Welding is a highly skilled trade that is critical to manufacturing, construction, and even public works projects. Due to its applicability across industries, welding is a high-paying career path that allows graduates to work with their hands. Welders can work on airplanes, in vehicular production, and on shipping vessels. This trade requires keen attention to detail, technique, and respect for occupational safety hazards that can be present on a job site or in a workplace.
Attending a welding trade school is a great way for skilled laborers to acquire a new skill that continues to rise in demand. Graduates with a welding certification first observe, then practice how to operate a range of welding tools for Gas Metal Arc Welding and Flux-cored Arc Welding in lab settings.
Programs can range in length depending on the type of welding that a student pursues, and often include metallurgy courses to better understand the materials that they are working with.
For students interested in getting an Associate Degree in Welding Technology, this academic path can provide graduates with high-earning skills in welding that can land them in a variety of roles post-graduation. Associate programs often prepare students to take the required certification exams in order to qualify for professional roles in manufacturing or construction.
Future applicants who want a Bachelor’s Degree in Welding Engineering Technology typically take up to 120 credits that span over a four-year period. Rather than specializing in one particular type of welding as is typical of an associate program, students in bachelor’s tracks usually are exposed to a wide variety of welding techniques with distinct equipment and safety requirements. Bachelor’s programs combine in-person lectures with hands-on lab time so students are familiar with the theoretical and technical aspects of their roles as welders.
For graduates that look to further their technical welding expertise and conduct research on materials such as rare metals, a Master of Science in Welding Engineering Technology can provide the platform for a successful career. These degrees are often pursued after students complete their bachelor’s programs and are on an academic path that can lead to roles like Master Welder or Welding Inspector.
Students that are looking for the appropriate certificates and licenses to work in the welding industry often pursue Certified Welder, Certified Welding Inspector certification, or Certified Welding Educator certification to name a few
Graduates from welding trade schools often seek roles as welders or cutters making on average $44,190 per year, while Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturers can earn up to $45,800 annually.
While a majority of the theoretical aspects of welding can be learned in an online or virtual setting, it is critical to have in-person laboratory direction to become successful in the profession.
Just like any skilled trade, welding takes time and hours of practice before apprentice-level workers can become independent in their roles. Most often, students apply to trade schools that specialize in welding, though some graduates may seek additional educational opportunities in academia.
|School||Average Tuition||Student Teacher Ratio||Enrolled Students|
|Brigham Young University-Idaho Rexburg, ID||76 : 1||44,481|
|Idaho State University Pocatello, ID||19 : 1||11,766|
|Metro Technology Centers Oklahoma City, OK||1,027|
|Bergen Community College Paramus, NJ||56 : 1||11,409|
|Pensacola State College Pensacola, FL||57 : 1||9,226|