Choosing a career in welding can be highly rewarding and can mean exciting opportunities for travel and compensation. Welding requires a significant level of skill, and many potential employees find that their experience is more marketable once they’ve received quality training from a well-respected welding school. Investing in a formal welding education can help take you from your dead-end job to a well-paid, skilled craftsman. Finding the top welding school for your budget and lifestyle can be a challenge. Below, we’ve gathered the Best Welding Schools In The USA, based on the criteria of affordability, opportunities, and training.
Don’t forget we also have a collection of all the best welding scholarships for anyone looking for financial assistance!
Best Welding Schools
TULSA WELDING SCHOOL
Phone: (855) 237-7711
The largest welding school in the country, Tulsa Welding School is also known for being one of the top welding schools available. Offering training in welding, pipefitting, HVAC, refrigeration, and electrical work, Tulsa Welding School boasts a graduation rate of 67.4%. According to Niche, the tuition for this Oklahoma school is approximately $25,000/year and enrollment is just over 900 undergraduate students. Although Tulsa Welding School offers its students a relocation assistance program, the school has campuses in Houston, TX, Jacksonville, FL, and Tulsa, OK.
ELITE WELDING ACADEMY
Phone: (513) 874-1410
Located in Cincinnati, OH, Elite Welding Academy begins 6-month rounds of courses every January, March, May, July, September, and November. With an emphasis on making sure its students are prepared for the work of welding, Elite Welding Academy prides itself on offering real-world experiences with instructors who have spent years in the field. Although the school does not offer any on-campus housing, they do work with local extended-stay hotels and apartments to provide students 6-month leases during their course. Accredited through the Ohio Board of Career Colleges and Schools and the Accrediting Council of Continuing Education and Training, Elite Welding Academy offers financial aid for veterans and others who qualify.
PENNSYLVANIA COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY
Also known as Penn College or Penn Tech, Pennsylvania College of Technology hosts the American Welding Society student chapter and SkillsUSA, a national, vocational student organization. Both organizations are essential for students interested in networking and management. The school offers its student the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree in welding or a bachelor’s degree in welding technology and fabrication engineering technology, asserting that bachelor’s graduates can go on to careers in mid-management and supervisory positions. Each education path teaches the basics of welding, but students at Pennsylvania College of Technology can specialize their education toward a variety of career paths.
ASHLAND COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGE
The welding technology program at Ashland Community and Technical College maintains that graduates of its program will be qualified to proceed to careers in boiler-making, marine welding, manufacturing, pipe-fitting, and ironworking. Like Elite Welding Academy in Cincinnati, Ashland Community and Technical College offers no on-campus housing. Tuition for in-state students is $169 per credit hour, or $529 per credit hour for out-of-state students, making it an affordable option for students in Kentucky.
HOBART INSTITUTE OF WELDING TECHNOLOGY
According to Class One Welding, Hobart Institute of Welding Technology is one of the Best Welding Schools in the USA. With excellent reviews and exceptional training, Hobart Institute is also one of the most affordable welding schools. The school’s tuition is $16,000. Hobart Institute of Welding Technology offers over 20 comprehensive welding training programs, including Gas Metal Arc Welding, Oxyacetylene Welding and Cutting, Combination Structural and Pipe Welding, and Flux Cored Arc Welding. Hobart Institute is also accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.
THE LINCOLN ELECTRIC WELDING SCHOOL
The Lincoln Electric Welding School acknowledges that it is, “the longest operating and most comprehensive welding training facility in the world.” Its reputation for being one of the top welding schools has been hard-earned through quality training programs, committed instructors, and over 150,000 men and women trained in arc welding. All courses are held on campus in Cleveland, OH, including its most popular, 15-week comprehensive welding program. The Lincoln Electric Welding School is also known for its training in welding exotic metals, a highly specialized and potentially lucrative skill.
WELDER TESTING AND TRAINING INSTITUTE
Phone: (610) 437-9720
Offering both career level programs and advanced welding technique courses, Welder Testing and Training Institute is accredited by five accreditation bodies, including The American Welding Society and the NYC Department of Buildings. WTTI has a well-established campus in Allentown, Pennsylvania, but prefers that its students make their own arrangements for housing. The student/teacher ratio for classroom learning is 25:1 and the student/teacher ratio for the shop is 15:1. The tuition for the welder fitter program is $9,900 and the tuition for the combination welding program is $8,140.
MODERN WELDING SCHOOL
Phone: (518) 631-2866
Founded in 1936 in Schenectady, NY, Modern Welding School implements both day and evening classes, giving its students more flexibility to learn while employed full-time. Its instructors are all licensed by the New York State Education Department and have all spent time in the welding field. Tuition for the combination welding course is $15,300, not including books and equipment. Unique to Modern Welding School, the school offers a women in welding program, a warriors to welders program for veterans, and a welding training course for the hobbyist who wants to learn welding but doesn’t need professional credentials.
