Best Welding Schools in USA – 2021

September 14, 2020

A professional welder has one of the most exciting lives.

From Ferris wheels at a carnival to ferrous metals (and non-ferrous metals too) at a testing facility, and as part of a pit crew at great motorsports arenas, you can find an opportunity to MIG weld and do some tig welding too, use plasma arc welding tools, electron beams, and even lasers as part of the job – read more about the different types of welding processes.

And it’s a well-paying job too. As a professional welder in the USA, you can look to make a median pay of $42,490 per year or $20.43 per hour as per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is above the average pay for all jobs.

Depending on the job you acquire, you could be looking at opportunities to travel, climb high up towers, underwater welding, even travel the world, and so much more. Sounds like great fun, right?

But before you’re out there getting hands-on with some cool equipment and letting those sparks fly, you may want to, and likely need to get your training in place. The only way to do that is to join a welding school.

There was a time where apprenticeships and experience were realistically the only welder schools out there in the world, but that is no longer the case.

Today, students need to attend dedicated schools for welding in the USA and put in the hours in the classroom in order to acquire professional welding training to qualify for a great job in the welding industry.

You need to study and learn the different aspects of the career and even get a welding certification before you can look at the best job placement options and begin working in the field.

Top Welding Schools in the US

Whether you’re looking at a great, but short one year course or a multi-year comprehensive program that includes a work-experience component, we have you covered with the top welding schools and university options that offer tuition in many course-length options as part of this list.

This list also covers a variety of programs for graduates looking to obtain degrees or certificates with tuition fees ranging from low to high.

We have chosen the programs from each specific college on this list because of their reputations in the welding industry and community, and their popularity among students.

These courses and welding schools and colleges aren’t listed in any sort of best to worst or big to small ranking, as they all bring something different to the welders’ school table.

We have included a little fact-file with the basic information for each of these welding school options so that you can find the basic information on each individual course that you like quickly and easily.

The NEIT Welding Engineering Technology program

New England Institute of Technology’s Associate in Science in Welding Engineering Technology program is a comprehensive welding program that provides students with hands-on training to teach them the skills required to succeed in a wide variety of jobs and build a fruitful career within the welding industry.

The learnings and training that we provide within this program have been designed in order to ensure that prospective welders acquire all the education qualifications they need to make it as professionals and pass their welding certification tests.

Students that graduate from our welding program don’t just learn the technical aspects of the job, but receive a more rounded education that will stand them in good stead as members of American society as well.

The associate’s program has been designed to provide welders with their education and degree as little as eighteen months.

The program also includes an in-built internship period to ensure that students and graduates get industry experience as part of their welding training and hone their welding skills out in the field.

This school offers one of the best and largest welding curriculums that cover the most modern welding skills and processes as part of the program.

START YOUR WELDING CAREER

Earn your degree in Welding Engineering Technology from NEIT and begin your new career path today!

ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE

BACHELOR'S DEGREE

Here’s a look at the course curriculum of the Associate Degree in Welding Engineering Technology program at NEIT-

  • Interpreting Engineering Blueprints
  • OFC/OAW, Electric Welding and Cutting
  • CAD with Weldments
  • Materials and Manufacturing Processes
  • Industrial Welding
  • Destructive and Non-Destructive Materials Testing OR ERD
  • Introduction to Robotic Control Systems
  • Introduction to Robotic Welding
  • Pipe Welding (SMAW)
  • Pipe Welding (GMAW/GTAW)
  • Structures
  • Introduction to Engineering Technology and Lab
  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Quality
  • OSHA Marine Industry Safety
  • OSHA Construction Safety and Health
  • Introduction to College Writing
  • Workplace Communications
  • Basic College Math with Lab
  • Technical Math
  • Physics and Lab

NEIT is one of the best welding schools in Rhode Island, and there are many factors that contribute to this.

From where the campus is located, to the quality of campus life, and the extra-curricular activities available to students, all of these facets combine to make it a welding school that stands out in the area.

Take a look at the video below to see what the NEIT campus has to offer students of its welding program outside of the classroom for a good work-play balance.

