Metal Fabrication Schools with Program Overviews

Metal fabricators, which include welders, sheet metal workers, ironworkers and other precision metal workers, need training in blueprint reading, machining, basic math and metallurgy. Metal fabrication programs are offered at 2-year community and vocational colleges, and some fabricators learn through on-the-job training.

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While metal fabrication is largely learned through on-the-job training, more employment opportunities are available to those who complete an accredited certificate or diploma program. Some of these courses can lead to certification through the American Welding Society.

10 Metal Fabrication Schools

The following is a list of 10 schools that offer degrees in metal fabrication. The tuition is based upon the 2015-2016 school year:

College Institution Type Location Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
Minneapolis Community and Technical College 2-year, Public Minneapolis, MN Certificate, Associate's $5,366
Spokane Community College 2-year, Public Spokane, WA Certificate $3,388, in-state; $8,726, out-of-state
Everett Community College 2-year, Public Everett, WA Certificate, Associate's $3,643, in-state; $8,981, out-of-state
Bucks County Community College 2-year, Public Newtown, PA Certificate $4,178, in-district; $7,658, in-state; $11,138, out-of-state
Lane Community College 2-year, Public Eugene, OR Certificate, Associate's $4,047, in-state; $9,213, out-of-state
Northeast State Community College 2-year, Public Blountville, TN Certificate, Associate's $3,936, in-state; $15,336, out-of-state
Salt Lake Community College 2-year, Public Salt Lake City, UT Certificate, Associate's $3,569, in-state; $11,337, out-of-state
Johnson County Community College 2-year, Public Overland Park, KS Certificate, Associate's $2,730, in-district; $3,180, in-state; $6,420, out-of-state
Community College of Denver 2-year, Public Denver, CO Certificate, Associate's $3,509, in-state; $13,179, out-of-state
Northern Maine Community College 2-year, Public Presque Isle, ME Certificate $3,376, in-state; $6,076, out-of-state

Sources: *National Center for Educational Statistics, School Websites

School Selection Criteria

Students who are interested in pursuing a career in metal fabrication should consider the following when selecting a school:

  • Students who attend schools with state or regionally accredited programs have greater opportunities for job placement.
  • Not every school offers the same areas of interest. For example, students interested in welding or casting should choose a school that offers that specific field of interest.
  • Look for schools that provide state-of-the-art equipment for students to work with in labs.
  • Consider colleges that allow for flexible laboratory hours, which can be completed at the student's convenience.

Certificate in Metal Fabrication

Certificate programs in foundry and metal casting, welding and sheet metal fabrication can usually be earned in one year of full-time study. A high school diploma or the equivalent is required for admission.

Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Metal Fabrication

A 2-year A.A.S. degree program in metal fabrication includes much of the same coursework as a certificate program in the same field, but also includes general education classes. An A.A.S. program curriculum may also include in-depth coursework in metallurgy. Some schools offer more specialized programs in the field, such as an associate's degree program in nanofabrication. Programs often prepare individuals for certification.

There's a wide variety of colleges that offer accredited certificates and degrees in metal fabrication, so students should consider an institution that provides a program in their area of interest. Tuition costs vary depending on a student's residency.

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