16 Best Welding Schools – 2024

January 7, 2024

best welding schools colleges

Finding your path after high school can be a challenge. For some students, attending four-year universities may not be the right fit. In this case, students might be looking to practice and hone a specific skillset and want more hands-on experience. Therefore, they might explore their options at a trade school. A trade school typically offers more specialized courses for graduates looking to develop a vocational skillset. Usually, these courses offer more hands-on experience and may not take as long to complete as a 4-year degree. There are many fields to pursue and study at trade schools. For example, welding schools could be a good fit for many students (Continue for the list of best welding schools and best welding colleges).

What is Welding?

Welding is a construction-related activity that is used for binding materials together. Most commonly, these materials include metal. Welders work to combine their materials together through a specific combination of heat and pressure. Learning the proper way to combine these materials is necessary to ensure safe and thorough practices.

Typically, welders join metal parts together in flat, vertical, or overhead positions. Therefore, this is the type of job that can be physically demanding and requires prospective students to be in good physical health. Generally, it is recommended that welders are able to lift up to 50 pounds and be comfortable working in a variety of positions.

Welding Colleges

There are a wide variety of welding schools across the United States that work to prepare competitive graduates. Typically, welding programs can take anywhere from 9 months to 2 years. However, for students interested in earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Welding Engineering Technology, this process may take longer. For example, this Bachelor of Science degree allows students to learn more about engineering methodologies.

Some of the best welding schools may or may not offer these degree-specific programs. Yet, they are each highly-focused training programs with notable accreditations.

Welding colleges prepare students for their field through practical experience and hands-on instruction. This instruction can include learning how to conduct specific types of arc welding. Likely, students will also learn about power voltages, metals, and how to operate the proper welding equipment.

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Welders have a wide range of opportunities to pursue after graduation. For example, welders can work in manufacturing, pipefitting, artistic welding, automotive engineering, and more. Needless to say, there are endless options for graduates of welding schools.

As well, students will need to perform certain tests in addition to their schoolwork in order to ensure proper benchmarks are met. Some of these tests are more complicated than others, depending on the student’s skillset and duration of time spent in the program.

Average Welding Salary

As of December 2023, on average, welders typically earn $29.79 per hour. The national average is about $30 per hour. However, this amount can fluctuate depending on the welder’s skill level, experience, and location. For example, on average, welders in California earn the most of any state.

Additionally, sometimes welders will need to travel to a different state for a bigger and more demanding job. Usually, this job will pay more because of the relocation.

Furthermore, welders who have more certifications are likely to earn more. For welders who take the time to learn specialty welding practices, they can acquire new jobs that pay more for their talent. Regardless, students will need to graduate from their one of their chosen welding colleges before they can acquire new work.

Best Welding Schools

If you are interested in attending school for welding, then you are probably looking for the best welding schools. While there are many, below we have assembled a list of the 16 best welding schools in the United States. Each of the welding schools promises great opportunities for prospective students.

Some factors you may consider before you choose one of the specific welding colleges is location, accreditation, and offered programs. Duration of the program may also be an important consideration if you are looking to go on the job market more quickly.

1) The Lincoln Electric Welding School

Located in Euclid, Ohio this specialty school only focuses on welding. Courses promise to offer hands-on, qualified instruction.  With up-to-date welding and cutting equipment available—over 160 booths—students are well-prepared for their future careers. Additionally, students also have access to a virtual reality training lab for even more practice.

2) Hobart Institute of Welding Technology

At these institutions, students have the opportunity to take the 24-week Pathways Welding program. These additional courses help students further their skills and knowledge of all position welding. The Hobart Institute is one of the well-known welding schools located in Troy, Ohio and is committed to developing competitive graduates.

3) Advanced Welding Institute

With individualized instruction, students at this school can work one-on-one with their instructors. Students experience hands-on training and have the opportunity to experience accelerated programs. For example, some courses can be 40 hours or up to 24 weeks for full-time students. This institution is one of the best welding schools certified by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

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4) Modern Welding School

After this 30-week program, students are prepared to enter the welding field through hands-on practice and applications. To apply, students must be at least 18 years of age by the time they complete their program.

