits. Alternatively, after earning 26 credits, you can obtain a CCL in manufacturing welding. However, if you’d prefer a degree, you can complete 64–73 credits to obtain an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in welding.
The AAS will prepare you to pass the exams and earn certifications for welder performance qualifications through the AWS, ASME, and the API, or as an AWS certified welding inspector. Either certificate will give you hands-on learning experience for a career in welding.
11. Warren County Career Center
You can obtain the qualifications you need to start a full-time welding career with any major organization by enrolling in the Warren County Career Center’s fully certified Welding Technician program. The full curriculum will take you 600 hours to complete, including 318 hours of lab time and 282 hours of theory.
Once finished, you’ll receive structural certifications in TIG, MIG, and ARC welding from the American Welding Society. Additionally, you will possess the American Heart First Aid/CPR Certification, the OSHA 10-hour General Industry Certification, and the WCCC Certificate of Program Completion. You will be completely prepared for a long-term career in welding after completing this full-time program.
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12. Universal Technical Institute
You can pursue a career in welding in sectors including automotive manufacturing and aerospace thanks to UTI’s Welding Technology Training Program, which is offered on five campuses. The entire course, which has been developed in conjunction with Lincoln Electric, lasts 36 weeks.
You must successfully complete 12 courses to learn GMAW, SMAW, FCAW, and GTAW, as well as how to weld pipe, plate, and sheet metal in flat, horizontal, overhead, and vertical positions. Your Associate in Occupation Studies, which you’ll receive once you’ve finished your coursework, will enable you to find a well-paying job in the welding industry of your choosing.
13. Arizona Automobile Institute
You are eligible to apply for the Arizona Automotive Institute’s Combination Welding program if you possess a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent. You will receive hands-on training from teachers with experience in the business, with a focus on developing the abilities that employers want to see. Their program offers flexible hours for people with busy schedules to ensure that everyone can complete the course.
You will learn several various types of arc welding during the curriculum, along with the technical skills necessary to be successful in the welding profession. Since AAI has received ACCSC accreditation, you may be sure that finishing their program will be taken seriously by prospective employers.
When you’re done, you’ll also be ready to sit for welding certification exams that adhere to the criteria set forth by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), albeit the AAI does not promise that you will receive their certification.
14. Elite Welding Academy
The Elite Welding Academy will give you the skills you need for a career in the manufacturing, commercial, or industrial sectors and has received numerous accreditations, including one from the U.S. Department of Education. It takes 1,000 hours to finish the structural and pipe welding program. It will provide you the skills necessary for pipe welding, structural welding, and manufacturing welding in the manufacturing, commercial, and industrial sectors.
To finish the program, you have a choice between taking full-time day sessions for 26 weeks or doing part-time night classes for 44 weeks. You will be prepared for welding, structural welding, and manufacturing welding across industries with the help of the Manufacturing Welding program. It is only offered at the South Point Campus and takes 224 hours to complete. You’ll receive a certificate of completion for each program.
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15. South Georgia Technical College
The South Georgia Technical College can help you become ready to start your welding profession by providing you with a diploma in welding and joining technology as well as 11 other welding certificates.
Your certificates and degree will be valuable when it comes time to be hired because they are from an approved institution. There are several forms of ARC welding, plasma cutting, blueprint reading, and other topics covered in the 54 semester credits needed to earn a full diploma in welding and joining technology.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly do welders do?
Removing extra weld, slag, or spatter from welded metal. filling holes and hammering bends and bulges out. applying and blending coats of protection. maintaining machinery and equipment.
What level of welding education is the highest?
The most prestigious title offered to welding experts is Certified Welding Supervisor (CWS).
Can welders earn $200,000 annually?
A welder can earn $200,000, yes. Once you have a few years of experience, if you can handle the long hours, time away from home, and significant schooling required to be a rig welder, you may earn over $200,000 per year.
Does welding require a lot of math?
Math is obviously important in the subject of welding and proves to be essential for a welder to perform their job correctly. A welder is incredibly beneficial to their team if they are proficient in geometry, formulas, trigonometry, whole numbers, fractions, decimal conversion, and other math concepts.
You have a choice of numerous educational institutions where you can study welding. Any of the aforementioned institutions is a wonderful place to start if you simply want to acquire your credentials and start working or if you want to spend a little more time earning a more advanced degree. However, some of them will be more beneficial in helping you find productive employment after you depart.
One of the most well-known names in welding owns and operates the Lincoln Electric welding school, thus having their name behind your certificates will impress prospective employers. A similar excellent name in welding is the Hobart Institute of Technology, and receiving your education from them will have some merit on your resume.
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