Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List

Christopher McDonagh
Christopher McDonagh
Research Writer
Chris is a teacher of Literature at a school in New Berlin, Wisconsin. He is also our favorite irreplaceable freelance writer who can turn such a boring topic into something read more
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Thomas Garcia
Thomas Garcia
Expert Consultant
Thomas is a professional welder who gained his certification several decades ago and learned all the nuances of this job since then. When not at work, Thomas loves fishing i read more
Last updated: September 15, 2023
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Welding offers multiple career advantages for mechanically inclined people. Different industries, including engineering, building and construction, technical sales, and manufacturing and assembly, have a high demand for welders. The opportunities for employment in welding keep growing, and the industry’s future is an exciting and unmapped territory for anyone willing to adapt to new technologies.

Further, welding is a career that pays handsomely. An entry-level position could pay you annual wages starting from $28,560. The median pay for welders in the country now is a little over 40,000 dollars. The payment can be higher if you specialize as a military support welder, underwater, or pipeline welder. The first thing you ought to do to enjoy the welding career opportunities is to get a degree or certification from an accredited school. This article sheds some light on the 20 best welding schools and colleges in the USA that will prepare you for your career in welding.

Top 21 Welding Schools and Colleges

Hobart Institute of Welding Technology

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List

Hobart is a name that needs no introduction in the welding world. They are famous for their high-quality welding equipment, but that’s not where it stops. The Hobart Institute of Welding Technology is the company’s school, and it boasts over 80 years of experience teaching welding. The institution is world-famous because it is a specialty school for welding with an industry-leading curriculum.

When you enroll at Hobart, you should be able to finish the welding course in less than a year then get a certificate accredited by the American Welding Society. Best of all, the institution offers employment assistance to its graduates. You can bet on having an opportunity to use your newfound welding skills professionally almost immediately after graduation. Whether you are interested in an individual course of a full 24-week program, Hobart Institute of Welding comes second to none in preparing you for a satisfying welding career.

The Lincoln Electric Welding School

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List


The Lincoln electric welding school is another specialty school that teaches only welding and has the right setting to prepare you for a successful welding career. Lincoln Electric is a bigwig in the welding industry. The company is known for top-quality welding equipment; hence its top rank as one of the best welding trade schools.

The institution has well-trained and highly qualified instructors to teach you. By the time you are done with your course, you will have proper welding skills as the school ensures each student gets plenty of hands-on, supervised training. The school’s comprehensive program covers everything, from the basics in Introduction to welding to advanced techniques like submerged welding. To top it all off, your graduation certificate will carry Lincoln Electric’s hefty reputation that is sure to open career doors for you in the Welding industry.

Alabama Pipe Welders Academy

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List

The Alabama Pipe Welders Academy is the place to be if you are looking to specialize in pipe welding. The school has a 5:1 teacher-student ratio which guarantees more one-on-one training. You will be provided with a welding booth with everything at arms reach for top efficiency when learning the basics. The curriculum involves 12 real-world scenarios to prepare you for any job.

Plus, the instructors are well-experienced with over 50 years of knowledge in various industries like shipyard, land lay, pipeline offshore, power plants, and construction. On top of the welding course, Alabama Pipe Welders Academy offers NDT training to get you certified for an inspection job. Overall, the school is the ultimate place to be if you want to feel like a real craftsman during the course.

Cal – Trade Welding School Of Modesto

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List


Cal-Trade welding school of Modesto is another rare gem. The school gained institutional approval by CPPVE, meaning its operation complies with the standards set under the law for occupational instruction by private postsecondary educational institutions. At Cal-trade, you are guaranteed individualized hands-on training. The school provides all its students with up-to-date welding techniques, which will prepare you for a wide range of welding opportunities in the job market.

The welding course at Cal-Trade trains on Stick, TIG, and three wire-feed processes, which are the most commonly used in the modern welding world. Other courses offered include; TIG/MIG welding, Blueprint reading, Structural welding, and AWS inspector. You can bet on the institution for the best learning experience as all the instructors have a certificate of Authorization for service and several years of on-the-job training. As if that’s enough, Cal-Trade provides each of its students with available job openings in the field upon completion of the welding course.

Erwin Technical Center

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List

The Erwin Technical center is an institution that offers different technical courses in the business, design, industrial, and medical categories. The school’s industrial program has a welding technology course that is offered full-time for 12 months. The course involves instruction and hands-on practice in various welding techniques, including manual shielded arc welding, gas tungsten arc, plasma cutting, and gas metal arc welding, among others.

According to Erwin Technical Center, the welding technology course will equip you with manipulative skills and technical knowledge needed to qualify for entry-level employment opportunities. Further, the school offers a hands-on welding certificate upon completion of the course. You will do a practical test before graduating, but you don’t have to pass it to graduate.

Atlanta Technical College

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List

This is a public college in Atlanta, Georgia. It is a small school with an enrollment of about 1248 undergraduate students. The school offers a couple of technical courses, including cosmetology, Automotive mechanics, and Culinary arts and food service. Their welding course is offered under the trades and personal services program. You have two options; the welding and joining technology diploma and the welding Blueprint reading TCC.

