How Long Is Welding School In The USA – State Wise Guide

You do not have to attend a four year college, or go through several years of internship and apprenticeship in order to have a lucrative career in the welding trades. Welding is one of the many skilled labors that you can enter into quickly with a short study program at a technical or trade school.

How Long Is Welding School

It is possible for you to work as a welder apprentice, or helper, and later work as a welder without attending any trade school classes. This type of welder/on the job education sounds wonderful, but it has drawbacks because it takes you longer to become a welder like this, you are not certified so you will be paid less per hour, and you will not likely ever be promoted hirer up the corporate ladder.

How Long Does it take to Finish Welding School?

You can become a certified welder in as little as 6 months. You must realize that there are different types of welders, and each specific type of welding will require a specific amount of educational training. If you are going to be a pipe welder you will finish welding classes long before people studying to become underwater welders. Pipe welders also make a fraction of the salary that an underwater welder makes. [SourceEarl Beck Gases and Technologies]

You can stay in school a little longer and earn welding degrees that will allow you to earn more money, and apply for more prestigious jobs. An Associate’s Degree in Welding takes about 2 years to earn, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Welding will take you close to 4 years to complete.

Most welding schools begin you with a basic course that will take between 3 and 6 weeks to complete. Then you will spend an additional 3 to 6 weeks learning each specific type of welding technique.

If you complete a 7 month welding course you are then qualified to apply for welding jobs at an entry level.

Welding techniques include:

Each of these welding techniques are similar and different. In order for you to become proficient in the welding techniques you need hands on experience so you can practice, and you need a instructor who can educate you and demonstrate what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. With this type of face to face educational experience you learn how to use the tools properly so that you create a strong weld that is going to be durable, and look good to.

When educating yourself to become an underwater welder you can take classes for anywhere between 8 months and 2 years, sometimes longer. To become an underwater welder you must have:

  • A surface welder certificate
  • A commercial diving certificate
  • An underwater welding certificate

The AWs offers a variety of welding certificates, including the certified welder certificate, the certified welding inspector certificate, and a certified robotic arc welding certificate.

The American Society for Mechanical Engineers offer welding certification for welders who work with pressure vessels and with boilers.

The American Petroleum Institute offers eleven different welding certifications for welders who work in the gas or oil industry, like in gas an oil plants, or on gas and oil pipelines.

Some companies do their own welding tests to make sure the people they hire can do the type of welding they are required so they can insure the integrity of the welded metals, and keep their personal standards.

After School

You will have to pass tests to prove your welding abilities, knowledge, and skill before you can earn a welding certificate. Most welding training programs include the cost of these welding certification tests in their educational cost.

The standard requirements for welding certificates are determined by the guidelines of the American Welding Society

The American Welding Society says that a welding test must include the applicant welding materials according to the specific instructions they are given.

The applicant must also be able to cut the metal they have welded according to specific instructions, and then the metal must be prepared to be scrutinized by a bend test to determine the quality and strength of the weld the applicant has made.

The welded metal may be subjected to a radiographic x-ray to determine the quality of the weld the applicant has made. 

Even if you complete a welding school class you may have to work under the direct supervision of a skilled welder for a period of time before a company certifies you as a welder.

Welding school cost 

The cost of welding school will depend on the type of welding certificates you are trying to earn. The cost can be anywhere between $3,500 and $20,000.

If you would like to get an Associate’s degree in welding you will spend between $6,000 and $55,000 on your education. 

If you wish to get a Bachelor’s Degree in welding the cost will likely be between $12,000 and $110,000.

How Long are Welding Certificates Good for?

Welding certificates are not good forever. The AWS certificates are good for 6 months to 3 years, and after that time you will need to test again and get issued a new certificate.

Final Thoughts

You can become a welder in a very short amount of time. All welders will tell you that you will continue to learn more about the profession every day that you work at it. Each welding project you work on will present with its own challenges and learning opportunities.

Continuing education in the field of welding will help you to establish skills, learn new techniques, and maintain your abilities.

Last Updated on 2 years by Richard Boyer

  • June 8, 2022
Richard Boyer

Richard Boyer has been a professional welder for over 27 years of his life, and now he is a trainer and blogger providing critical information to anyone interested in welding. He is helping out both hobbyists, novice and professional welders to learn newer and better techniques. Read more about me

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