Best Welding colleges in the U.S. 2022

Written by Chris Lombardo

Best Welding colleges in the U.S. for 2022

BYU has Bachelor’s in Welding and shorter certificate programs for students who want to work in the welding field. Prospective students anticipate larger class sizes, and ample post-graduation job placement opportunities on-campus.

Idaho State University
Pocatello, ID

Idaho State University offers 5 Welding Technology/Welder degree programs. It's a large, public, four-year university in a small city. In 2020, 37 Welding Technology/Welder students graduated with students earning 32 Certificates, and 5 Associate's degrees.

Lawson State Community College is a medium-sized community college that has a few welding certificate programs for students who aspire to become welders. Many applicants learn the skills needed to work in construction, manufacturing, and even in the aerospace sector.

The University of Alaska Anchorage offers both associate and certificate-level welding programs that teach enrolled students the fundamentals of welding and its applicability in different industries. Lectures often provide students with theoretical and technological coursework, while in-person labs offer hands-on testing time to observe faculty and hone skills.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks has a Welding Technology department that produces skilled welders on an annual basis. This four-year institution prepares students to graduate and take the required welding certificate programs before they enter the workforce.

The University of Alaska Southeast has a small certificate program tailor-made for students entering the field of welding. Students can anticipate interactive labs that allow them to become familiarized with the tools and technology that a professional welder operates.

The University of Arkansas at Monticello operates a welding certificate program that teaches students the technical and hands-on skills that are critical for a professional welder. Given the rising demand and applicability across sectors, getting a welding certificate can open many doors for recent graduates.

North Arkansas College
Harrison, AR

North Arkansas College is a small trade school with a two-year welding certificate program designed for students preparing to enter the industry with the relevant, hands-on training needed to be a skilled laborer. Smaller classes and more one-on-one instruction make this a practical choice for prospective applicants.

Cabrillo College
Aptos, CA

Students at Cabrillo College can take a welding certificate program and graduate with a degree in around two years. This trade school offers students hands-on classroom instruction and job placement assistance for recent graduates in the field of welding.

Cerritos College
Norwalk, CA

Cerritos College has associate and certificate programs for students interested in getting a degree in welding. This is a popular trade that continues to grow in demand in the construction and fabrication industries, which bodes well for prospective students.

Find local colleges with Welding majors in the U.S.

What is Welding?

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.

Welding Degree Overview

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.

Associate Degree in Welding

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.

Bachelor's Degree in Welding

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.

Master's Degree in Welding

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.

Certification and Licensure in Welding

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

What Can I Do with a Degree in Welding?

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.

Earning an Online Welding Degree

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.

Welding FAQ

  • How long does it take to become a trained welder?
    • Welding certificates can take between six to nine months to complete depending on the certification.
  • Is becoming a certified welder worth it?
    • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, secondary education is quickly becoming the standard for employers looking for skilled laborers with backgrounds in welding.
  • Do welders make good money?
    • The Bureau of Labor Statistics asserts that $42,000 dollars per year is the average income for a skilled welder. Surveys conducted by the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association show that most skilled welders make on average $17 an hour.

List of all Welding colleges in the U.S.

School Average Tuition Student Teacher Ratio Enrolled Students
Brigham Young University-Idaho Logo Brigham Young University-Idaho Rexburg, ID
76 : 1 44,481
Idaho State University Logo Idaho State University Pocatello, ID
19 : 1 11,766
CET-Colton Logo CET-Colton Colton, CA     135
Bismarck State College Logo Bismarck State College Bismarck, ND
31 : 1 3,716
Lorenzo Walker Technical College Logo Lorenzo Walker Technical College Naples, FL     736