Best Welding Schools in the United States

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Use the clickable map below to find the state where you wish to attend welding school and you’ll be taken to a page where you can find the best school for your needs. We’ll provide full lists of welding schools in your area and some important things to consider before making a decision.

To get started, find your state on the map below!

 

Find Affordable Welding Schools in the US


Education

At the bottom of this page, you can find contact information for some of the 72 accredited welding programs in Alabama. When you are reviewing welding programs, make sure you review the course listings to make sure that the program offers the course you want at your level and prepares you for certification exams.

 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual pay scale for welders nationwide ranges from $24,490 for the lowest 10 percent to $55,240 for the highest 10 percent, with the median 50th percentile earning $35,920 a year. Certified welders are more likely to earn better salaries, as they have demonstrated a certain level of competency by earning their certification.

 

The 3 highest paying states for welders are:

Alaska median salary is $70,685

Hawaii median salary is $64,712

District of Columbia median salary is $55,786

 

While the 3 lowest paying states for welders are:

Idaho median salary is $33,542

Kansas median salary is $33,500

South Dakota median salary is $31,898

According to the BLS, nationwide employment opportunities for welders are expected to rise at an average rate of 3-4% per year through 2024.

The 5 states with the highest concentration of employment opportunities are Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

The 5 states with the lowest concentration of employment opportunities are: Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts

Modern Welding School

This institution is among the best welding schools in the country. It was founded in 1936, and held under several different owners before relocating to its current home in Schenectady, NY.

They feature Course 7 and Course 6 education, which includes options for full-time or part-time study on either a full day schedule or just during the evenings. They also have specialty programs that provide unique opportunities for women and veterans, and offer specialty technical training for supervisors, foremen, team leaders, project managers, safety personnel, engineers, and more.

In addition, they feature a hobby workshop for those with a casual interest in welding but not ready to commit to a full career.

Pennsylvania College of Technology

The Pennsylvania College of Technology is an NCAA Division II school located in Willimasport, PA. In addition to a full range of academic and technical programs, they offer a B.S. in Welding & Fabrication Engineering Technology, two associates degrees (Metal Fabrication Technology and Welding Technology), and certificate and minor options.

Pennsylvania College of Technology

The Pennsylvania College of Technology is an NCAA Division II school located in Willimasport, PA. In addition to a full range of academic and technical programs, they offer a B.S. in Welding & Fabrication Engineering Technology, two associates degrees (Metal Fabrication Technology and Welding Technology), and certificate and minor options.

With the bachelor’s degree, 97% of graduates are placed in career positions upon completion of the program, and 46% are hired before they complete their degree.
They have connections to national and international welding institutions. Students in these programs will work with real-life professionals who are dedicated to training the next generation of successful welders.

Montana State University

Montana State University offers a workforce program in Welding Technology, making this an ideal option for those hoping to supplement their formal education with a practical application.

Graduates gain the knowledge and skills necessary to perform welds in all positions with a variety of materials and tools. Processes include flux cored arc welding, gas metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, and shielded metal arc welding, as well as acetylene cutting, air carbon arc cutting, and plasma arc cutting.

Industry standards of quality, safety, metallurgy, and more are also taught to give welders a sound foundation in all aspects of welding technology.

West Virginia University at Parkersburg

West Virginia University at Parkersburg

This campus of West Virginia University offers two options for welders: a Certificate of Applied Science in Welding Technology, or an Associate of Applied Science in Welding Technology. The certificate program assesses students using the AWS Sense Level 1 examination, ensuring that AWS industry standards are met for all graduates.

This campus of West Virginia University offers two options for welders: a Certificate of Applied Science in Welding Technology, or an Associate of Applied Science in Welding Technology. The certificate program assesses students using the AWS Sense Level 1 examination, ensuring that AWS industry standards are met for all graduates.

There are flexible tuition options for local residents, distance learners, and even high schoolers who want to enter the program.

Entering and completing this program prepares students for a variety of careers in welding, many of which can lead to industry certifications and advanced positions.

Siena Heights University

While Siena Heights does not offer a dedicated welding program on campus, they allow students to bring their associates degree experience to the university to complement their technical education. Students who have completed an AAS (Associate of Applied Science) degree prior to enrolling may be eligible for a BAS (Bachelor of Applied Science) major.

It is based on the “inverted major” concept, which takes a student’s major or professional experience in allied health, technical, or occupational positions and crafts a customized degree program based on their interests and career goals.

Those with prior welding experience could find this a useful alternative to completing a traditional welding program elsewhere.