Additionally, students must be able to ensure physical requirements, such as lifting 50 pounds and the ability to work in flat or vertical overhead positions. This is one of the best welding schools located in Schenectady, New York.

5) Welder Training & Test Institute

Not only does this institution train welders, but also it provides industrial services to corporations for outside testing, inspection, and more. With flexible scheduling, students can customize a schedule that fits their needs.

Courses also include preparation for national standardized examinations and welding technology seminars. This institute is located in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

6) Tulsa Welding School

Interestingly, this school has three campus locations for their welding schools: Tulsa, Oklahoma, Jacksonville, Florida, and Houston, Texas. At this school, there are multiple disciplines. For example, in addition to welding, students can also experience a background in refrigeration technologies and electro-mechanical technologies.

The Professional Welder discipline requires seven months to complete and prepares students for entry-level positions.

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7) Davis Applied Technology College

As part of their welding technology program, students at this institution can begin as soon as they would like. With start dates that occur every two weeks, flexibility allows for ease of scheduling.

At 18 hours a week, students typically complete this program in 10 months. The main campus of this school is located in Kaysville, Utah.

8) Collins Career Technical Center

Located in Ohio, this welding program trains students in a variety of techniques. Additionally, students will learn how to read and interpret blueprint design to better understand how to shape metal. Typically, this program takes nine months to complete. Classes usually take place in the evenings from Monday through Thursday.

9) Wichita State Area Technical College

At WSU, their welding program allows students to gain knowledge and experience with cutting, shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, and gas tungsten arc welding. Throughout this program, students have both classroom and lab instruction. Students can earn a Technical Certificate in as little as 1 year.

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10) Renton Technical College

During this program, students will combine classroom instruction with practical experience. For students looking to obtain a certification of completion, the program length can vary from 22-105 credits.

Additionally, students can earn an Associate of Applied Science at 125 credits. This is one of the best welding schools located in Renton, Washington.

11) Universal Technical Institute

With a curriculum developed with Lincoln Electric, the practical experience students learn from this program is invaluable. Additionally, prospective students can train and graduate in less than 9 months.

Students can learn to become a combination welding in 4 different welding processes. With locations across 9 states, you are sure to find a convenient location for you.

12) Lorenzo Walker Technical College

At this institution, students can find rewarding career opportunities in pipefitting, artistic welding, fabrication technician, and ironwork. Students have a 79% placement rate after graduation. This institution is a part of the School Board of Collier County, and the main campus location is in Naples, Florida.

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13) Lakeshore Technical College

In this program, students have the opportunity to complete hands-on work with emphasis on accuracy and an eye for detail. Located in Cleveland, Wisconsin, this is one of the welding schools that is an accredited test facility for the American Welding Society.

For a technical diploma, the program takes place over 2 terms and is 27 credits.

14) Arizona Automotive Institute

With an emphasis on flexible class scheduling, this program allows for hands-on, career-focused training. With multiple program offerings, students can graduate and be prepared for their career fields in less than 2 years. In terms of opportunities post-graduation, students can be prepared to work in custom art and industrial architecture.

15) Elite Welding Academy

Programs at this institute offer comprehensive welding programs to allow for a strong foundation of the trade. Students work with experienced instructors to ensure their knowledge is comprehensive.

With small class sizes, students have a more individualized approach to their education. After graduation, students are prepared for careers in manufacturing, construction, and pipeline work.

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16) Ferris State University

Ferris State University is one of the welding colleges where students can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Welding Engineering Technology. After graduation, students will be able to make significant contributions in concept, design, and the engineering of welding processes.

After a recent campus expansion, students now have larger and more laboratory and classroom facilities. This campus is located in Big Rapids, Michigan.

Best Welding Schools – In Review

Overall, high school students have a lot of choices regarding the type of institution they attend post-graduation. For students who know that hands-on job training is the right path for them, welding colleges may be a good fit. As some programs can take only a few months to complete, students will be ready for real-world experience quickly. Plus, with a variety of locations and program offerings, there are a lot of wonderful opportunities to choose from.

For even more information on trade schools and ideas for more trade-specific careers, please view this additional resource: