41 Best Welding Schools & Online Courses in California

Are you residing in California? Have you been considering a career in welding? These are some of the various Welding Schools in California. These schools provide classes in Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG), and Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), as well as conventional pipe welding, making sure you receive the right training. Sculptors and other artists might also put in for welding training a way of supplementing their skills.
Find Affordable Welding Schools in California

Best in Northern California: Cal-Trade Welding School in Modesto

Website: http://www.caltradeweldingschool.com/

Cost depends on the certification (such as a shielded metal arc certificaiton) you are trying to get, but for most people it's about $9,000. The courses they have focus on 6 different disciplines -  Combination, Welding Inspection, Structural Welding, MIG/TIG, and Pipeline welding where you'll learn key welding skills and blueprint reading capabilities. 

Bonus: For all tests students get 1 hour of free preparation with instructors.

Best in Southern California: Welding Skills Test and Training Center in Rancho Cucamonga

Website: https://www.weldingclass.org/

Although Inland Empire isn't exactly the #1 county in California, they certainly have a great welding school. Welding Skills Test and Training Center offers a bunch of certifications such as the following AWS certifications:

  •  D1.1 Structural Welding Code - Steel *
  •  D1.2 Structural Welding Code - Aluminum *
  •  D1.3 Structural Welding Code - Sheet Steel *
  •  D1.4 Structural Welding Code - Reinforcing Steel (Rebar)
  •  D1.5 Bridge Welding Code
  •  D1.6 Structural Welding Code - Stainless Steel *
  •  D9.1 Sheet Metal Welding Code
  •  D15.1 Railroad Welding Specification for Cars & Locomotives
  •  D17.1 Fusion Welding for Aerospace Applications
  •  D18.1 Stainless Steel Tube & Pipe Systems in Sanitary (Hygienic) Applications
  •  D18.3 Welding of Tanks, Vessels and Other Equipment in Sanitary (Hygienic) Applications
  •  B2.2 Brazing
  •  C3.4 Specification for Torch Brazing
  • D1.8 Seismic Supplement to D1.1 Structural Code *

And more certs:

  • AMSE IX Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code
  • ASME B31.3 Process Piping
  • API 1104 Welding of Pipelines and Related Facilities
  • AWWA C206 Field Welding of Steel Water Pipe

* LABDS Certified Welder License

Unfortunately I could not get up to date tuition information about their program. Regardless, their reputation precedes them and they are known for producing great welders in California with great instructors and courses.

How To Become a welder in california?

You'll need a high school diploma or a GED in order to get accepted into a school. Having an Associate's Degree will make applicants more competitive. After completion of school, you'll need an AWS certification.

how long does training list?

Training varies per school, but generally lasts 1-2 years for most programs. After completion of school, you can expect to become a paid apprentice, which is similar to a paid intern where you'll get professional welding and blueprint reading experience.