Idaho State University

Welding is an essential part of the College of Technology at Idaho State University. They promote their placement of students in structural steel and piping industries, boasting a 95% placement or continuing education rate upon completion of the program.

Idaho State University Complex

The program is limited, and requires 30 hours per week on campus, but they do offer a Bachelor of Applied Science, an Associate of Applied Science, and two Technical Certificates all based on various aspects of welding technology and processes.

They also offer other majors that can coincide with the welding industry, giving opportunities for cross-promotion of job skills.

Andrews University

Andrews University offers a course in welding technology; the course catalog describes it as focusing on welding technology, positioning, materials, and more.

This course is part of their aviation program, which is excellent for welders who know they want to specialize in aviation welding. However, this limited application and focus may prevent most welders from entering this program since other options provide a more well-rounded and robust program.

As a religious school, there are also limitations to student entry such as the code of conduct and religious belief standards.

Apex Technical School

Apex Technical School

Apex Technical School offers a program in Combination Welding Technology, featuring six courses that provide skills and training for entry-level welders. 

Topics include blueprint reading, welding techniques and technologies, and different methods of welding. The program provides a total of 900 hours of training, which is often the requirements for most positions and certifications.

Other programs offered at Apex include automotive service, air conditioning, electrical, auto body, and plumbing, which allows students to gain some targeted experience based on their intended career pursuits.

Ashland Community and Technical College


Ashland Community and Technical College offers an Associate of Applied Science in welding. Students can choose between two specializations: Welding Technology or Pipeline Welding.

There are also several certificates offered, including Welder Helper, Gas Welder, ARC Cutter, ARC Welder, Local 248 Pipeline Welder, and the AWS National Skills Standard Level 1. All of these options can enhance your education and prepare you for certification further along your career.

If you maintain full-time status, the program may be completed in two years. Students are suited for careers in boiler-making, pipe-fitting, ironworking, and marine welding.

Southwestern Illinois College

The American Welding Society regularly recognizes the welding program at Southwestern Illinois College as one of the best welding schools in the country, offering flexible options that work for novice welders looking to gain experience or veteran welders hoping to refine their skills.
Staff and instructors are closely involved with the AWS, often serving on the National AWS Committee.

The Complex of Southwestern Illinois College

Their welding laboratories are open most days and times of the week to offer maximum opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience.

According to the website, students use about 15 tons of filler metal and 50 tons of metal each year, which means that you will have ample opportunities to work with real materials to augment your classroom training. 

Hobart Institute of Welding Technology

The Hobart Institute of Welding Technology is a rare school that is dedicated solely to welding. They have more than 80 years of experience in teaching welding, with over 100,000 graduates since their inception in 1930.

It offers two programs in Combination Structural & Pipe Welding and Structural Welding.
They feature courses in shielded metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, and gas metal arc welding, as well as technology, metallurgy, blueprint design, and more.

Their programs prepare welders to take a variety of AWS certification exams, making them an ideal choice for those interested in pursing certification.

Tulsa Welding School, Jacksonville

Tulsa Welding School offers vocational training in Welding, HVAC, Refrigeration, and Electrical.

Welders can complete a seven month program to be certified as a Professional Welder, or extend to a 10 month program and include Pipefitting in their curriculum.

Tulsa Welding School Sign

This institution provides relocation assistance, housing, and other scholarships for students who want to take advantage of their programs, and they boast on 84% employment rate upon graduation.

Their website offers a 360-degree virtual tour of their facility, giving prospective students a true look into their equipment and training opportunities, which can be helpful for those deciding on the best education option.

Northwest Louisiana Technical College, Natchitoches Campus

This institution features several campuses across the state, which provides some flexibility; however, not all campuses offer welding education as an option.

Students may complete a technical diploma, a Certificate of Technical Studies (CTS), or focus in a Technical Competency Area (CTA). They offer a wide variety of courses and directed practical experiences that allows students the maximum opportunity to tailor their program to their needs.

Topics covered include all types of welding, blueprint reading, high heat control, weld symbols, and joints.

Mountainland Applied Technology College

Mountainland Applied Technical College offers a variety of certificates and licensures to align with industry needs and standards. Their own institutional Program Certificate in Welding Technology can be supplemented by AWS Level I Certificates in GMAW, FCAW, SMAW, or GTAW.
They also offer AWS-certified Structural Qualification Certificates in SMAW or FCAW.

