Have you ever wondered what a welding trade school was all about and didn't know where to find the information?

Did you know that in space, when two pieces of metal touch, they instantly weld to one another, no tools are required? Here on planet Earth, you will need tools and you will need to know how to work them properly.

After you receive your certification from a welding trade school, you could make as much as a physician or lawyer.

Did you know that more than 50 percent of human-made products require welding? There will always be a job in the welding career path unless we go back to the caveman times but seriously who knows in the future how many human-made products will need a welder.

But what should you expect in welding trade school?

What to Expect at a Welding Trade School

Man wearing a welding helmet while welding a car

image source: Pexels

Well, honestly, in every school you learn facts and rules of the trade, but in a welding trade school, you will also get hands-on learning.


Among the things you will learn, a welding trade school will teach you the different types of welding, how to protect yourself while welding, how to read blueprints, and quality control.

​Different types of welding processes

There are four major welding processes that you are required to know at almost every welding job. Below we have listed them for you and added a little bit of information on each one.


  1. SMAW -- Shielded Metal Arc Welding: uses a consumable electrode covered with flux to lay the weld
  2. GTAW -- Gas Tungsten Arc Welding: uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to lay the weld
  3. GMAW -- Gas Metal Arc Welding: uses a consumable MIG wire electrode and the metal, then heat the metal causing them to melt and join
  4. FCAW -- Flux Core Arc Welding: uses a consumable tubular electrode containing voltage and flux

Along, with those that we have listed, you will also need to know the basics of how to melt two or more pieces together.

How long is welding trade school?

If you choose to go to a vocational school, also known as a skilled trade school, you will be able to finish this class in seven months. Which, if you think about it, is not long at all. And you will receive a certification of completion once you finish the class.


Most welding trade schools offer flexible schedules, so you can keep your current jobs while you learn to become a welder.


Or if you choose to go to a community college, you will complete the class in two years, depending on how fast you learn. Also, at a community college, you are required to enroll in general courses as well, such as math and English.


Some jobs will do on the job training while you are learning at a welding trade school.

How much does welding trade school cost?

​Basic welding trade school at a vocational school or college can cost between $5,000 to $15,000.


If you decide to go a little bit further with your education and get your associate's degree, that could cost between $2,000 to $35,000 depending on where you live and which school you attend.


bachelor's degree could cost between $40,000 to $100,000 and you would still have to pay other fees, such as buying books and tools.

Do You Have to Go to School to Get a Job in Welding?

Man holding a welding helmet while welding a metal

image source: Pexels

It depends on the company you choose to work for, but some companies do not require you to go to school at first. The company will train you while you work on getting your certification.


Other companies require you to have a certification and perform a welding test in their shop before hiring you. While in some states you are required to have a welding license as well as a welding certification to work for a welding company.


If you are choosing to work in a higher level job that deals more with the paperwork than hands-on, you may need a Bachelor of Science Welding Engineering degree, which requires years in college to obtain.


Career Path Options for a Welder

​You will be shocked to know how many welding careers are available out there. Unfortunately, we can not list them all, but we will list a few for your consideration below.

  • General construction: a variety of welding jobs such as rebar welding, structural welding, and installation of gas lines
  • Shipbuilding: repairing and actually building ships
  • Industrial maintenance: installing new machinery, piping, and restoring older welding jobs
  • Boilermakers: plate welding, pipe welding, and pipe fitting
  • Excavation and Earthmoving companies: repairing the heavy equipment, welding hard facing on the surface of a bucket and fabricating parts as needed
  • Oil and gas industry: pipe welding in oil fields, and welding structural steel or you may work offshore on an oil platform
  • Small welding companies and fabrication shops: working in commercial buildings one day and another day welding a city's work equipment
  • Robotic welding: requires you to work in vehicle manufacturing
  • Production welding: welding anything from brackets to heavy equipment
  • Underwater welding: work with salvage companies, offshore oil platform, and the military, has other requirements
  • Factory shutdown welding: requires a lot of traveling where you'll be doing maintenance, retooling, or overhauling factories that are closing
  • Structural steel welder and ironworkers: you could work on skyscrapers or welding parts in a fabrication shop

How Much Does a Welder Get Paid?

Man holding a welding helmet while welding a metal

image source: Pexels

Like all jobs the more you know, is the more you get paid. If you choose to go to a welding trade school, remember to learn as much as possible while you are there.


Once you start your new welding career, you will want to get as much experience as possible to get the higher pay. We can not list all the welding jobs' available and their salaries, but below are a few examples.


These amounts are estimates only, salaries will vary depending on where you live:

  • Pipe welder: $55,000 to $59,000 annually
  • Underwater welder: $55,000 to $58,000 annually
  • Military support welder: $50,000 to $55,000 annually
  • Pipeline welder: $64,000 to $72,000 annually
  • Certified welding supervisor: $60,000 to $65,000 annually

​Is There a Need for Welders?

​There are statics reports that show the need for welders will increase 26 percent by the year 2020.


Welding is a very fast growing profession, and more people are considering going to a welding trade school. You may be offered a higher than average starting pay and excellent benefits by becoming a welder.


Right now there are not enough welders around the United States to fill all the jobs. So, many companies are hiring beginner welders and training them.


​Is Welding Trade School for You?

After reading all the facts, would you consider a job in the welding field?

You will not have to go to school for very long, and you could receive on the job training while in a welding trade school. Once you finish and receive your certificate in welding, you could start your new career with higher pay than average jobs that are available right now.

Do you love to travel the world? Well, this is a great career path for you! Many welding jobs require you to travel.

Are you steady with your hands and able to work in different conditions? Jobs in welding are all about steady hands, and you could work anywhere from in a shop to working underwater.

Did this article help you better understand the benefits of a welding trade school? Let us know you're thoughts in the comment section below.

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