If you’re a welder or a prospective welder, getting a formal education in the field will do you a lot of good. There are a plethora of opportunities available to those who have either an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in welding. These are opportunities that welders without formal education can only dream of, even when they have the best welding skills in the country.
With so many welding schools in the US, finding the best school that’s capable of refining your skills and giving you the professional exposure you need can be difficult. However, this article will help narrow your search by introducing you to the best welding schools in the US.
But before we begin, you might want to read: Top 10 Schools For HVAC In The States
Is going to a welding school worth it?
With the high demand for skilled trades in the US currently, going to a welding school is definitely worth it. The US government is budgeting to spend massively in the coming years to rebuild and sustain its aging infrastructure. From roads to bridges to railways and ports, welders will play a massive role in this rebuild.
Welding is a career with many employment opportunities, both in the public and private sector. And the best part is, the demand for welders is projected to grow by 8 percent by 2030. This estimate will result in over 488,000 job openings in the field within the period.
There is a high demand for welders across sectors, including the automobile, aerospace, building and construction, and even the military.
The 11 Best schools for welding in the USA
1. The Lincoln Electric Welding School
The Lincoln Electric Welding School is a professional school that solely deals with welding and will give you a solid foundation for a lucrative career in the area. It offers eight standard courses and advanced courses in welding.
As one of the top welding equipment manufacturers, it is not a surprise that Lincoln Electric ranks among the top welding trade schools in the US.
At Lincoln Electric, you will be taught by exceptionally experienced and well-trained instructors and receive plenty of supervised, hands-on training throughout your time in school.
In addition, you will receive a graduation certificate bearing Lincoln’s reputable name once you have finished the course. The opportunities this certificate opens to you in the US are many.
You can visit the school’s website to learn more about its welding programs.
2. Hobart Institute of Welding Technology
Another well-known and reputable brand in the welding industry is Hobart. Hobart is a welding equipment manufacturing company in Troy, Ohio.
Although they are renowned for making excellent welding equipment, they are also known for their excellent welding training facilities. Hobart Institute of Welding Technology has been instructing welding for more than 80 years.
Their reputation is international, partly because they are a welding-specific school that teaches nothing else.
You can complete their industry-leading curriculum in less than a year and receive an American Welding Society-accredited certificate.
Additionally, they provide employment aid to their graduates so that they can use their newly acquired welding abilities in a professional setting and turn their education into a career. Visit the school website for more information.
3. Advanced Welding Institute
The Advanced Welding Institute offers expedited programs jam-packed with hands-on training to give you the greatest education and prepare you for your new welding career.
You’ll spend a minimum of eight hours in the welder shop, a cutting-edge training facility that provides you with the most immersive education imaginable.
Thanks to small class sizes and a low student-to-teacher ratio, you will receive lots of individualized teaching to help you advance quickly.
You’ll receive the education you need to compete in the market with the school’s 15 and 24-week whole-time welding programs and certifications from AWS, ASME, and API. You can get more information from the school’s website.
4. Modern Welding School
The Modern Welding School is a world-class welding school in Schenectady, New York. With special recognition from ACCSC, the ASME, and the AWS, they rank among the best welding schools in the US. So, a certificate from Modern Welding School is guaranteed to open doors for you in the welding industry.
Offering both full-time daytime programs and part-time evening programs, you can acquire training in all sorts of welding on a schedule that works for you.
The length of the part-time evening program is 45 weeks and 665 hours, compared to the full-time program’s 30 weeks and 900 hours.
Upon completion, you’ll know various welding processes, including acetylene welding, structural welding, pipe welding, MIG, TIG, and more.
Additionally, they provide a variety of workshops to assist you in advancing your knowledge beyond certification and make a point to never pass on the newest advancements in the welding sector. Visit the school’s website to learn more about its programs.
5. Welder Training & Testing Institute
The Welder Training & Testing Institute is one of the best schools to obtain your welding certifications in the US. The school is located in Allentown, Pennsylvania and has full accreditation from the ACCSC and the American Welding Society.
They offer a range of welding programs and certificates depending on what you want to study and what field you want to venture in.
Their primary career-level curriculum, the Welder Fitter course, takes 900 hours to complete. It’s perfect for beginners with little to no welding experience to obtain the training required to secure employment in the welding industry.
The 740-hour Combination Welding program is slightly less extensive and omits pipe fitting and blueprint reading skills.
Additionally, they provide training in sophisticated welding methods to take your skills to the next level. Visit the school website for more information.
6. Tulsa Welding School
The Tulsa Welding School is among the leading schools in the country. With three locations across the US: Tulsa, Houston, and Jacksonville, they offer welding training to more students than other schools.
Their seven-month professional welder training in Tulsa and Jacksonville is 80 percent practical welding instruction.
Theory classes are scheduled once a week. And you’ll learn from seasoned experts while conducting the welds on your own in a confined space most of the time. Tulsa Welding School’s flexible classes offer you the opportunity to balance your studies with your busy life.
You’ll learn about all the main welding techniques, such as structural welding, pipe welding, MIG and Flux core welding, TIG welding, and much more. However, the Welder Professional program is offered only at the Texas campus.
