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Welding Fabrication Schools: How to Choose

Welding fabricators bring blueprints to life by cutting and fusing metals together according to plans. Students have the option to enroll in diploma, certificate, associate or bachelor's programs in welding and fabrication.

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Community colleges, technical schools and universities offer welding and fabrication programs. Those who are passionate about welding and metal creation but don't want to enroll in a formal education program can find training through an apprenticeship, which includes on-the-job instruction and formal education courses.

10 Schools with Welding Fabrication Programs

Welding fabrication programs are offered at the institutions listed here.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-2016)
Ferris State University Big Rapids, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state $10,970; Out-of-state $17,562
Weber State University Ogden, UT 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state $5,321; Out-of-state $14,235
Pennsylvania College of Technology Williamsport, PA 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state $15,810; Out-of-state $22,470
Saint Paul College Saint Paul, MN 2-year, Public Certificate, Diploma $5,480
Lake Washington Institute of Technology Kirkland, WA 4-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state $3,880; Out-of-state $9,218
Everett Community College Everett, WA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state $3,643; Out-of-state $8,981
Central Lakes College Brainerd, MN 2-year, Public Certificate, Diploma, Associate's $5,384
Fox Valley Technical College Appleton, WI 2-year, Public Certificate, Diploma, Associate's In-state $4,373; Out-of-state $6,299
South Seattle College Seattle, WA 4-year, Public Certificate, Associate's In-state $4,130; Out-of-state $9,550
Minneapolis Community Technical College Minneapolis, MN 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $5,366

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES); School websites

School Selection Criteria

There are several things to consider when looking for welding fabrication schools.

  • With today's prevalence of technology, students may want to consider programs that include computer training in the curricula.
  • Because welding fabricators follow blueprints to create frameworks for cars, pipes, appliances and buildings, project-based programs may provide beneficial real-world training.
  • When welding, welding fabricators figure out the optimal angle at which to apply heat; therefore, aspiring fabricators may consider taking electives in mathematics.
  • A certificate, diploma, degree or apprenticeship training program can prepare students for state welding certification exams.

Certificate and Diploma Programs in Welding

Certificate and diploma programs vary in length, with the longest requiring 98 credit hours and the shortest being only 32 credit hours. These programs will be shorter than an associate degree program though students may consider whether an individual program would prepare them for the welding certification exam.

Associate of Applied Science in Welding Fabrication Technology

Some associate degree programs may include an internship, which can improve an individual's confidence and proficiency when entering the work force. Associate degree programs generally cover a larger variety of welding, fabrication and drafting processes than certificate programs do.

Bachelor of Science in Welding and Fabrication Engineering Technology

In some cases, courses from associate degree programs may count toward bachelor's degree programs. In bachelor's degree programs, project leadership and design are emphasized. Graduates are prepared for leadership positions and may find careers as researchers, inspectors or managers. Programs may include an internship and welding project.

Welding is a trade that can be learned through an apprenticeship, or by pursuing a certificate, diploma or associate's degree. Several public colleges and universities offer programs that range from one to two years in length and can prepare individuals to pursue a career in welding.

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