The Best Welding Schools and Colleges
Below you’ll find the top schools to get your welding certification.
So you want to be a welder.
Luckily, the US is packed full of prestigious and reputable dedicated welding schools who are all guaranteed to turn you into a skilled professional welder. Wherever you live in the US, scan the list below to find a top notch welding school near you!
24. American Welding Society
The American Welding Society pretty much sets the benchmarks for everything to do with welding and its appropriate standards. As a result, undertaking any training with them is guaranteed to teach you the most up-to-date, highest quality information, meaning that your skills and knowledge will always be relevant. As well as conferences, seminars and other events, the AWS runs a series of online training packages, which means that you can study from the comfort of your own home.
23. Elite Welding Academy
The Elite Welding Academy offers a structural and pipe welding program, which lasts for six months. During this time, you’ll complete around 1,000 hours of training, which is more than enough to equip you with all the skills you’ll need. This school doesn’t have a traditional campus where you’ll be able to stay on-site, but they do have links to a number of hotels nearby; if you mention that you’re a student at this academy, you’ll be allowed to stay in comfort for the duration of your studies.
22. Welder Testing and Training Institute
Regardless of your prior level of welding experience, this school will have a course to suit you. If you’re a complete beginner with no experience, they offer introductory courses which give you a minimum of 500 hours of training; if you’re looking for a slightly more complex course then two other career level programs are available, which are around twice as long. Alternatively, if you’re already a professional welder, then you can enrol on one of their top-up courses to specialize in a particular field, such as flux cored arc welding (FCAW) to name just one example. Only some of these courses are eligible for financial aid, so it’s worth checking if you can afford it before you apply.
21. Modern Welding School
The fantastic thing about the Modern Welding Institute is that they give you the opportunity to learn to weld, even if you don’t intend to use it for career purposes. Of course, they do offer several different career welding courses which will leave you with professional welding qualifications. In addition, they also offer industry training, with flexible classes that can suit different organizations’ requirements (including one-on-one training). Alternatively, if you only intend to do welding as a hobby but you still want to make sure you do it properly, then for as little as $200 and six hours of your time you can enrol on one of their hobby welding courses to get to grips with the basics!
20. Pennsylvania College of Technology
The Pennsylvania College of Technology offers three different welding majors: welding, welding technology, and welding and fabrication engineering technology. They all cover the most common welding techniques, but each one goes on to specialize in different fields which can lead to careers in anything from construction welding and shipbuilding to teaching and research. By the end, you could come out with a full degree (Bachelor of Science), which is a really impressive qualification to have when you head out into the workplace. The class sizes at this size or school, so you’ll receive personal tuition to suit your own progress.
19. Montana State University
In order to be awarded with a Certificate of Applied Science Degree, one great option is to enrol on the welding technology course at Montana State University. At the biggest university in the state, you’ll learn everything you need to know in order to be placed on the AWS National Registry of Welders, which is something that prospective employers will be looking for. However, you won’t just learn the basics of welding; you’ll learn plenty more, right from communication within the workplace, right through to how to interpret blueprints.
18. South Seattle College
For most people aspiring to a career in welding, this school’s welding fabrication technology program will probably be more than suitable – it starts with the basic principles and planning, and even leads on to cover computer training. However, if you have something more specific in mind, then the welding intensive for maritime and manufacturing environments course might be for you. In this case, South Seattle College have paired up with Vigor Industrial Shipyards to give you hands-on, real-life experience of diagnosing problems and welding safely in a genuine shipyard environment – which is the kind of experience that a classroom can never teach!
17. West Virginia University
Parkersburg, West Virginia
Believe it or not, WVU’s school of theater and dance is one surprising place where you can learn some basic welding skills. As part of their advanced stagecraft course, they teach welding and stage construction techniques, which will give you practical experience in a really niche market. However, if you already work at West Virginia University and it’s likely that you’ll be involved with welding, then you can take their short welding and hot works course, which will teach you all the skills you need for your job.
16. Vincennes University
Vincennes University have paired up with Lincoln Electric to create a welding technology program which uses all the latest technology and equipment to teach top level skills. You can either complete the full program, which is an intensive two-year look at a wide variety of welding types and applications, or complete a one-year certificate which takes on a much more hands-on approach to apply your learning.
15. Siena Heights University
Based in Michigan, Siena Heights University is a great choice that you might not have considered. Their class sizes are small, with a ratio of twelve students per tutor, meaning that you can get really personal guidance based on your own individual progress. Even better is the fact that they also offer a broad program of distance learning and online courses, meaning that you don’t even have to live in Michigan to take advantage of their syllabus!
14. Idaho State University
Idaho State University offers a wide spread of welding courses, ranging from welding theory, right through to mechanical drawing and metal layout – as well as all the welding practice options. Usually, it makes most sense to combine several of these courses in order to complete an Intermediate or Advanced Technical Certificate, or even an Associate of Applied Science Degree.