Best Welding Schools in California

Name of Institution
Type f Program
Allen Handcock College Welding Program800 S. College Dr. Santa Maria, CA 93454(805) 922 69662 Year College
Cal-Trade Welding School of Modesto – Nothern California424 Kansas Ave Modesto, CA 95351(209) 523 0753CTE
Cerro Coso Community College Welding Program3000 College Heights Boulevard, Ridgecrest, CA 95650 United States(888) 537 69322 Year College
Chabot College Welding Program25555 Hesperian Blvd. Hayward, CA. 94545(510) 723 72262 Year College
College of the Siskiyous Welder Training800 College Avenue Weed, CA 96094(530) 938 55122 Year College
El Camino College Welder Program – Torrance, CA16007 Crenshaw Blvd. Torrance, CA 90506(310) 532 36702 Year College
Fresno City College Welding School1101 E. University Avenue Fresno, Ca. 93741(559) 442 46002 Year College
Orange Coast College Welder Program – Costa Mesa, California2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, California 92626(714) 432 50722 Year College
San Bernardino Valley College Welding Program701 S. Mt. Vernon Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92410(909) 384 89032 Year College
Welding Program at Butte Glenn Community College3536 Butte Campus Dr. Oroville, CA 95965(530) 895 2361
American River College4700 College Oak Drive, Sacramento, CA 95841(916) 484-80112 Year College
College Of The Canyons26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91355(661) 362-30622 Year College
Bakersfield College Bookstore1801 Panorama Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93305(861) 395-4011
Camp PendletonP.O. Box 55226 Bldg 2411, Camp Pendleton, CA 92055(760) 725-3981
College of the Sequoias4999 E. Bardsley Ave, Tulare, CA 93274(559) 730-37002 Year College
San Diego Job Corps1325 Iris Avenue, Imperial Beach, CA 91932(619) 429-8500CTE
Shasta Tehama Trinity Community College11555 Old Oregon Trail, P.O. Box 496006, Redding, CA 96049(530) 242-75002 Year College
Welding Skills Test and Training Center, Inc.9216 Center Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730(909) 476-4149
Harbor Occupational Center740 N. Pacific Ave., San Pedro, CA 90731(310) 547-5551CTE
Hartnell College – Welding Technology156 Homestead Avenue, Salinas, CA 93901(831) 755-69642 Year College
Imperial Valley College380 E. Aten Rd., Imperial, CA 92251(760) 352-83202 Year College
FCI Herlong VT Welding741-925 Herlong Access Road A-25, Herlong, CA 96113(530) 827-8000Adult (all other)
Center for Employment Training294 S. Third Street, El Centro, CA 92243(760) 337-6565CTE
Center for Employment Training (CET)4153 Market Street Suite C, San Diego, CA 92102(619) 527-4895CTE
ETMS Educational TechnicalManagement Services 14376 Torrey Pine, Drauburn, CA 95602(530) 268-2293
Fullerton College321 East Chapman Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92632(714) 992-72112 Year College
Inland Empire Job Corps Center3173 Kerry Street, San Bernardino, CA 92407(909) 887-6305Adult (all other)
The Fab School2001 Third Street Suite E, Riverside, CA 92507(951) 782-0567CTE
Ventura College LibraryATTN J Morgan, 4667 Telegraph Rd, Ventura, CA 93002(805) 654-64002 Year College
Las Positas College3000 Campus Hill Drive, Livermore, CA 94551(925) 424-11342 Year College
Lassen Community College478-200 Highway 139, Susanville, CA 96130(530) 251-88082 Year College
Long Beach City College-Pacific Coast Campus1305 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach, CA 90806(562) 938-41112 Year College
Los Angeles Trade Tech College400 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015(626) 357-25812 Year College
Merced Community College3600 M St, Merced, CA 95348(209) 348-61612 Year College
North Orange County R.O.P385 N. Muller St., Anaheim, CA 92801(714) 502-5858
Palomar College1140 West Mission Rd., San Marcos, CA 92069(760) 744-11502 Year College
Riverside Community College4800 Magnolia Ave, Riverside, CA 92506-1299(909) 222-82792 Year College
Salinas Valley Welding School1520-A Meridian Road, Salinas, CA 93907(831) 229-6133
Victor Valley Community College18422 Bear Valley Rd, Victorville, CA 92392(760) 243-37632 Year College
Southcoast Welding Institute2591 Faivre St, Chula Vista, CA 91911(619) 429-1337CTE
Summit College965 South Mt. Vernon, Colton, CA 92324(909) 422-89502 Year College

Welding Job Market In California

Welding Salary In California

The median hourly wage for welders in California is $18.60. The hourly wage varies from $15.00 to about $37.00 per hour. Welders earn a median salary of approximately $40,000 per year. The typical salary of welders in California varies from approximately $31,000 to about $77,000. This does not include bonuses and benefits information and other factors which affect base pay. Welders in the state rank in the top 10% in terms of wages and salaries compared to the rest of the country.  Note that California does have a relatively high cost of living so while pay may be higher it also costs more to live in the state.

Two of the highest paying employers are gas and electrical utilities, at $63,000 and $65,000 on average respectively. A majority of the employers are in the manufacturing and construction sectors, where pay is usually around $36,000 to $42,000 per year.

However, the salary for a welder usually varies based on a number of factors which include industry, location, company size, level of education, and years of experience. It always helps to b certified and have gone to an accredited welding school.

Expectations and Openings

Most companies expect welding certification. Graduates of welding programs usually have several job opportunities waiting for them immediately after completing their program.

As of 2019, welding provided job opportunities for about 29,000 individual in California. Looking at 2024, new job openings of about 2000 have already been projected, taking the total available welding jobs to 31,000. With a percentage increase of 6.9%, the average annual job opening is around 2000.


Below are the cities in California that hire the most welders. $ amount in parentheses represents the average wage for the city. Remember to take cost of living into account when considering wages, as it is more expensive to live in some cities compared to others.

  • San Diego ($24.63 hourly, or about $52,000 annually)
  • Los Angeles ($22.83 hourly, or about $48,000 annually)
  • Bakersfield ($21.93 hourly, or about $44,000 annually)


The following companies are some of the most popular companies to hire welders. They may not indicate the median or average.

  • General Dynamics Information Technology
  • BAE Systems
  • Union Pacific


How do I become a certified welder in California?

To become a certified welder in California you need to complete an AWS welding school's program. Once the program is done, you'll need to take the AWS Certification test. Passing it will have you become a certified welder.

How much does welding school cost in California?

Welding schools in California cost anywhere from $5,500 to $13,000, with most of them being about $10,000. How much a school is depends on the length of program and location. Please keep in mind that this is simply cost of tuition - there will be additional living costs.