Welding is an in-demand field that can provide excellent pay and exciting opportunities for travel and experience. Because of the high level of expertise required for welding, many people who are looking for work find that their prospects improve after attending a good welding school.
If you’re stuck in a dead-end job, investing in welding school could be the ticket to a lucrative new career. It can be difficult to locate the best welding schools that fit your needs and budget. We have compiled a list of the best welding schools in the US based on cost, career prospects, and quality of education.
Welding is a growing field that is expected to add more than 488,000 new jobs by 2028. Welders are in high demand across a wide range of sectors, from the automotive and aerospace industries to the construction and building sectors and even the military.
Assembler, manufacturing welding technician, welding inspector in robotics repair and maintenance, technical sales, and a wide variety of other welding fields are all possible professions to pursue with the right training and education.
With so many avenues for specialization, a welder can make six figures working in fields as diverse as industrial plumbing, underwater welding, and military support.
The numbers represent the annual salary. The first step in any of these fields is, of course, getting a welding education from a recognized institution. To get started on a successful career in welding and to improve your chances of finding work after graduation, consider enrolling in one of the following excellent educational institutions.
Don’t forget that we’ve compiled a list of the most prestigious welding-specific scholarship opportunities for those in need of financial support.
Best welding schools in the us
The Lincoln Electric Welding School
The Lincoln Electric Welding School is a specialized institution that will prepare you for a successful career in welding by providing you with training in eight different basic and advanced welding courses. Lincoln Electric is a household name when it comes to welding equipment, so it should come as no surprise that they also run a top-tier welding training facility.
You’ll be taught by only the most qualified professionals, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice what you’ve learned in supervised settings. After finishing the program, you will receive a diploma bearing the name of Abraham Lincoln. To get one of the best jobs in the welding industry, this can be a great stepping stone. The Lincoln Electric Welding School teaches everything from the fundamentals of welding in the Intro to Welding course to the most complex methods, including submerged welding. Their all-encompassing training will set you up for success as a welder throughout your entire working life.
Advanced Welding Institute
The Advanced Welding Institute provides intensive, fast-paced programs that will prepare you for a successful career in welding. Each student will receive individualized support to ensure they have the resources they need to reach their full potential. Eight hours a day are spent in the welding shop, a state-of-the-art classroom designed to immerse students in the subject matter.
You’ll make rapid progress thanks to the combination of a supportive teacher and manageable class sizes. You can get the training you need to succeed in the welding industry at this school, which offers full-time 15- and 24-week programs and helps students earn AWS, ASME, and API certifications. So that your hard work doesn’t go to waste after graduation, they’ll even provide you with job-hunting guidance.
Welder Training & Testing Institute
The Welder Training & Testing Institute is a great option for getting welding certifications that are recognized by employers because it has been approved by both the American Welding Society and the American Council for the Accreditation of Welding Education and Training. Depending on your interests and the field in which you hope to find work, you can choose from a number of different courses and credentials offered by these institutions.
They have a 900-hour Welder Fitter course that is their main professional-level program. As such, it is ideal for those with no prior welding experience to begin training for a welding career. The 740-hour duration of the Standard Welding program is a bit longer than the shorter, more streamlined program that focuses on Combination Welding. They also provide courses in advanced welding techniques for those who wish to specialize in the field.
Wichita Area Technical College
Wichita Area Technical College offers welding programs leading to an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) or a Technical Certificate (TC) if you’re ready to enter the workforce. There are three distinct welding programs from which to select, so you can tailor your education to fit your schedule.
Obtaining a Welding TC through the Welding Fast Track program is the quickest option, as it requires only 19 credits rather than the usual 22. In order to graduate with a TC in their comprehensive welding program, you will need to complete 46 credits, while the 62 required for an AAS degree are required for admission. WSU Tech’s welding programs are recognized by both the American Welding Society and the Higher Learning Commission, increasing your chances of finding a job after graduation.
Mesa Community College
Mesa Community College offers a variety of programs to suit the needs of its students, whether they are looking to quickly earn a certificate and enter the workforce or take their time and earn a bachelor’s degree. A Welding Technology Certificate of Completion (CCL) can be earned with only 15 credits. On the other hand, if you’re interested in manufacturing welding, you can earn a CCL in the field after completing just 26 credits. However, if you are interested in furthering your education, you can complete the requirements for an AAS in welding by taking between 64 and 73 credits.
Both certificates will give you the practical experience you need to get started in the welding industry, but only the AAS will prepare you to take the exams necessary to become certified as a welder by the American Welding Society, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, or the American Petroleum Institute.
Arizona Automotive Institute
The Arizona Automotive Institute is a public college that offers a wide range of automotive and motorsports-related technical and occupational programs. This institution is ideal for any student interested in a future in the automotive industry.
Some examples of such courses are the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Basic Refrigeration; the Automotive Service Technology course; the Diesel – Heavy Truck course; and the Combination Welding course.