Visit the school website for more information.
7. Davis Applied Technology College
With a high placement rate following the conclusion of the Welding Technology curriculum at Davis Applied Technology College, you’re likely to enjoy a welding career right out of school.
In addition, the American Welding Society accredits the college’s certifications, so your time is well spent knowing that your certificate offers you a level of advantage over others.
You can have your hands on various kinds of welding courses, such as gas metal arc welding (GMAW), flux core arc welding (FCAW), shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), and others.
But, of course, since the college is a technical institute, your specialized welding accreditations will have the upper hand compared to certifications from a welding-only school. You can get more information from the school website.
8. Wichita Area Technical College
Suppose you’re eager to get out into the world and start making your living by welding.
In that case, the Wichita Area Technical College allows you to venture into the industry with either an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in welding or a Technical Certificate (TC).
You can select what you love from three different welding programs, depending on the period you want to spend on your course.
The shortest route is the Welding Fast Track program, which will earn you a TC in welding in just 19 credit hours. Getting your AAS will require 62 credit hours. However, you can earn a TC in their full welding course with 46 credit hours. In addition, the American Welding Society accredits the welding programs. Such accreditations will help you easily land a lucrative job in a welding firm. More information is available on the school website.
9. Reid State Technical College
With a minimum of two semesters of full-time attendance and 28 semester credit hours, you can acquire your Welding Technology short-term certificate from Reid State Technical College. But that’s not your only alternative. If you want a more comprehensive program, you can get a full Welding Technology certificate in Pipe Welding with four semesters of full-time attendance and 58 credit hours.
But if you want more than just a certificate, they also offer an Associate in Occupation Technology (AOT). AOT will require six full-time semesters and 77 credit hours. Still, you’ll get a major technical specialty in welding technology and a minor in industrial electricity/electronics technology, fully bracing you for a lifetime career in manufacturing and building. In addition, you’ll get a listing in the National Training Registry. You can also receive voluntary certification through the American Welding Society or the National Center for Construction Education and Research.
You can visit the school website for more information.
10. Mesa Community College
Mesa Community College provides a program that will meet your interests, whether you want to quickly acquire a certificate and start working or take a little longer to earn your degree.
You can obtain your Certificate of Completion (CCL) in welding technology with just 15 credits.
On the other hand, after earning 26 credits, you can obtain a CCL in manufacturing welding.
However, if you’d prefer a degree, you can complete 64–73 credits to obtain an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in welding.
Either qualification will offer you practical training for a welding job.
However, receiving the AAS equips you to succeed in the tests and obtain the welder performance credentials through the AWS, ASME, and API or as an AWS-certified welder. Visit the school website for more information.
11. Warren County Career Center
The Council on Occupation Education accredits the Welding Technician program at the Warren County Career Center.
It will obtain the credentials needed to start a welding profession full-time at any significant organization.
The full curriculum takes 600 hours to complete and is broken down into 318 lab hours and 282 hours of theory. After finishing, you’ll earn structural accreditation from the American Welding Society for TIG, MIG, and ARC welding methods.
The OSHA 10-hour General Industry Certification, the American Heart Association First Aid/CPR Certification, and the WCCC Certificate of Program Completion are additional credentials you’ll possess.
Your overall preparation for a long-term career in welding will come from this full-time curriculum. Visit the school website for more information.
How long does it take to study welding in the US?
Welding programs in the US take between six months and four years to complete, depending on the program you choose.
It takes six to eighteen months to complete a certificate welding program. An associate’s degree takes a minimum of two years, while a bachelor’s degree in welding takes four years of extensive study.
How much do welders earn in the US?
According to Salary.com, the average salary for welder I workers in the US is $43,910 per year. The range falls between $38,992 and $50,474.
However, more experienced welders in the US earn slightly above $100,000 per year.
How can I become a certified welder in the US?
You can become a certified welder in the US by taking a welding certification program, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree in welding. Provided the program has full accreditation from the American Welding Society or other reputable accrediting bodies, you have higher chances of securing lucrative welding positions in the US.
Where can a certified welder work?
Your services are needed in several top industries in the US. You can work in:
- Underwater engineering, etc.
Welding is a physically demanding field, yet it’s very rewarding. In fact, it’s one of the most lucrative trade skills out there. The schools mentioned above are the best options available to anyone who wants quality welding training in the US. They also offer you amazing connections through their alumni bodies.
Therefore, whether you choose to practice independently, open your own company or work for a reputable organization, these schools have excellent training programs for you.
Frequently Asked Questions on the best Welding schools in the US
Welding school can’t be said to be difficult, provided you have the desire to learn. Most schools provide hands-on classes that teach you from the basics of welding till you’ve become an expert.
Maine is the state with the most demand for welders in the US.
It’s easy to make six figures as a welder in the US if you have the right experience and certification.
Math is an important aspect of welding. This is because you’d be dealing with measurements, fabrications and conversions, and all these need a certain level of math knowledge.
It costs between $15,000 and $33,000 to get formal training from one of the accredited welding schools in the US.