In Florida, several 2- and 4-year colleges offer welding training through undergraduate certificate programs. Programs take about 1-1.5 years to complete and combine classroom and practical training. Courses cover field safety as well as various types of welding techniques, such as shielded metal, gas metal arc, oxy-acetylene, gas tungsten arc and stick welding. Some of these programs may prepare students to take the American Welding Society (AWS) certification exam. While certification for welders is not required in the state of Florida, it may benefit recipients looking for work. The 10 largest educational institutions in Florida that offer welding training are presented below.
Eastern Florida State College
Eastern Florida State College, formerly Brevard Community College, is located in Melbourne and offers a welding technology program. Students who want to attend the program on a full-time basis must take courses during the day. The evening class options are reserved for part-time students. Students are educated on vertical, horizontal, overhead and flat welding positions. Gas metal arc, shielded metal arc, gas tungsten arc and oxy-acetylene welding techniques are also covered. The program can prepare students to apply for certification through the American Welding Society.
College of Central Florida
The College of Central Florida offers students a certificate program in applied welding technologies at the Levy Center in Chiefland. To complete the program, a total of 1,170 clock hours must be earned, which can prepare students for the AWS certification test. The curriculum for this program focuses on pipe welding, gas tungsten arc welding, gas metal arc welding, oxy-acetylene welding and shielded metal arc welding techniques. There are several skill development labs in which students can practice these techniques.
Daytona State College
An applied welding technology certificate can be pursued at Daytona State College in Daytona Beach. Oxy-acetylene, TIG, MIG and stick welding are all covered in this program. In addition to a practical component, the curriculum covers welding safety procedures. This program can be completed in 4 semesters.
Florida Gateway College
Students in Lake City can attend Florida Gateway College's applied welding technology program. To graduate, students have to maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher. To enter the program, students must have a high school education, be 16 years of age or older and pass an adult basic education test. The welding curriculum meets the standards set by the National Center for Construction, Education and Research. The program also includes the 1,170 training hours needed to apply for certification through the American Welding Society.
Florida State College at Jacksonville
A welding program can be completed at this school in Jacksonville through its Florida Coast Career Tech division. It takes roughly a year to finish the welding program. After being educated in the basics of arc welding and welding safety, students learn about shielded metal arc pipe, flux core welding, gas tungsten arc pipe and tubing, gas metal arc welding and gas tungsten arc ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
Indian River State College
In Fort Pierce, Indian River State College has a program for applied welding technology students. Each class in this program is roughly 150 hours. After completing 8 courses, students will have earned the necessary 1,200 clock hours to graduate. In addition to learning about welding skills and techniques, students can explore aspects of the welding industry, like management, finance, safety, environmental issues, labor issues and planning.
Mid Florida Tech
Students enrolling at Mid Florida Tech in Orlando can participate in the applied welding technologies program. Prior to entering the program, students are expected to purchase safety equipment for welding. The classes here vary between 100 and 270 hours and can prepare graduates for AWS certification. The coursework centers on pipe welding, flux cored arc welding, gas metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding and structural shielded metal arc welding.
Palm Beach State College
Palm Beach State College offers a welding technology certificate at its Lake Worth and Belle Glade locations. Each welding class is 120 clock hours, and the program takes approximately 1 year to complete. Students can apply up to 24 hours earned during this certificate program towards an associate degree in industrial management technology.
Pasco-Hernando Community College
A technical certificate in applied welding technologies can be earned in Dade City at Pasco-Hernando Community College. In addition to studying the different welding styles and techniques, students also learn about specialty TIG welding. There are classes on metal product fabrication as well. Students must earn 39 credits to graduate; most of the classes in the program are worth 1-3 credits, and students can graduate in 18 months.
Santa Fe College
Students can enroll in an applied welding technology program in the city of Gainesville at Santa Fe College. It takes roughly a year and a half to earn a welding certificate here; daytime and night classes are available. There are also evening courses during the summer. Each class is 90 contact hours, and students can learn about flux cored arc welding, blueprint reading, gas metal arc welding, overhead structural welding and shielded metal arc welding. The program preps students to take the AWS certification exam.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Welding Training Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|Eastern Florida State College||4-year, primarily associate's, public; large suburb||Welding Technology Certificate|| $2,496 (in-state),
|College of Central Florida||4-year, primarily associate's, public; small city||Applied Welding Technologies Certificate|| $2,570 (in-state),
|Daytona State College||4-year, primarily associate's, public; small city||Applied Welding Technology Certificate|| $3,282 (in-state),
|Florida Gateway College||4-year, primarily associate's, public; distant town||Applied Welding Technology Certificate|| $3,100 (in-state),
|Florida State College at Jacksonville||4-year, primarily associate's, public; large city||Applied Welding Technologies Workforce Certificate|| $2,830 (in-state),
|Indian River State College||4-year, primarily associate's, public; large suburb||Applied Welding Technology Certificate|| $2,764 (in-state),
|Mid Florida Tech||2-year, public; large suburb||Applied Welding Technologies Certificate||$4,774*|
|Palm Beach State College||4-year, primarily associate's, public; large suburb||Welding Technology Certificate|| $2,444 (in-state),
|Pasco-Hernando Community College||4-year, primarily associate's, public; large suburb||Applied Welding Technologies Technical Certificate|| $3,155 (in-state),
|Santa Fe College||4-year, primarily associate's, public; midsized suburb||Applied Welding Technology Certificate|| $2,539 (in-district), $2,541 (in-state),
Sources: *NCES College Navigator.