For more details about the course, navigate our Request Information page. If you aren’t located in Rhode Island or the New England area, there are other welding school options available out there as well.

START YOUR WELDING CAREER

Earn your degree in Welding Engineering Technology from NEIT and begin your new career path today!

ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE

BACHELOR'S DEGREE

We have put together a complete list of these different, great, top-tier welding schools that have an excellent reputation in the industry and among graduates for teaching staff, job placement, and skills as well as training.

NEIT Welding Engineering Technology program

Albany Technical College

  • Program/Course: Welding and Joining Technology diploma
  • Location: Albany, Georgia
  • Website: https://www.albanytech.edu/
  • Contact (phone): 229-430-3573

Albany Technical College is a good technical school that offers training across many courses and has an intake of over 5000 students per quarter, including the students signed up to their school for welders.

The welding program at Albany Technical College is a diploma rather than an associate degree. Here are a few subjects covered in the 54-hour welding program –

  • Fundamentals of English
  • Foundations of Mathematics
  • College Success
  • Interpersonal Relations and Professional Development
  • Oxyfuel and Plasma Cutting
  • Blueprint Reading /Welding Tech
  • Flat, Horizon, Vert, and Overhead Shielded Metal Arc Welding

Arizona Automotive Institute

  • Program/Course: AAI Combination Welding diploma
  • Location:  Glendale, Arizona
  • Website: https://www.aai.edu/
  • Contact (phone): 480-518-9751

Arizona Automotive Institute is a community college dedicated to a variety of vocational training studies that are centered around the automobile and motorsports space. It is the perfect school for a student that would like to make their career in the auto space.

This includes the likes of Automotive Service Technology, Diesel – Heavy Truck, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Basic Refrigeration, and of course, the Combination Welding program.

One of the more practical-oriented school options on this list, AAI's welding training course focuses on motorsports skills and applications, shop safety processes, teaching the use of specialty tools, and a big focus on equipment safety training as well.

This is a program designed to provide a streamlined welding course. The curriculum of this technical school is also just as focused, and concentrates on different welding specializations too.

This training course also provides help to students who want welding certification to help them get started in their career trajectories as welders.

Ashland Community and Technical College

  • Program/Course: Associate in Applied Science – General Occupational Technical Studies, Welding Technology/Pipeline Welding, Combination Welder diploma
  • Location:  Boyd County, Kentucky
  • Website: https://ashland.kctcs.edu/
  • Contact (phone): 606-326-2000

Ashland Community and Technical College is a comprehensive institute that is spread across three campuses in the central location of the Boyd County area in Kentucky.

This college has a student body of close to 2,600 enrolled at the moment and the technical college offers three top welding programs for students looking to join the technical community.

The routes this university offers include two Associate in Applied Science degrees which can be completed in 14 months and a community college diploma course which would take less than one year on the high side - and as little as four months - to finish.

Since there are so many subjects to pick from listing the curriculum would be too lengthy. So instead, here's a look at a few of the certificates you’re eligible for once you complete these degree and diploma programs as specified by Ashland College –

  • Tack Welder
  • Production Line Welder
  • ARC Welder
  • Pipeline Welder
  • AWS National Skills Standards Level I
  • Local 248 Pipeline Welder

Ashland Community and Technical College

Central Louisiana Technical Community College

  • Program/Course: Associate in Applied Science – General Occupational Technical Studies, Welding Technology/Pipeline Welding, Combination Welder diploma
  • Location: Boyd County, Kentucky
  • Website: https://ashland.kctcs.edu/
  • Contact (phone): 606-326-2000

With nine campuses located in the central Louisiana region, The Central Louisiana Technical Community College has a long history of offering comprehensive student-oriented education.

All the campuses offer courses in welding, making it one of the top colleges on the list to offer its welding training programs in the United States. Apart from the diploma, you can also graduate with the following certificate programs from this school if you want –

  • Thermal Cutter
  • Tack Welder/Fitter Helper
  • Welding I
  • Welding II
  • Production Line Welder
  • Production Line Welder II
  • Arc Welder-GTAW/GMAW/ FCAW/SMAW

The entire welding program takes two years to complete, costing approximately $9600.