The welding and joining technology program emphasizes on both theory and practical applications that you need for qualification tests ad entry-level employment in the welding industry. Anyone above 16 years with a high school certificate can apply. To graduate, you must maintain a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) and finish the entire course.

Central Georgia Technical College

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List

The welding program at Central Georgia Technical College stacks up well to those at other prominent welding schools. It is located in Warner Robins, Georgia. If you are in Georgia, it should be your top consideration. The school offers a Certificate in welding which takes less than a year and an undergraduate certificate which can take up to 4 years.

Kentucky Welding Institute

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List

Kentucky welding institute (KWI) is a specialty welding college that offers an intense industry-driven welding program. The institution boasts a 15:1 student to instructor ratio which ensures each student reaches their maximum potential. KWI’s main focus is creating elite welders and it achieves this with intense 40-hour training weeks. You will be able to hone your skills and graduate in a short span of time so you can go into the job market and begin to earn early.

Further, the school prides itself in providing its students with the blueprint and tools needed to thrive soon after graduation. You will not experience the prominent gap between welding education and what the industry demands as KWI’s program is designed to offer you an educational experience that has all the grit and grind of a job site. You will get every certification, equipment, and testing that will make you confident showing up to jobs.

Advanced Welding School

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List

Advanced Welding School is an American Welding Society accredited teaching facility and laboratory. The school was founded in 2017 by a professional welder with over 40 years of experience in the industry. Its curriculum is comprehensive and effective, and it includes 16 different welding classes and several American Welding Society Certification programs. Moreover, all the instructors are highly qualified with multiple welding certifications and years of hands-on welding experience.

At Advanced Welding School, there are no classes. You begin welding from the first day for at least 8 hours. You will get personal attention in the welding shop to ensure you get all the skills and tools you need to excel at the highest level. The longest course offered at the school is 24 weeks, meaning you will be able to hit the job market with full-on welding skills in no time.

Precision Weld Testing & Training

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List

This is one of the few weld training institutions that use the Hobert Institute of Welding Technology curriculum. The institution prides itself in accounting for individual skill levels, be it a beginner or an advanced welder. The weld training program is designed as a combination of hands-on practice and classroom theory. You will get an hour of hands-on training for the entire course.

The welding course at Precision Weld Testing and Training institute include classes in shield metal arc welding and Gas Tungsten welding for both beginners and advanced welders. The school will provide you with workbooks, welding consumables and equipment. Moreover, all shop materials are included to give you the ultimate welding experience. The best thing about Precision is that they have made the weld training program open to everyone. You don’t need a high school diploma or GED to enroll.

Morash Institute of Welding and Safety

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List


Morash Institute of Welding and safety is one of the best-rated AWS certified welding training institutions in the US. It offers comprehensive training on the GTAW, GMAW, FCAW, SMAW, and oxyfuel cutting processes. The school’s certified director and instructors teach in private one-on-one or group sessions theoretically and practically, ensuring you master the necessary skills for passing the welding test and excelling in the job market.

Women Who Weld

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List

Women Who Weld is an NGO based in Detroit with the aim of creating economic opportunities for women and diversifying the workforce. It teaches women how to weld and find work in the welding industry. The organization has two programs; single-day introductory workshops that last a year for anyone interested in learning the basics of welding, and week-long intensive welding training classes that also last a year. When you are done with the training course, you will be fully prepared for a permanent job or apprenticeship in the welding industry.

American Welding Academy

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List

The American Welding Academy is the premier welding school in the USA. The school is known for producing world-class welding professionals with remarkable skills that fit in different industry setups. All of their courses are designed to provide students with the necessary skills needed to pursue a satisfying career in welding. Plus, they pride themselves in leveraging the experience of world-class welding instructors, business professionals and staff.

The courses offered by AWS include; pipe welding and fitting, fabrication welding and fitting, and structural welding. They also offer custom courses for upgrading your skills. With a student ratio of 15:1, and well-experienced instructors, it is no doubt that you will get the best value for your money at the American Welding Academy.

Missouri Welding Institute

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List

The Missouri Welding institute was founded in 1999 thus have more than enough experience in helping learners find the best path for a solid high-paying welding career. The school is popular for training the majority of the nation’s best welding craftsmen. For all the programs it offers, the highly-qualified instructors use a hands-on approach, and one-on-one attention to teach.

The institution offers four programs that you can choose from. The master pipe welding and fitting is perfect for anyone looking to begin a career in construction or pipe manufacturing. The master structural welding and fitting is suitable for anyone looking to work in field construction or shop manufacturing. The advanced pipefitting course is the ultimate option for beginning a welding career in the pipe industry. You can also take the custom course, which is designed to increase your welding proficiency level above your demonstrated ability level.

Elite Welder Training & Testing

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List

This is the prime option for anyone interested in welding training in South Jersey. The Elite Welder training and testing is dedicated to producing qualified welders that can fit in the welding job market effortlessly. The welding program at the school is designed to ensure that you can pass the ASME-Section IX welding test for either plate or pipe welding to become a certified welder. With the certification, you can easily get a job as a new graduate even though most companies desire experienced welders.

