Top 10 Places to Attend School for Welding

If you’re thinking about becoming a welder, don’t hesitate!

The American Welding Society predicts there will be a shortage of 291,000 skilled welders by the year 2020. That means that welders will be in high demand.

With such high demand, companies are willing to pay more for skilled welders, and the more skills you have as a welder, the more lucrative your career will be.

So where do you begin?

Aside from getting the right tools for the trade, be sure that you enroll in a school for welding… And not just any school.

If you’re truly ready to become a great welder who’s in demand, read on to discover which school for welding might be right for you:

1. Hobart Institute of Welding Technology

Located in Troy, Ohio just north of Dayton, Hobart Institute of Welding Technology was established in 1930. It offers a wide variety of training from pipe welding, plate welding, weld inspection and welding certification testing.

This school for welding offers over 20 different entry-level welding training programs; with the most comprehensive being the Combination Structural & Pipe Welding program.

This is a 1330 hour class over 38 weeks that runs from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. Students receive in-depth training in all of the major welding processes including:

  • Oxyacetylene Welding & Cutting – Students spend 2 weeks learning how to weld and cut metal smoothly and efficiently with a torch.
  • Shielded Metal Arc – Also known a Stick or SMAW welding, students spend 16 weeks learning how to weld pipe and plate in every position including overhead and 6G welding positions.
  • Gas Tungsten Arc Welding – This process is known as TIG welding. Students spend nine weeks learning how to TIG weld pipe and plate on a variety of base metals including aluminum, mild steel, stainless steel, and titanium.
  • Gas Metal Arc Welding – GMAW or MIG welding classes run for 4 weeks and covers pipe welding as well as plate.
  • Flux Cored Arc Welding – Also known as FCAW, students spend two weeks learning this process.

Students spend the majority of their time in a welding booth, and learn other important skills required for the industry, such as Welding Technology & Blueprint Reading, and Weldability of Metals, Ferrous & Nonferrous.

Hobart gets great reviews across the board. It has a long history of training welders and providing them the skills needed to succeed in the industry.

2. Lincoln Electric Welding School

Since 1917, Lincoln Electric Welding School has been turning out highly skilled welders with a vast array of skills. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, their curriculum is different from Hobart’s in that they don’t offer a “learn everything” welding program.

At Lincoln’s school for welding, students can either pick the courses they wish to take, or they can enroll in a more traditional welding program. While we can’t list all of their class offerings, here are some of their more popular welding classes:

  • Basic Plate and Sheet Metal Welding – A 6-week course that’s ideal for those interested in structural steel welding.
  • Pipe Welding – ASME or API – This course runs 4 weeks and students can choose between ASME and API pipe welding standards.
  • Motorsports – Advanced Materials – In this 5-day program, students will get hands-on training welding exotic metals like titanium, magnesium, and inconel.
  • Advanced Submerged Arc Welding – Similar to MIG welding, but done under a bath of flux, this program runs 3 days.

For students with no prior experience with welding, Lincoln’s Comprehensive Welding Program is the perfect option. Running 15 weeks, this program covers the following:

  • SMAW/Stick Pipe Welding
  • Plate Welding
  • Torch and Plasma Cutting
  • Hardfacing
  • GTAW/TIG Welding
  • FCAW/ Flux Cored Arc Welding

While offering excellent welding training, where Lincoln further excels is with welding exotic metals. Having the ability to weld metals that others cannot puts you in a strong position to land a lucrative job.

3. Tulsa Welding School

Tulsa Welding School was founded in 1949 by two welders who recognized a strong demand for skilled tradesman in their industry. Over 60 years later, TWS has evolved into an educational institution that prepares students for various skilled trade careers with a multitude of specialties and applications:

“We train our graduates for the skills, knowledge, and the workplace attitudes that are essential when entering the professional world. Graduates who put forth the dedication, commitment to excel, and workplace experience in their welding, pipefitting, shipfitting, HVAC/R or electrical welding education, have the potential to obtain a lasting and rewarding welding career.”