13. Ferris State University
Big Rapids, Michigan
This school offers the largest welding engineering technology program in the country, which teaches impressively complex theory and skills. Choose from an A. A. S. in welding technology, or a B. S. in welding engineering technology: both have seriously high teaching standards. There are a number of welding scholarships available to particularly outstanding students, as well as competitions and awards which you can use as an incentive to hone your skills.
12. Boise State University
Located in Idaho, Boise State University is yet another institution that offers welding training within an artistic context. Their art assembled form course teaches how to assemble various different materials, including some focus on welding. This is a fantastic option for anyone who is interested in pursuing welding as part of a creative career, rather than something industrial.
11. Andrews University
Berrien Springs, Michigan
Here we have yet another top quality school located in the state of Michigan. Although this has been described as one of the most multicultural universities in the country, it’s worth bearing in mind that this is a Christian school which places a lot of emphasis on its beliefs. Nevertheless, the standard of teaching is extremely high, even for guest students, homeschoolers or students who wish to undertake distance learning.
10. Apex Technical School
New York, New York
The fact that this school specializes in technical programs and industrial courses really stands in its favor, because you can be sure to receive really focused training. Their combination welding technology course is intensive, lasting 30 weeks in total. You should be aware that accommodation and meals aren’t available on campus, which may raise your costs significantly – however you will still receive brilliant training for your money!
9. Ashland Community and Technical College
Enrol in the welding technology course at Ashland Community and Technical College and you could end up qualifying with an A. A. S. degree, a diploma, or one of eleven certificates. However, bear in mind that the campus offers no accommodation, so you’ll either have to commute to the college every day (for the duration of the two-year long program) or relocate to nearby housing in the area.
8. South Georgia Technical College
South Georgia Technical College offers one of the broadest spectrums of welding programs in the country. Choose from one of numerous welding-specific courses such as welding and joining technology (which even covers underwater welding), basic shielded metal arc welder, or welding blueprint reading to name just a few examples. Alternatively, if you’re interested in specializing your skills, why not enrol on a slightly different course which touches upon welding as part of its syllabus? Motorsports chassis technician and ornamental iron fabricator are just two examples of the creative, unusual and diverse options available to students.
7. Southwestern Illinois College
Four professional certificates and one degree make up this school’s welding program, which is recognized as one of the best of its kind by the AWS. The syllabus is ideal for any aspiring welders, whether you’re a complete beginner or someone with previous welding experience. Southwestern Illinois College welcomes applications from students of all ages, including those over 60 – so there’s no excuse for not brushing up on your welding skills!
6. Arizona Automotive Institute
Receiving a welding qualification from a school which specializes in technical and industrial practices is something that really appeals to employers, which is just one of the reasons why choosing Arizona Automotive Institute is such a good idea. Their course usually takes 40 weeks to complete so it isn’t a cheap option or a quick fix, but you are guaranteed a high teaching standard for your efforts.
5. Albany Technical College
The welding technology program at Albany Technical College encompasses a variety of diplomas and certificates, including advanced shielded metal arc welder, pipe welder and more. However, in order to be accepted onto one of their courses, you will need to pass exams in reading, writing and math, which will ensure that you (and your fellow students) meet a basic level of skills.
4. University of Alaska Anchorage
One of the most appealing features of this school is that they have managed to seamlessly combine all the benefits of a large university with all the advantages of countryside living. This is the largest post-secondary level school in the state, which means that they’re all set up to dealing with all your individual needs while still maintaining a high standard; they pair this with a focus on leading an active lifestyle in picturesque surroundings. This is one of only a few institutes in the country to combine welding training with nondestructive testing technology in one comprehensive program.
3. Central Louisiana Technical Community College
In order to receive the most appropriate training for your chosen career path, having choice is key. To that end, CLTCC is fantastic, because it offers no less than one diploma and eleven certificates to choose from, all of which focus on teaching a broad range of welding skills. This school is made up of seven different campuses; their welding program is offered at every location.
2. The Lincoln Electric Welding School
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You probably don’t have to be told that Lincoln Electric is one of the biggest and most reputable brands within the welding industry. However, what you might not be aware of is that they don’t just make welding equipment – they also have an entire school dedicated to training. They offer 16 different standard and advanced courses (as well as a teacher-observer program), which all have extremely high standards of teaching. The fees aren’t cheap, but you’ll graduate with a Lincoln Electric branded certificate of your qualification – and having that branded accolade on your resume will look seriously impressive!
1. Hobart Institute of Welding Technology
Train with one of the best names in the industry at the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology, located in Troy, Ohio. They have two intense, comprehensive programs to choose from: combination structural and pipe welding, or the slightly shorter and cheaper structural welding. Both of these are made up of a large number of individual courses, including weldability of metals: ferrous and nonferrous, which is a knowledge base that few other schools teach. Being a school with such a well respected brand name you can be sure to receive incredibly high teaching standards, which is reflected in the 81% job placement rate for graduates.