Moreover, the Elite Welder Training and Testing has skilled instructors with an average of 25 years of experience in the nuclear and petrochemical industries where the high-paying jobs are. You will learn how to weld in the real world with a combination of techniques so you can demand the highest wages in the industry.

Tennessee College of Applied Technology

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List

If you are in Tennessee, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology is your best bet for getting a proper welding training. Although the school is not a specialty institution for welding training, its welding technology program is pretty solid. It is designed to prepare you to enter the job market with confidence. The school uses an individualized method of instruction that provides for both classroom instruction and practical hands-on experience with all the required tools and welding equipment.

The program takes 12 months and you can choose to learn full-time, part-time or at your own pace, provided you clock all the 1296 hours. For a certificate, you have three options; 432 hours of SMAW, 864 hours of GMAW, or 1296 hours of GTAW. For a diploma you get 1296 hours of all the welding processes so you can become a combination welder.

Arclabs Welding School

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List


Arclabs Welding School is the ultimate place to begin your journey to a full-fledged welding career. The school has all the ACCET nationally accredited programs you may be looking for as a beginner or an experienced pro looking to upgrade your skills. You can enroll for either of the 4 welding program options offered. If you are a master welder looking to upgrade skills, you can go for the 1300 hour master welder program. The 900 hour advanced welding program is suitable for beginner and intermediate welders. The 400 hour welding program is suitable for a complete beginner and it trains SMAW, GCAW and FCAW. The 280 hour specific process program is meant for beginners and intermediate welders looking to train on FCAW and GMAW.

All of the programs feature expert training and 90% hands-on training. Once you are done with the entire course, the school will help you find a decent job through their placement services. Moreover, all of the training programs include a job preparation course.

Elite Welding Academy

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List

The Elite Welding Academy has a host of accreditations including the U.S Department of Education. It is therefore one of the best institutions for learning welding techniques. The welding course offered by the school prepares students for a career in various fields including industrial, commercial and manufacturing opportunities. You can choose either the manufacturing welding program or the structural and pipe welding program.

The structural and pipe welding program takes 1000 hours and you have the option of doing full-time day classes for 26 weeks or part-time night classes for 44 weeks. The course is designed to prepare you for a satisfying career in an industry that has structural and pipe welding demand. The manufacturing program, on the other hand, requires 224 hours to complete and is only offered at the South Point campus. It also prepares you for structural welding and manufacturing welding across different industries. You will get a certificate of completion after graduating both courses.

4C Welding and Industrial Center

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List

The 4C Welding and Industrial Center is a training site and assessment accredited by the NCCER. The school also prides itself in being an AWS educational institute, a satellite site for Oklahoma Safety Council, and a state of Oklahoma weld testing Laboratory. Besides welding, the school teaches construction trades in ironworking, rigging, boiler-making and supervision.

The welding program at the school covers SMAW, GTAW, GMAW and FCAW welding processes. They have 20 welding booths that are fully equipped to give you the best practical learning experience. After graduation, you will receive a certificate that has the weight of the institution’s reputation that will effortlessly open doors for you in the job market.

Albany Weld Trade School

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List

Albany prided itself in being Oregon’s only licensed weld career trade school. Besides their comprehensive school curriculum, Albany offers drop-in skills upgrade, weld certifications, weld inspection services and seminars all over the USA. The school guarantees you maximum attention from highly-qualified and certified instructors with both theoretical and hands-on welding experience. With years of fabrication and construction experience, the instructors know exactly what you need to fit into the real work world.

The welding class schedule at Albany weld trade school includes five hours in the welding booth for four days. The fifth day is for researching, assignments, and reading. The program has 10 courses that last 320 hours. Each course is 30 hours except for the trade school module which takes 80 hours.

New England School of Metalwork

Best Welding Schools and Colleges in America. The Ultimate List

This is a non-profit educational facility devoted to promoting and strengthening metalworking skills. The school was started in the year 2000 and is located in Auburn, Maine. Its welding program offers training in SMAW, GTAW, GMAW, and FCAW on various materials. Also included in the curriculum are carbon arc gouging and oxy-fuel and plasma arc cutting.

The New England School of Metalwork (NESM) promises special student attention as their classes never exceed a student population of twelve. You will learn both the technical and hands-on sides of welding. The program is designed to teach you the welding process theory, technique, gas selection, electrode classification and use, and troubleshooting. With the hands-on practice, you will become a master in producing welds of a consistent size and appearance on various materials. Moreover, the welding course is incredibly flexible. You can enroll for either basic or advanced courses in different processes.

You will get the most value for your money thanks to the NESM’s skilled and experienced instructors. Plus, they have an outstanding facility with up to date equipment.


Anyone looking to learn the art of welding in the USA is spoilt for choice. Any of the schools on this list is a good place to start whether you are just looking for a certificate to land your first welding gig or are looking to get a degree. All the schools are good, but not all of them will help you get gainful employment after graduation. If you want to get employed immediately after finishing your course, be sure to enroll with reputable names like the Lincoln Electric welding school, Hobart institute of welding technology and the American Welding Academy. Getting your schooling from these popular weld training institutions will give your resume some weight.


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