AAI’s welding training course is one of the more hands-on options on this list, with an emphasis on motorsports skills and applications, shop safety processes, teaching the use of specialty tools, and a substantial emphasis on equipment safety training.
The purpose of this application is to provide a streamlined welding education. This technical college’s curriculum is just as narrowly tailored, with an emphasis on welding and its many subspecialties.
Students interested in beginning their careers as welders can also benefit from this training course because it provides assistance in obtaining the necessary welding certification.
Central Louisiana Technical Community College
The Central Louisiana Technical Community College has a long history of providing comprehensive student-oriented education across its nine campuses in the central Louisiana region.
Because of the availability of welding courses across all campuses, this institution consistently ranks high among U.S. lists of best colleges offering welding training programs.
Hobart Institute of Welding
Because it is one of the few schools in Ohio and the United States that is dedicated solely to welding education, Hobart Institute of Welding enjoys a high level of reputation both locally and nationally.
In 1930, this institution emerged from its roots as a division of the Hobart Brothers Company to become a leading institute for teaching tig and MIG welding techniques.
Hobart Institute now provides comprehensive training in all contemporary welding methods; students can also pursue individual training certificates and take advantage of convenient online learning opportunities.
The most powerful program offered by this school of welding technology is the one that combines structural welding with pipe welding. It’s a steep investment of $19,000 over the course of 40 weeks and 1400 hours of instruction time.
The structural welding program lasts for only 24 weeks and consists of 840 total classroom hours, making it significantly shorter than the general welding program. The sum required to enroll in this training program is $11,400.
Tulsa Welding School
Established in 1949 by welders for welders in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Tulsa Welding School has since expanded to include campuses in both Jacksonville, Florida, and Houston, Texas. Not only that, but the school also provides training in the HVAC and electrical industries.
The Professional Welder Course and the Welding Specialist Course can both be completed in less than a year at Tulsa Welding School (seven months for the standard course, about 10 months if you want the pipe-fitting tuition as well).
The duration of this Welding Technology program is the longest at fourteen months. Taking the aforementioned course is also required as a qualification for this program.
You should check the Tulsa Welding School website for more information on the specific locations offering welding classes near you.
Southwestern Illinois College
The American Weldings Society has named Southwestern Illinois Colleges as having one of the best welding programs in the country. Daytime and evening course options are available, and a fully-equipped laboratory is available to students 70 hours per week.
With over 13,000 annual students, SWIC ranks as Illinois’ fifth-largest community college. Annual tuition is over $15,000 for out-of-state students and is around $12,000 for residents. Instructors in this field have years of experience and are members of the American Welding Society (both the St. Louis Section and the National AWS Committees).
Pennsylvania Colleges of Technology
The Pennsylvania College of Technology (also known as Penn Colleges or Penn Tech) is home to local chapters of two prominent national professional student organizations: the American Welding Society and SkillsUSA. Students who want to learn about networking and management should join both groups.
Students can earn an associate’s degree in welding or a bachelor’s degree in welding technology or construction engineering technology; bachelor’s degree holders can advance to supervisory or managerial roles in the field. In general, students at Pennsylvania College of Technology learn the fundamentals of welding regardless of which major they choose.
Hobart Institute of Weldings Technology
Class One Weldings rates Hobart Institute of Welding Technology as a top school in the United States. One of the more cost-effective options for learning to weld is Hobart Institutes, which has received widespread praise for its thorough and effective curriculum. Cost of attending this prestigious institution totals $16,000 per year.
More than 20 in-depth welding courses, such as Gas Metal Arc Welding, Oxyacetylene Welding & Cutting, Combination Structural & Pipe Welding, and Flux Cored Arc Welding, are available at the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology. The Accreditation Commission for Career Schools and Colleges has also recognized The Hobart Institute as a credible educational institution.
What is the number one welding school in America?
Since the priorities of prospective students will determine which school is ultimately chosen, there is no single institution that can be given such a prominent position. Every one of these classes is highly recommended.
What is the best welding degree to get?
This decision is highly subjective and subject to a number of variables. The best welding degree will depend on your career goals, the amount of time you are willing to devote to your education, your financial situation, the types of financial aid you qualify for, and the institute’s track record of placing students in suitable jobs.
If you want to learn how to weld, you have a lot of options for where to go to school. Any of the aforementioned institutions would be an excellent choice, whether your goal is simply to get the necessary certifications and enter the workforce quickly or to spend a little more time and money on a more advanced degree. However, some of them will prove more useful in assisting you in finding a good job once you graduate. One of the most recognizable names in welding, Lincoln Electric, also runs a welding school, and having your credentials backed by them will impress potential employers. Similar to the Lincoln Tech, the Hobart Institute of Technology is a prestigious institution that will look great on your resume if you complete your welding education there.