Ferris State University

  • Program/Course: Bachelor of Science in Welding Engineering Technology | Associate in Applied Science in Welding Technology
  • Location: Big Rapids, Michigan
  • Website: https://www.ferris.edu/
  • Contact (phone): 231-591-2000

Ferris State University is a university located in Michigan, it offers many different courses and training degree programs and among other education verticals. You’re offered the choice of two different welding course options at Ferris State University as written above.

These programs have been around for some time, and the bachelor's degree in welding technology offered by Ferris State University is considered one of the largest welding programs any school offers in the state of Michigan, United States.

The building housing the Ferris State University welding technology education has been given a $30 million makeover. This has resulted in a 22,6000 sq ft laboratory dedicated to the welding courses.

The lab facilities at Ferris State University also feature workstations that sport the latest welding industry equipment and technology.

Hobart Institute of Welding

Hobart Institute of welding is one of the best-known welding school options in the state of Ohio and in the country at large, mostly because it is one of the colleges that focuses solely on welding programs.

This school started out 1930 as a subset of the Hobart Brothers Company and took a life of its own as a training center teaching students how to execute tig welding and MIG welds back in the day.

Today you can learn all the modern welding processes and even acquire individual training certificates and enroll in online classes as part of the programs offered at Hobart Institute.

The Combination Structural and Pipe Welding course is the most potent course available in this institute of welding technology. It costs $ 19,000 and is a long course that lasts for 40 weeks with a time of 1400 clock hours for classes.

The structural welding course is shorter with a run time of 24 weeks and classes running for a time of 840 clock hours. This course costs $11,400. Here's a look at the curriculum of the Combination Structural and Pipe Welding course offered by Hobart Institute of Welding –

  • Welding Technology and Blueprint Reading
  • Oxyacetylene Welding, Cutting, and Brazing
  • Shielded Metal Arc Welding
  • Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
  • Gas Metal Arc Welding
  • Flux Cored Arc Welding
  • Weldability of Metals

This list gives you an overview of the lessons this Hobart institute course offers, each one has multiple subsets that allow you to learn more advanced techniques as well.

Lincoln Electric Welding School

Lincoln Electric welding school isn't like your typical welding school with just the standard tuition and courses for students straight out of high school testing the waters of the welding industry.

Run by welding and industrial tool manufacturers Lincoln Electric, the Lincoln Electric Welding School is one school that is also aimed at companies who want to make sure they are taking their on-the-job training programs seriously, and even educators looking to start their own universities, testing centers, or certification programs.

As such, at Lincoln Electric you get to study in the following three verticals with a good few sub-categories as well –

  • Corporate: Seminars and Workshops | Distributor Training
  • Educators: Lincoln Electric Education Partner Schools (LEEPS) Welding Certification Program| Train-The-Trainer Seminars | Welding Educator Skill Advancement Program
  • Career Skills Development: Welding Classes And Seminars | Service School Training | Robotic Automation Training

South Georgia Technical College

  • Program/Course: Welding And Joining Tech | Welding and Brazing Technician
  • Location: Americus, Georgia
  • Website: https://www.southgatech.edu/
  • Contact (phone): 229-931-2394

In 1948 the South Georgia Technical College was established. It started out as a trade school and the courses offered here are focused around vocational career options to this day.

South Georgia Technical College offers two welding courses to prospective students. The Welding and Brazing Technician program is a short-term course that offers 11 credits and covers the basics of welding.

The Welding and Joining Tech program with 54 credits required for graduation. Let's take a look at the curriculum this more expansive course has to offer -

  • Fundamentals of English
  • Foundations of Mathematics
  • Interpersonal Relationships and Profile Development
  • Intro to Welding Technology
  • Oxyfuel and Plasma Cutting
  • Blueprint Read/Welding Tech
  • Flat, Horizon, Vert Shielded Metal Arc Weld
  • Overhead Shield and Gas Metal Arc Weld
  • Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
  • Preparation/Industrial Qualifications

There are electives available above and beyond these courses as well.