Mountainland Applied Technology College

This institution promotes education opportunities and career placement for welders as tackers, welding operators, industrial and farm maintenance welders, all-position structural welders, aluminum and stainless TIG welders, and more.

West Kentucky Community and Technical College, Paducah

The Paducah campus of the West Kentucky Community and Technical College offers a robust program in welding technology. Students earn an Associate of Applied Science in General Occupational and Technical Studies, with a diploma as a Combination Welder.

They also offer a range of certificate options in gas welding, ARC welding, tack welder, pipeline welder, and a certificate for the AWS National Skills Standard Level 1.

Those who want to receive a diploma can complete the program in as little as 3 semesters, and can lead professionals to welder certification where needed.

Hispanic American College

For those interested in welding who live outside the continental United States, the Hispanic American College in Puerto Rico offers majors in Welding, Cosmetology, and Barbering. The Hispanic American acceptance rate is 100%, although it is overall a very small institution.

It is one of three institutions that offer welding programs in Puerto Rico. For those hoping to launch a welding career there, it may be important to earn your certification quickly after the program – that is often a requirement to secure employment and start a successful career in that area due to decreased demand.

Des Moines Area Community College, Ankeny

Des Moines Area Community College - Ankeny, IA

The Des Moines Area Community College is home to the Iowa Welding Institute. Classes are held primarily at the Ankeny campus, but are also offered at the Carroll, Newton, Perry Center, and Southridge Center campuses.

In addition to the Welding Diploma, students can earn certificates in Blueprint Reading, Thermal Cutting, and various methods of welding including GMAW and MIG welding. All programs allow students to begin during the fall, spring, or summer semesters.

Potential career paths include Aluminum Welder, Fabrication Welder, Maintenance Welder, Welder/Fabricator, and more.

Northshore Technical Community College, Florida Parishes

Offered through the Division of Technical Studies, the multi-campus Northshore Technical Community College provides vocational and technical education in a variety of disciplines, including welding.

Those that complete the program are fully prepared to identify and use the tools and materials for welding, and demonstrate their proficiency in various types of welding.

The Technical Diploma in Welding can be augmented by a concentration area in SMAW, FCAW, GTAW, or GMAW welding. Certificates can also be achieved in these disciplines, as well as Welder Fundamentals and Welder Helper.

South Seattle Community College

The welding program at South Seattle Community College is accredited by the Washington Association of Building Officials, which is a useful partnership when considering employment in the area.
They offer an Associate of Applies Science (AAS or AAS-T) in Welding Fabrication Technology, as well as a certificate program.

Computer training is a unique feature of this program, providing welders the chance to work with state-of-the-art computer technology. They also have a Maritime Shipyard Welding program offered in conjunction with Vigor Industrial Shipyards through the Harbor Island Training Center.

South Seattle Community College

Somerset Community College

Somerset Community College is another program in the Kentucky community college system that offers a dedicated welding program. In addition to training in the materials and techniques for welding professionals, courses in blueprint reading, shop mathematics, and mechanical drawing are also part of the program.
Welders can graduate and enter successful careers as gas welders, production line welders, ARC cutters, and pipeline welders; they can also be certified as AWS National Skills Standard Level 1.

Aims Community College, Greeley

Welders who enroll at Aims Community College can achieve an Associate of Applied Science in Welding Technology. They can also add a certificate in ARC Welding Processes, Metal Cutting & Gouging, Metal Fabrication, Pipe Welding, Welding for AG Educators, and Welding Technician. All of these can lead to advanced certifications through AWS if desired.

Students are expected to meet documented standards on welding skill and knowledge, professionalism, and problem solving. Graduates are poised for a successful career in the welding and metal fabrication fields.
The Greeley campuses has also undergone recent renovations to their welding facility.

Walla Walla Community College

Walla Walla Community College Complex

Walla Walla Community College in Washington offers a certified state-of-the-art facility that adheres to WABO (Washing Association of Building Officials) and AWS SENSE (Schools Excelling through National Skills Education) standards, making it a prime choice for those seeking AWS certification in their welding careers.

They offer an AAS degree and certificate in Welding Technology, as well as a certificate in Aluminum Welding Technology. Graduates can enter the workforce with trade unions, gas companies, fabrication or manufacturing companies, or facility and equipment maintenance.

Grays Harbor College

Grays Harbor College offers associate degrees in three concentrations: Structural Welding, Construction Welding, and Pipe Welding. This provides a diverse array of career paths for welders hoping to gain professional credentials and complete the education necessary for AWS certification. Their training is intended for novice welders, journeyman upgrades, and certification test preparation.

They also provide certificate programs in construction, pipe, or structural welding; industrial welding; open root pipe welding; and various welding basics programs.
Career examples include work as a journeyman welder, pipefitter, boilermaker, ironworker, sheet metal worker, or fabricator.

Olympic College

OC

Olympic College offers welding experiences at both their Bremerton and Shelton campuses, with an Associate in Technical Arts (ATA) in Welding Technology or certificates of proficiency or specialization, as well as a focus in Aluminum Welding and a certificate of recognition in precision metal cutting.

In addition to the two-year Associates program, the certificates can prepare welders for entry into the professional industry, offering the chance for welders to improve their skills and increase their career potential.

South Central Louisiana Technical College, Young Memorial Campus

This location has been absorbed into the South Louisiana Community College system, along with Fletcher Technical Community College and River Parishes Community College. Under this new alignment, welding programs are available at eight locations across the state.

All locations offer fall starts to the program, except for Abbeville, which starts in the spring.
Skills designated by AWS are incorporated throughout the program, which makes this the perfect choice for those pursuing AWS certification.
Graduate can enter successful careers as welders, structural welders, MIG welders, TIG welders, and flux core welders.

Madisonville Community College

Another location in the Kentucky community and technical college system, this location also offers a similar Associate of Applied Science in Welding Technology, with the additional benefit of substituting a certain amount of experiential learning for the academic courses.

Madisonville Community College exterior

Another location in the Kentucky community and technical college system, this location also offers a similar Associate of Applied Science in Welding Technology, with the additional benefit of substituting a certain amount of experiential learning for the academic courses. Also, students at this institution may qualify for scholarships through the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship program.

Students who successfully graduate can go on to careers as ARC cutters and welders, gas welders, tack welders, and production line welders with an advanced certification from the institution.

New Castle School of Trades

For over 70 years, the New Castle School of Trades has offered technical programs to meet the needs of professionals and industries. The Combination Welding programs covers all industry standards and methods of welding, including MIG, TIG, stick, pipe, nonferrous metals, and flux core welding.

Those that complete the program are equipped for careers as combination welders, fabricators, repair welders, pipeline welders, pipe welders, construction welders and burners. This provides an array of hands-on experience and career paths for those looking to expand their welding careers.

Midwest Technical Institute, Moline

Midwest Technical Institute logo

The Moline campus of the Midwest Technical Institute offers several options for technical education in welding.
The Journeyman Welder program is ideal for entry-level welders. It is a seven-month program that offers eight levels of certifications, covering the basics of welding technology and materials.
It offers hands-on practical experience coupled with the academic knowledge needed for a successful career.

The Journeyman Welder II program offers an additional element of education to the initial program. It offers more hands-on pipe fitting training and includes more hands-on fitting and rigging. Those that complete this program can further focus and specialize in pipe fitting throughout their careers.

In addition, there is a continuing education course in pipe fitting that offers additional focus and training for working professionals.

The two Journeyman Welder programs are offered at all four Midwest Technical Institute locations (Springfield, Moline, and East Peoria, Illinois; and Springfield, Missouri), while the continuing education course is not offered at the Missouri location.

Owens Community College, Toledo Campus

The welding program at Owens Community College has been accredited by the American Welding Society to meet all of the QC4 Standards of Accreditation of Test Facilities, meaning that they are uniquely qualified to test and qualify welders for AWS certifications.
They offer an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Welding, and sixteen certificates in various specializations:

  • Building Maintenance
  • Building Maintenance Certificate
  • Electrical
  • Electrical Certificate
  • GMAW Certificate
  • GTAW Certificate
  • HVACR Certificate
  • Industrial Mechanic Certificate
  • Machining Certificate
  • Mechanical
  • Pipe Welding Certificate
  • Pipefitter & Plumbing Certificate
  • Plate Welding Certificate
  • SMAW Certificate
  • Tool & Die/Mold Making Certificate
  • Welding

Greenville Technical College

The welding program at Greenville Technical College is accredited by the American Welding Society (AWS) and the American Welding Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), making it an industry standard for welding education. They are also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), signifying their dedication to overall academic standards for awarding post-secondary degrees.

Three Certificates in Applied Science are available at Greenville: Welding, Robotic Welding, and Specialized Welding. Each of these options provides students training and education in the fundamentals of metal fabrication, maintenance welding, construction pipe welding, pipe fitting, print reading, and more.

They also offer a refresher course (that does not apply for academic credit) for those who want to brush up on their welding skills.