In the San Francisco Bay Area, most welding courses are offered as part of undergraduate certificate and associate degree programs in welding technology. Additionally, welding can be studied as part of a program in manufacturing and metal fabrication, industrial maintenance or mechanical engineering. Welding classes also exist in sculpture and art degree programs. Many welding technology programs prepare graduates to take certification exams from the American Welding Society (AWS). Read below about 9 programs in the San Francisco Bay Area with classes in welding.
California College of the Arts
California College of the Arts (CCA) is a private fine arts school in Oakland. CCA has a Bachelor of Fine Arts program in sculpture with welding coursework that educates students in the skills used in creating bronze casting, as well as other types of sculpture. During the sculpture metal techniques class, program participants are trained in forging and blacksmithing, gas and electric welding, metal fabricating, metal cutting, forming, bending and fastening, as well as to how to work with ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
Students in the program complete workshop and studio classes, as well as perform a senior sculpture project. CCA also has a welding studio that students can use to learn welding, torch cutting, and hot bending.
Chabot College is located in Hayward, on the east side of the San Francisco Bay, and has associate's and certificate programs in welding. The Associate of Science (A.S.) program in welding technology helps students get ready to earn AWS certification through classes that teach skills such as welding layout and fitting, arc welding, blueprint reading, and pipe installation. Students who want to achieve basic welding skills can complete a 6-course certificate program in welding, which includes many of the same classes, minus the general education requirements. Students can learn about gas tungsten arc welding, flux core arc welding, and metal inert gas welding.
Those interested in inspection and pipe welding careers can earn a certificate of proficiency. The 6 courses in this program involve advanced training in welding types and methods, as well as pipe installation, pipe welding and inspection.
City College of San Francisco
This college, located a few miles from downtown San Francisco, offers welding coursework through programs in the school's engineering technology department. The college has an A.S. program in mechanical engineering technology that includes several electives in welding. These include manufacturing and welding processes, manufacturing blueprint reading and welding inspection technology. Students only wanting to gain an education in welding might consider the 12-credit certificate program in manufacturing and metal fabrication. This program includes the same welding courses offered in the associate's degree program and prepares students for careers in welding, fabrication, and machining, as well as for possible entry into an apprentice program.
A non-credit certificate program in combination welding is also available and can be completed in 1-4 semesters. Participants learn to weld pipes, plates and sheet metal. Some of the studies include metal and tungsten inert gas, electric arc, and oxyacetylene welding.
Oakland is across the bay from San Francisco and is home to Laney College, which offers several programs with courses in welding. The college's A.S. and certificate programs in welding technology include classes in engineering drawing for welders, gas tungsten arc welding, wire feed welding, and acetylene welding. The 24-credit certificate and A.S. programs offer the same welding classes, with the A.S. degree program requiring the addition of general education coursework.
Laney also has a 9-month interdisciplinary certificate program in industrial maintenance that trains students for entry-level roles in various industrial careers that include welding. Some of the studies in this program include welding, blueprint reading, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) procedures.
Las Positas College
Situated in rural Livermore, Las Positas College features associate's and certificate programs in welding technology. Students in the welding technology program are trained for careers as flux core, shielded arc and research lab welders. The programs prepare students to take AWS certification exams. Some of the courses in the A.S. program teach skills such as welding layout and fitting, measurements and calculations, blueprint reading, pipe system installation, and welding inspection. Students planning to pursue the 23-credit welding technology certificate program must take most of the same welding technology courses as offered in the school's A.S. program but without the general education requirements.
Los Medanos College
Los Medanos College is in Pittsburg, about 30 miles from the San Francisco Bay. The college has welding technology associate's degree and certificate programs that prepare students to work in production welding. Those in the A.S. program in welding technology take 24 credits of welding coursework, in addition to general education studies. Some of those welding classes include arc welding, oxyacetylene welding, and pipe welding. Students who complete the 24 credits of required welding technology coursework, but who don't complete general education courses, are eligible to earn a certificate of achievement.
Napa Valley College
Napa Valley College is located north of the Bay Area in Napa and has an A.S. program, as well as a certificate program, in welding technology. The A.S. program has required classes in machine shop, technical math, physics, and technical drawing, as well as general education coursework. Some of the welding classes offered teach participants about material identification and preparation, metal fabrication, layout symbols, metallurgy, and finishing. The 40-credit certificate program includes many of these same classes, minus the general education requirements.
Santa Rosa Junior College
This junior college, located in Santa Rosa, offers a 17.5-credit certificate program in welding technology through the school's department for industrial and trade technology. Students who complete this program could be equipped to work in ship and airline building, bridge construction, pipeline construction, and automobile trades. Classes might include industrial math, machine tool technology, fundamentals of welding and welding technology. Completion of this certificate program can be accomplished in 9 months and prepares students to earn AWS certification.
Solano Community College
Fairfield is home to Solano Community College (SCC), which offers several associate's degree and certificate programs with studies in welding. The welding technician program educates learners for roles as welders and assistant welders in the metal trades. Those who complete 48 credits in the welding technician program can earn the certificate, while students who complete those credits plus general education requirements are eligible for the A.S. The required welding in this program's classes include 4 semesters of welding technology, blueprint reading, industrial processes, and industrial materials. This program also offers electives that involve welding fabrication, shielded arc metal certification, and wire welding certification, as well as work experience opportunities.
SCC also offers an industrial technician welding program, which is intended for working welders who want to increase professional skills. The 23-credit certificate program has requirements in blueprint reading and industrial materials, as well as courses that can include beginning and advanced pipe welding, beginning and advanced plate welding, gas tungsten arc welding, gas metal arc welding and ornamental iron welding. An A.S. can be earned by taking the same coursework options as offered in the certificate program, along with general education classes.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Welding Classes and Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|California College of the Arts||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture||$49,138*|
|Chabot College||2-year, public; midsize city|| Associate of Science in Welding Technology,
Certificate in Welding,
Certificate in Inspection and Pipe Welding
|$1,142, in-state; $7,742, out-of-state*|
|City College of San Francisco||2-year, public; large city|| Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology,
Certificate in Manufacturing and Metal Fabrication,
Certificate in Combination Welding (non-credit)
|$1,696, in-state; $10,372, out-of-state*|
|Laney College||2-year, public; large city|| Associate of Science in Welding Technology,
Certificate in Welding Technology,
Certificate in Industrial Maintenance
|$1,254, in-state; $7,806, out-of-state*|
|Las Positas College||2-year, public; rural|| Associate of Science in Welding Technology,
Certificate in Welding Technology
|$1,134, in-state; $7,734, out-of-state*|
|Los Medanos College||2-year, public; midsize suburb|| Associate of Science in Welding Technology,
Certificate in Welding Technology
|$1,312, in-state; $8,564, out-of-state*|
|Napa Valley College||2-year, public; small city|| Associate of Science in Welding Technology,
Certificate in Welding Technology
|$1,142, in-state; $6,758, out-of-state*|
|Santa Rosa Junior College||2-year, public; midsize city||Certificate in Welding Technology||$1,328 in-state; $8,174, out-of-state*|
|Solano Community College||2-year, public; rural|| Associate of Science in Welding Technician,
Certificate in Welding Technician,
Associate of Science in Industrial Technician Welding,
Certificate in Industrial Technician Welding
|$1,140, in-state; $6,324, out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.