Tulsa Welding School

  • Program/Course: Professional Welder | Professional Welder with Pipefitting | Associate of Occupational Studies in Welding Technology | Welding Specialist | Welding Specialist with Pipefitting
  • Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma | Jacksonville, Florida | Houston, Texas
  • Website: https://www.tws.edu/
  • Contact (phone): 855-237-7711

Started by welders for welders back in 1949 in Tulsa, OK, the Tulsa Welding School is now a reputed institution with two additional campuses - in Jacksonville, FL, and Houston, TX. Not only that, but the school also offers courses in two other vocational streams in the form of HVAC and electrical.

Of the five courses you get to choose from at Tulsa Welding School, The Professional Welder Courses and Welding Specialist courses take less than one year to complete (seven months for the standard course, about 10 months if you want the pipe-fitting tuition as well).

This Welding Tech course is the most comprehensive one with fourteen months of required learning. A prerequisite to qualify for this program includes the need for students to take the aforementioned course as well.

Some of these welding courses are available at multiple campuses of Tulsa Welding School so make sure you check their website for more details on the courses available in your region.

University of Alaska Anchorage

  • Program/Course: Welding Occupational Endorsement Certificate | Associate of Applied Science in Welding
  • Location:  Anchorage, Alaska
  • Website: https://www.uaa.alaska.edu/
  • Contact (phone): 907-786-1800

The last, but by no means least of the institutes on this list is the University of Alaska Anchorage.

The largest school in Alaska offering post-secondary programs, The University of Alaska Anchorage offers more than 100 programs across the board and has close to 1200 faculty members on its books across its main Anchorage campus and the four satellite campuses it operates across the state of Alaska.

There are two types of courses available - Welding Occupational Endorsement Certificate programs and an Associate of Applied Science in Welding.

When you enroll in the associate program, the certificate programs (of 15 credits each) are included in your curriculum too.

Facilities at this university include a 4,000 sq ft welding lab which comes with modern equipment such as 44 welding booths, oxy-acetylene and plasma cutting tools, heavy-duty band saws, and metal shears as well.

The welding courses at the University of Alaska Anchorage cover four major welding techniques and three techniques that revolve around the thermal cutting aspect. Other facets of the courses include welding application, learning to read plans and spec sheets, and applied metallurgy.

A note on Certification

welding process

Most, if not all welding positions will require certifications that are administered by the American Welding Society. The American Welding Society is a non-profit organization headquartered in Miami and established in 1919.

A worldwide organization with 70,0000 members, the American Welding Society offers more than 10 certifications in the welding space, and numerous endorsements.

The schools and colleges listed above are some of the best and most prominent welding school options for students looking for an excellent training institute to help them kickstart their career as a member of the welding community.

They are separated by state lines and cover a specific area in the state they reside in. Each institute's programs bring their individual strengths to teaching welders how to do their jobs with professional efficiency and good work etiquette.

START YOUR WELDING CAREER

Earn your degree in Welding Engineering Technology from NEIT and begin your new career path today!

ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE

BACHELOR'S DEGREE

FAQs

What is the number one welding school in America?

There is no single school that can be elevated to such a position as the length of the courses offered, the comprehensiveness of the curriculums available, and the focus of each course will fit different applicants based on their priorities. All the courses mentioned here are certainly good courses to get involved with.

Do welders make 100k? What are the highest paying welding jobs?

There are certain jobs in the welding space that can earn you upwards of $100,000 annually. A Certified Welding Inspector can earn that much and more, and the same holds true for the Welding Engineer and Welding Supervisor positions.

What is the best welding degree to get?

This is a very individual choice and will depend on a few different factors. What facet of the welding industry you wish to enter, how much time you wish to spend on your education, what your financial situation is like, the aid options that are available, and the job placements provided by the institute will all dictate the best welding degree for you.

Apply to our welding program and graduate in less than 2 years.