Welding Certification Programs with Training Requirements

Research welding programs offering various levels of training toward certifications. Learn about courses, careers, salaries and continuing education for welders.

Essential Information

Welding certification is available from the American Welding Society (AWS). The AWS requires no formal training to qualify for certifications, but many schools offer welding programs at the undergraduate level that can help individuals gain the knowledge and skills necessary to earn AWS certification.

Community colleges and technical schools typically offer welding technology certificate programs, as well as diploma programs, that can teach students about different types of welding techniques. Students learn to use welding equipment and standard safety methods, and graduates might be able to directly enter the job market as welding technicians.

Certificate programs generally take less than one year to complete, while diploma programs can take up to two years of study. These programs usually have no education prerequisites, except requiring students to have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Course Topics

A welding technology certificate program usually includes a lot of hands-on learning. Some courses teach students about technical information needed to perform welding duties, but much of a program typically focuses on the use of equipment, tools and materials to perform various welding techniques. Some topics that may be covered in a program include:

  • Metal arc welding
  • Fabrication welding
  • Blueprint reading
  • Flux-cored welding
  • Pipe welding
  • Gas tungsten arc welding
  • Welding codes
  • Welding theory

Popular Career Options

A welding technology certificate program is designed to teach individuals to work as welders or in other occupations using welding technology. Jobs may also be found in related fields, including plumbing, steel fabrication, construction, automotive manufacturing and maintenance. Possible careers include:

  • Soldering workers
  • Brazing workers
  • Welders

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Through the AWS certified welder program, individuals are tested in different welding techniques and processes. To become certified, a person must complete the certification test at an accredited test facility. Maintaining certification involves submitting certification maintenance forms every six months. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some employers may implement their own independent certification testing for employees (

An individual who has completed either a certificate or diploma program may go on to complete an associate degree program in welding technology. These programs may include additional welding courses and welding experiences, as well as general education courses that may be relevant to bachelor's degree programs.

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