Tulsa Welding School offers the following programs:

  • Professional Welder
  • Refrigeration Technologies
  • Electro-Mechanical Technologies
  • Welding Specialist
  • Welding Specialist with Pipefitting
  • Electrical Applications

The time span of all programs ranges from three and half months to fourteen months. Students spend most of their time in practical welding, with some time spent on theory.

This school for welding employs some of the most highly trained professionals, thereby giving students a unique opportunity to work with the most talented and experienced welders.

4. University of Alaska, Anchorage

It may be a way to go, but the University of Alaska, Anchorage was ranked 75th among the universities in the west and one of the top 25 universities in the country by U.S. News and World Report in 2014.

Founded in 1954, students at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, can pursue an Associate of Applied Science in Welding and Nondestructive Testing Technology through the university’s technical college.

The university’s school for welding educates aspiring students about various metallic components and structures, along with thermal cutting procedures of metals and numerous welding processes.

Upon graduation, students earn a degree and are prepared for employment as entry-level nondestructive testing technicians.

5. Utah State University

Located in Logan, Utah, this state university is a public research university. Founded in 1888, it offers several programs such as agriculture, business, mechanic arts and domestic arts.

But it also offers welding programs for interested students.

Utah State University offers two programs in its school for welding:

  • Associate of Applied Science Degree
  • Certificate of Completion in Welding

The Associate’s program is for those who aspire to pursue a career in the welding industry with a complete welding educational background.

For students looking to join the industry with just one year of training, the certificate of completion in welding is offered after the student has completed 23 credit hours of general welding along with 9 hours of general education.

In either case, the welding program of Utah State University is a solid choice for anyone seeking a career in welding.

6. University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Heading way up north again, the University of Alaska, Fairbanks is one of the top-rated public research universities in the country. Founded in 1917, it offers various programs including a welding program for aspiring welders.

The university’s welding program is ideal for the beginner who wants to learn the basics of metal cutting and welding. But it’s also well-suited to those individuals who aspire to take their welding skills to the next level.

Advanced students have the opportunity to work toward American Welding Society certification.

7. Ferris State University

Ferris State University was founded in 1884 in Big Rapids, Michigan. Its welding engineering technology program was established 100 years later.

This program is nationally recognized and is also the largest welding program (within a university) in the United States.

The university offers more than 180-degree programs in welding designed to produce highly skilled and plant or industrial level welding engineering technology graduates.

8. College of Western Idaho

The College of Western Idaho is a top-rated public community college that is popular for its welding courses. It is located in southwestern Idaho.

Students can complete their school for welding in a year, at which point they are certified with the American Welding Society and ready to start their careers in welding.

In the program, students learn all of the basic welding processes. They are also given opportunities to participate in community projects.

9. Butte College

Located in Northern California, Butte College offers welding courses among its other offerings.

The Welding Technology Program consists of a core of vocational courses designed to produce qualified personnel for certified welding jobs.

Program performance standards for certification are in accordance to those established by the American Welding Society and/or American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

It should be noted, however, the Welding Technology Program accepts 50 students beginning each fall semester and runs continuously – except for school holidays and certain breaks – through the first two weeks of summer session.

Since the program is impacted, interested students are required to complete a Welding Technology application to be placed on the waitlist.

10. Ohio State University

And finally, for students looking for a bachelor’s degree, Ohio State University in Columbus offers students a four-year program in welding engineering.

The program offers basic liberal studies, as well as the engineering training needed to function effectively in the manufacturing industry. Students are also taught different welding methods and welding technology.

Four cross-disciplinary areas of study are covered in:

  • welding materials
  • design
  • processes
  • nondestructive evaluations

Please note that certain prerequisites are required before being admitted into the Department of Material Sciences and Engineering.

Which School for Welding Will You Choose?

From Alaska to Oklahoma, Ohio to California, there’s definitely a school for welding that’s just right for you.

So get out there and start making a new life for yourself as a welder. What are you waiting for?

As always, if you have any questions on welding matters, feel free to reach out to us.

Salvador J. Celaya

Salvador J. Celaya is the Editor of As a welding enthusiast he loves to share what he knows about welding helmets and other gear in this field. In personal life he is the father of two cute kids and a loving husband. He loves foods and nothing is more important for him than being with family and friends in his spare time.

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