Tungsten inert gas welding, also known as gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), is used to create strong, high quality welds between metals such as stainless steel, aluminum and magnesium. Those interested in this highly specialized process can enroll in TIG certificate programs or welding technology associate's and bachelor's degree programs that include classes in TIG welding.
10 Schools with Welding Programs
This list of colleges identifies some schools offering TIG welding programs.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered*||Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)**|
|Portland Community College||Portland, OR||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-state $3,766; Out-of-state $8,374|
|Wake Technical Community College||Raleigh, NC||2-year, Public||Certificate, Diploma, Associate's||In-state $2,768; Out-of-state $8,912|
|Austin Community College||Austin, TX||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-district $2,550; In-state $9,210; Out-of-state $11,340|
|Manchester Community College||Manchester, NH||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-state $6,880; Out-of-state $15,040|
|Oakland Community College||Bloomfield Hills, MI||2-year, Public||Certificate||In-district $2,745; In-state $5,235; Out-of-state $7,305|
|Mesa Community College||Mesa, AZ||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-state $2,046; Out-of-state $7,830|
|Surry Community College||Dobson, NC||2-year, Public||Certificate, Diploma||In-state $2,476; Out-of-state $8,620|
|Spokane Community College||Spokane, WA||2-year, Public||Certificate||In-state $3,388; Out-of-state $8,726|
|Southeast Community College||Lincoln, NE||2-year, Public||Certificate, Diploma, Associate's||In-state $3,218; Out-of-state $3,932|
|Macomb Community College||Warren, MI||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-district $3,169; In-state $4,945; Out-of-state $6,641|
Sources: *School websites, **National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
There are several things to consider when selecting a program.
- Consider class size and whether the school's equipment is up to date, knowing smaller classes ensure that every student will have a welding machine to use in the laboratory.
- Aspiring welders and professionals looking to gain additional specialization can become certified aerospace TIG welders in carbon, stainless steel and aluminum or certified TIG pipe welders.
- Look for schools that have an American Welding Society (AWS) student chapter as it offers many scholarships, community service projects and contests for students looking to build their resume.
- Some schools offer the option of transferring associate's degree credits towards another institution to complete a bachelor's degree.
Certificate in TIG Welding
Offered through community colleges and certified independent organizations, TIG welding certificate programs vary in length. Community colleges often require two classes over the course of one to two semesters, while training organizations are free and conduct intensive, 1-week training sessions. Some community college certificate programs require students to take general education electives, such as math and physics. Students enrolled at either a college or a training school can expect to learn welding positions for edges and corners.
Associate's Degree in Welding Technology
Associate's degree programs in welding technology cover a wide variety of welding techniques, including TIG welding. Many programs feature a combination of teaching methods, integrating instructional lectures with hands-on practice, such as performing pipe welds. Programs prepare students to become welding inspectors, welding technicians or conductors of welding tests. Additionally, associate's degree programs emphasize quality testing and metal fabrication.
Bachelor's Degree in Welding Technology
A Bachelor of Science in Welding Technology may be ideal for those seeking careers as teachers, researchers or consultants. Students learn to design welding products and solve manufacturing problems. Students can expect to learn various methods of welding, as well as design and testing techniques.
A number of public colleges offer welding programs in which students can earn a certificate, diploma or associate's degree. Specializing in TIG welding is an option for those who wish to expand their skill set with that focus.