CENTRAL LOUISIANA TECHNICAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Phone: (318) 487-5443
Made up of seven different campuses, Central Louisiana Technical Community College has a graduation rate of approximately 70%. The estimated cost per semester of Central Louisiana TCC is $2,402. Its offerings include courses in arc welding, tack welding, production line welding, thermal cutting, and welding helping. Students typically take 15 hours a semester and complete the courses in four semesters. Central Louisiana Technical Community College requires its students to maintain a 2.0 grade point average in order to remain enrolled.
UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA ANCHORAGE
Phone: (907) 786-1800
University of Alaska Anchorage is the largest post-secondary school in the state, giving its welding students the benefits of a large university. UAA’s state-of-the-art welding facility boasts of a 4,000 square foot lab that contains 44 welding booths, industrial band saws, oxy-acetylene and plasma cutting technology, and metal shears. The one-year welding occupational endorsement certificate is available on the Anchorage campus and qualifies its graduates for industrial welding, ship and building repair, pipeline installation, and military infrastructure and equipment welding.
ALBANY TECHNICAL COLLEGE
Located in southwest Georgia, Albany Tech enrolls more than 3,000 full-time and 2,500 part-time students in its school and certification programs. The welding program underscores the importance of welding theory and practical application in its classes. After 54 credit hours of study, graduates of Albany Technical College receive a welding and joining technology diploma and are well-equipped for the required qualification tests.
AKRON TESTING LABORATORY AND WELDING SCHOOL
Phone: (330) 753-2268
With the mission of promoting the advancement of quality welding in the industry, Akron Testing Laboratory and Welding School provides 45 welding booths, a grinding area, 2 band saws, a plasma cutting machine, and oxy-acetylene torches for its students. The school partners with Akron Testing Laboratory, a company that provides their welder qualification testing to manufacturing companies, the construction industry, and the pressure piping industry. Students of Akron Testing Laboratory and Welding School have the uncommon opportunity to see how their education impacts on-the-job testing and qualifications. With classes forming all year and both day-time and evening classes offered, Akron Testing Laboratory and Welding Schools strives to provide a flexible learning environment for students in every situation.
ARIZONA AUTOMOTIVE INSTITUTE
One of the more thorough welding schools in the country, Arizona Automotive Institute offers its welding students 40-weeks of career training. Providing trade training programs near Phoenix, AZ for more than 45 years, AAI focuses on the individual student and their specific career goals. According to their website, “As a student of our welding education program, you will learn to perform shielded metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, gas metal arc welding and flux core arc welding on a variety of metals and surfaces. These skills, along with the technical knowledge you gain in this program, give you the foundation for a rewarding career as a professional welder.”
SOUTHWESTERN ILLINOIS COLLEGE
Recognized by the American Welding Society as having one of the best welding programs in the nation, Southwestern Illinois College is one of the top welding schools in the United States. Students can choose day classes or evening classes and have access to state-of-the-art equipment and a laboratory that is open for learning 70 hours a week. As the fifth largest community college in Illinois, SWIC enrolls over 13,000 students a year. Out-of-state tuition is over $15,000/year, while in-state tuition is approximately $12,00/year. The welding instructors are members of the American Welding Society St. Louis Section and are part of the National AWS Committee, providing years of knowledge and experience.
APEX TECHNICAL SCHOOL
Phone: (212) 645-3300
The combination welding technology program at Apex Technical School teaches students the basics of exotic metals, pipe and tube welding, blueprint reading for metal layout, gas and electrical welding process, and manual and automatic cutting techniques. Requiring a combined 900 hours of training from classroom and shop courses, the welding school began in 1979 to teach welding skills for entry-level positions. Based in Long Island City, NY, the Apex Technical School costs approximately $15,000/year with 82% of its students receiving financial aid.
KNIGHT SCHOOL OF WELDING
Phone: (502) 778-9767
Knight School of Welding provides five welding programs and American Welding Society certification programs ranging from four week to fourteen weeks. The school is located in Louisville, KY, and also offers six advanced welding courses. With classes during the day on Mondays through Fridays and in the evenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the Knight School of Welding also produces a uniquely situated traditional and virtual welding program, allowing each student to learn at their own pace.
Working together with Lincoln Electric, Vincennes University in Indiana created a comprehensive 2-year welding technology program that strives to fully prepare its students for the American Welding Society certifications. Its partnership with Lincoln Electric helped produce new multi-process welding equipment and state-of-the-art technology. Vincennes also offers a one-year certification program that is earned over nine months with 20 hours a week acquiring skills in the welding lab. In-state tuition for students attending the welding program at Vincennes University is $5,575 per year. Out-of-state tuition is $13,184 and the school’s acceptance rate is 100%.