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Schools for Aspiring Welding Inspectors: How to Choose

The right program will train you to function as a welding inspector to check the quality and integrity of welded fixtures to ensure they comply with building codes and standards. Certificate and associate's degree programs are available in the field.

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Welding inspection programs are typically available at community colleges and technical schools. Diploma, certificate and associate's degree programs are commonly available.

10 Schools with Welding Technology 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*
Richland Community College Decatur, IL 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,744 in-district, $5,769 in-state, $13,674 out-of-state
Hillsborough Community College Tampa, FL 2-year, Public Certificate $2,506 in-state, $9,111 out-of-state
Oakland Community College Bloomfield Hills, MI 2-year, Public Certificate $2,745 in-district, $5,235 in-state, $7,305 out-of-state
Austin Community College Austin, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,550 in-district, $9,210 in-state, $11,340 out-of-state
Eastern Florida State College Cocoa, FL 2-year, Public Certificate $2,496 in-state, $9,739 out-of-state
Cabrillo College Aptos, CA 2-year, Public Certificate $1,358 in-state, $5,698 out-of-state
Coastal Carolina Community College Jacksonville, NC 2-year, Public Diploma, Certificate $2,334 in-state, $8,478 out-of-state
San Bernardino Valley College San Bernardino, CA 2-year, Public Associate's $1,238
Central Piedmont Community College Charlotte, NC 2-Year, Public Certificate, Diploma, Associate's $2,664 in-state, $8,808 out-of-state
Wallace Community College Dothan, AL 2-year, Public Certificate $4,260 in-state, $7,710 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:

  • Program should be accredited by the American Welding Society (AWS).
  • Some schools offer inspection exam review courses, which could increase the likelihood of passing the exam and becoming certified as an inspector.
  • Some programs require students to complete prerequisite courses before applying.
  • 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.

Welding Inspection Certificate Programs

These programs require an average of 30 credit hours of study. Students learn about welding codes, inspection methods, ultrasonic testing procedures and blueprint reading. Programs also may include instruction in advanced welding techniques. Graduates should be eligible to sit for the AWS certified welding inspector exam.

Associate's Degree in Welding Technology Programs

These 2-year degree programs include general education and field-specific coursework. Some programs may provide more inspection instruction than others by, for example, offering courses in blueprint reading and building standards. Graduates should be eligible to sit for the certified welding exam. Graduates with extensive experience in welding and inspection procedures also should be able to sit for the certified welding inspector exam.

Aspiring welding inspectors should look for accredited programs that offer inspection exam review courses. Students may also consider a school's prerequisites, as well as the availability of internships or cooperative education opportunities.

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