Welding Programs in Houston
Students seeking training in welding have several options within around half an hour of central Houston. Learn about the areas of focus and required coursework at three schools below, and then check out a table of statistics on the colleges. Also included is some information on a couple of other schools in the area that offer welding programs.
- Located about 33 miles from downtown Houston, Lone Star College System offers certificates in various welding specializations and an associate's degree program in welding technology.
- At just seven miles away, Houston Community College is the closest school to the downtown area, and it has a welding technology certificate program for welding helpers.
- Pasadena's San Jacinto College awards certificates in welding, as well as associate's degrees in welding technology. The campus is roughly 23 miles from central Houston.
Comparison of Schools
The tuition rates at the profiled schools are fairly similar, but other differences - like student enrollment numbers and campus settings - might play a role in which college you choose to attend. Review this table to get additional facts and figures.
|Lone Star College System||Houston Community College||San Jacinto College|
|School Type||2-year; public||2-year; public||2-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||72,336*||57,120*||30,509*|
|Campus Setting||Small city||Large city||Large suburb|
|Tuition & Fees 2017-2018||$1,600 in-district, $3,403 in-state; $3,760 out-of-state*||$1,632 in-district, $3,360 in-state, $3,756 out-of-state*||$1,500 in-district; $2,580 in-state; $4,140 out-of-state*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)||55%*||62%*||50%*|
|Acceptance Rate||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admissions|
|Retention Rate (2017)||67% for full-time students*||65% for full-time students*||72% for full-time students*|
|Graduation Rate (for students who began their studies in 2014)||12%*||18%*||28%*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
Lone Star College System
Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school offers certificate programs and an associate's degree program in welding designed to prepare students for entry into careers in the welding industry.
Certificate in Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
Sixteen credits of welding coursework are required to earn this certificate. Students study blueprint reading and welding fundamentals. At the conclusion of the program, individuals possess a strong knowledge of SMAW and are considered qualified to work in the field.
Certificate in Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)
This certificate program is designed to prepare students for entry-level employment in the welding industry. Students learn the basics of welding for structural plates and pipes. A total of 16 credits is required.
Certificate in Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)
Students in this program learn about the fundamentals of gas tungsten arc welding. Coursework includes blueprint reading and advanced welding. Successful completion of 16 credits is necessary to earn this certificate.
Certificate in Layout and Fabrication Welding
Elementary, immediate and advanced layout and fabrication welding courses are required to earn this specialized certificate. Blueprint study is also included in the 16 total credits of this program. Students must hold the SMAW, GMAW or GTAW certificate before enrolling in this program.
Certificate in Pipe Welding
Students who wish to focus on pipe welding may choose to pursue this certificate. Required coursework includes welding fundamentals and layout and fabrication. Successful completion of the SMAW, GMAW or GTAW certificate is required to earn the certificate in pipe welding.
Associate of Applied Science in Welding Technology
Lone Star College System also offers an associate's degree program in welding technology to give students a broad foundation of knowledge in SMAW, GMAW and GTAW processes. Credits earned during certificate programs at the school may be applied toward the completion of the associate's degree program. The program typically takes two years to complete, and coursework includes college math, English composition and pipe welding. Students must also complete general education courses in social science and speech.
Houston Community College
Houston Community College provides the required training to either immediately enter the workforce or continue on to a 4-year school. Instructors of the welding program are certified by the American Welding Society (AWS).
Certificate in Welding Technology - Basic Welding Helper
The basic welding helper certificate requires students to complete 16 credits. The program provides an introduction to welding techniques for individuals who wish to enter the workforce as helpers to experienced welders. Coursework includes critical-thinking, welding fundamentals and oxy-fueled welding and cutting.
San Jacinto College
San Jacinto College (SJC) has a wide selection of certificate and associate's degree programs. Program options at SJC include gas shielded arc welding and welding technology.
Certificate in Gas Shielded Arc Welding
Enrollees in this 24-credit program focus on a variety of bonding methods that utilize shield metal arc welding (SMAW). Topics consist of safety issues, joint designs and power sources.
Certificate in Combination Welding
This discipline covers an assortment of welding procedures, such as GTAW, SMAW and pipe welding. Various types of cutting and joint designs are also incorporated into this 24-credit program. Courses taken in this program can be applied to the associate's degree program at SJC.
Certificate in Art Welding
Rather than focusing on industrial welding, this program instructs students on the artistic and creative applications of welding. Students create original artwork in the form of sculptures, metal ornamentation for barbecue pits and more. Coursework covers welding, soldering and brazing.
Certificate in Stick Pipe Welding
This certificate program functions as an introduction to the SMAW technique of pipe welding. Students must successfully complete four courses in intermediate and advanced pipe welding techniques. Credits earned in the program may be applied toward the combination welding certificate or associate's degree at SJC.
Associate of Applied Science in Welding Technology
The AAS curriculum includes general education courses such as humanities, composition and mathematics, in addition to courses within the welding curriculum. Students take classes from among the core disciplines of SMAW, GMAW, GTAW, pipe welding and welding with stainless steel. Students must complete a total of 60 credits.
Located a little more than 40 miles away from Houston is Wharton County Junior College, which offers a welding technology certificate program in its Division of Vocational Science. Lee College, located about 40 miles away in Baytown, TX, also offers welding technology certificate programs along with an associate degree program.