In Minnesota, students can find welding training at numerous 2-year technical and community colleges. Students seeking a foundational education in welding can pursue an undergraduate certificate, which, depending on the program, can take 13-32 credit hours to complete. Additionally, undergraduate diploma programs are available, though program lengths also vary, requiring a total of 32-67 credit hours. Associate degree programs, which combine welding courses with studies in general education subjects, take 60-72 credits to complete. Studies are offered under such program titles as welding and metal fabrication, welding technology and manufacturing welding. Read below for an overview of the top 10 largest schools with welding training.
Central Lakes College - Brainerd
Central Lakes College in Brainerd offers a 30-credit welding technology certificate program, a 64-credit manufacturing welding technician diploma program, a 44-credit welding and fabrication diploma program and a 64-credit welding and fabrication associate's degree program. The curriculum differs slightly for each program, but all students may pursue classes in welding safety, print reading, symbol interpretation, trade knowledge, inspection, gas tungsten arc welding, metallurgy and manufacturing.
Dakota County Technical College
Situated in Rosemount, Dakota County Technical College provides a 36-credit welding technology diploma program with the option of daytime, afternoon and evening classes. It generally takes 9 months to complete the program. The welding classes are available in gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), oxy-fuel welding, flux cored arc welding, gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and shielded metal arc welding.
Hennepin Technical College
In addition to a welding diploma program, students can find certificate programs in structural iron fabrication and repair, GMAW production welding and GTAW production welding at Hennepin Technical College in Brooklyn Park. The certificate options require 17-23 credits, while the diploma program is 54 credits and combines the welding topics from all 3 certificate programs.
Lake Superior College
Students at Lake Superior College in Duluth have the chance to enroll in a welding diploma program. Metal inert gas (MIG) and tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding are just a couple of the welding processes covered in this program. Students also receive a basic understanding of how to read blueprints and perform cutting processes. Individuals learn about safety measures and the proper use of welding equipment during the 63-credit program.
Minneapolis Community and Technical College
Located in Minneapolis, Minneapolis Community and Technical College offers welding and metal fabrication associate's degree and certificate programs. Students can complete the 60-credit associate's degree program in 4 semesters. The certificate program is 30 credits and can be finished in 2 semesters. In addition to coursework on welding techniques involving flux core, shielded metal and gas tungsten arc welding, students also take classes in fabrication equipment and shop, applied shop mathematics and sculpture work.
Northland Community and Technical College
Numerous certificate and diploma options are available at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls. Students can take programs in welding process technology, welding technology and production welding. The certificate options are 16-17 credits, while the diploma programs take 34-36 credits. The production welding major focuses on GMAW methods, while the welding process technology program emphasizes GMAW, stick metal arc welding (SMAW) and oxy-acetylene welding (OAW) techniques. The welding technology program focuses more on fundamental welding techniques, materials and processes.
Welding certificate, diploma and associate's degree programs are available in Willmar at Ridgewater College. The certificate option is 13 credits and offers classes in gas metal arc welding, shielded metal arc welding and welding processes. The diploma program can be completed in 32 credits or 64 credits, depending on whether the student wants to take general education courses. The associate's degree program is 72 credits, and students pursuing that option can learn about welding qualification, welding fabrication, metal finishing shop and pipe layout.
Riverland Community College
Students in Austin can pursue a 16-credit welding certificate at Riverland Community College. To enter into the program, students are required to obtain a safety kit. Once in the program, students take classes on blueprint reading, gas metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, arc welding and gas welding.
Saint Paul College
Saint Paul College in Saint Paul offers welding technology students the opportunity to earn a certificate, a diploma or an associate's degree. The certificate program student takes 32 credits, while the diploma program is 67 credits and the associate's degree program is 72 credits. The required classes for each program include GMAW, GTAW and SMAW techniques, as well as blueprint reading and oxy-acetylene welding.
St. Cloud Technical and Community College
A welding and fabrication diploma can be earned in Saint Cloud at Saint Cloud Technical and Community College. In the first semester of the program, it is recommended that students study automated machining, metallurgy, thermal welding and cutting, print reading and arc welding. In the second semester, students can take coursework in gas tungsten arc welding, inspection and testing. This is a 37-credit program.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Welding Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Central Lakes College - Brainerd||2-year, public; remote town|| Manufacturing Welding Technician Diploma,
Welding Technology Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science or Diploma in Welding and Fabrication
|Dakota County Technical College||2-year, public; rural||Welding Technology Diploma||$5,713*|
|Hennepin Technical College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Welding Diploma,
Structural Iron Fabrication and Repair Occupational Certificate,
GTAW Production Welder Occupational Certificate,
GMAW Production Welder Occupational Certificate
|Lake Superior College||2-year, public; small city||Welding Diploma||$5,166*|
|Minneapolis Community and Technical College||2-year, public; large city|| Welding and Metal Fabrication Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Welding and Metal Fabrication
|Northland Community and Technical College||2-year, public; remote town|| Production Welding Certificate,
Welding Process Technology Certificate,
Welding Process Technology Diploma,
Welding Technology Diploma
|Ridgewater College||2-year, public; remote town|| Welding Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Welding
|Riverland Community College||2-year, public; distant town||Welding Certificate||$5,570*|
|Saint Paul College||2-year, public; large city|| Welding Technology Certificate,
Welding Technology Diploma,
Associate of Applied Science in Welding Technology
|St. Cloud Technical and Community College||2-year, public; small city||Welding and Fabrication Diploma||$5,377*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.