Schools for Aspiring Certified Welding Inspectors: How to Choose

A certified welding inspector ensures that welding quality and safety standards are satisfied. Certificate, diploma and associate degree programs in welding technology may help to prepare students for certification from the American Welding Society.

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Aspiring certified welding inspectors can obtain a certificate, diploma or associate's degree in welding technology before applying for certification with the American Welding Society. Individuals may locate these programs through the welding or manufacturing departments of technical colleges, community colleges and universities.

10 Schools with Welding Programs

These schools offer welding programs at the certificate, diploma and associate's degree levels.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*
Aaniiih Nakoda College Harlem, MT 2-Year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,410
Aims Community College Greeley, CO 2-Year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,835 in-district, $2,756 in-state, $10,424 out-of-state
Alamance Community College Graham, NC 2-Year, Public Certificate, Diploma, Associate's $2,190 in-state, $7,950 out-of-state
Allan Hancock College Santa Maria, CA 2-Year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,346 in-state, $6,750 out-of-state
Central Arizona College Coolidge, AZ 2-Year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,460 in-state, $10,740 out-of-state
Central Georgia Technical College Warner Robins, GA 2-Year, Public Diploma $2,674 in-state, $4,810 out-of-state
Central Piedmont Community College Charlotte, NC 2-Year, Public Certificate, Diploma, Associate's $2,664 in-state, $8,808 out-of-state
Central Virginia Community College Lynchburg, VA 2-Year, Public Certificate $4,470 in-state, $10,308 out-of-state
Cerritos College Norwalk, CA 2-Year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,346 in-state, $7,926 out-of-state
Front Range Community College Westminster, CO 2-Year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,527 in-state, $13,244 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

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School Selection Criteria

Students should consider these things when choosing a school:

  • Certificate programs in welding technology can be completed in approximately one year and can satisfy AWS certification requirements when combined with at least four years of work experience. However, diploma and 2-year associate's degree programs could qualify individuals with only three years of experience in the field for certification.
  • Programs with internships or cooperative education opportunities could allow students to work alongside professional welders and CWIs in order to gain first-hand experience in the field.
  • Schools with up-to-date welding facilities could help students train in various welding techniques with multiple welding systems.

Certificate in Welding Technology

A certificate program in welding technology may be completed in as little as one year. Basic welding-related concepts covered include arc welding, inert gas welding, blueprints and equipment safety.

Diploma in Welding Technology

Diploma programs take 1-2 years to complete and might progress from basic to advanced welding techniques over the duration of the curriculum. A wide variety of courses may be included, such as machine shop techniques, computer drafting, robotics and first aid.

Associate Degree in Welding Technology

Associate degree programs in welding technology can include general education requirements, in addition to basic and advanced welding techniques. Hands-on experience in a lab or real-world setting may be offered.

Prospective welding instructors should consider a school's facilities and its program options; certificates can be earned in less time than associate's degrees and diplomas, but the latter options allow graduates to earn instructor certification with less work experience. Other considerations may include the availability of internships or other cooperative education opportunities.

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