Students in Pennsylvania have a good number of schools with which they may choose to study welding. Programs include individual courses, certificates, diplomas, and associate's degrees; at least one bachelor's degree related to the field is also available. While degree programs include general education classes and can take up to two years to complete, other types of programs generally concentrate on the hands-on development of welding skills: how to utilize tools and equipment, manipulate materials, and create pieces with respect to safety procedures. Fieldwork experiences are rare, but possible.
Community College of Allegheny County
Community College of Allegheny County offers an 18-credit certificate program and a 60-credit associate's degree program in welding at its West Hills Center in Oakdale. Classes can be taken during the day or in the evening, and topics include TIG and MIG processes, welding and brazing, blueprint reading, advanced welding and welding fundamentals. In addition, an elective co-op experience is available.
Delaware County Community College
Students at Delaware County Community College in Media can enroll in a welding certificate program. CNC plasma cutting, quality assurance, inert gas shielded metal arc welding and flux core arc welding are all topics welding students explore at this school. Each class is 2 credits, and it takes a total of 28 credits to graduate from the program.
Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center
Found in Altoona, Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center has a 3-year welding technology program for both high school students and adults. The program covers entry-level welding skills, like oxy-fuel cutting, air carbon arc cutting and gas metal arc welding. Students learn how to work with machine and hand welding tools, and they can pursue certification through the American Welding Society after graduation. In addition, there is a welding with print reading program available through adult education.
Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center
A welding program for both high school students and adults can be found at Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center in Johnstown. The training areas emphasized in the program include weld testing, metal fabrication, blueprint reading and machine shop safety. Students in this program are prepared to pursue certification through the American Welding Society.
Harrisburg Area Community College
Prospective welders in Harrisburg can obtain a diploma or certificate in welding at this community college. Classes explore gas tungsten arc welding, oxy-fuel welding and cutting, shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding and blueprint reading. Students in the certificate program also take courses on welding applications and pipe welding. It takes only 24 credit hours to finish the diploma program, while the certificate program consists of 35 credit hours.
Lancaster County Career and Technology Center
Lancaster County Career and Technology Center offers a 1,080-hour welding technology program at its campus in Mount Joy. This is a full-day program that covers basic welding techniques, including oxyfuel and tungsten inert gas welding. The American Welding Society has accredited the welding program at this school.
Northampton County Area Community College
At Northampton County Area Community College in Bethlehem, students have the opportunity to enroll in programs leading to a Welding and Fabrication Certificate, Welding Fundamentals Specialized Diploma and an Associate in Applied Science in Welding . Advanced plate welding processes, advanced pipe welding processes and weld symbol applications are just a few of the courses in the programs. Students' progress is measured through lab assignments, written tests and a final exam.
Pennsylvania College of Technology
The Pennsylvania College of Technology is found in Williamsport, and students here can earn a Welding Certificate, an Associate of Applied Science in Welding Technology or a Bachelor of Science in Welding and Fabrication Engineering Technology. The welding certificate program is intended for students who want to obtain practical welding skills. The associate's degree option gives students the chance to learn about welding design, quality assurance, welding theory and robotic welding. In the bachelor's degree program, students learn about the delivery, planning and organization of projects in manufacturing.
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College
An Associate of Applied Science in Welding Technology can be pursued in Johnstown at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College. The 61-credit program consists of courses on welding, advanced welding, physics, operations management, materials evaluation and metal fabrication. Students are required to purchase their own safety gear.
Westmoreland County Community College
Westmoreland County Community College offers students in Youngwood several programs in welding engineering technology. In addition to welding courses, the 24-credit certificate program covers metal fabrication, maintenance and blueprint reading. These same classes are taken by students in the associate's degree program. The 62-credit associate's degree curriculum also offers courses in advanced welding and materials evaluation.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Welding Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Community College of Allegheny County||2-year, public; large city|| Welding Technology Certificate,
Associate of Science in Welding Technology
| $4,315 (in-district)*
|Delaware County Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Welding Certificate|| $5,520 (in-district)*
|Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center||Less than 2-year, public; small city|| Welding Technology Program,
Welding with Print Reading - Adult Ed
| Welding Technology Program: $9,015*
Welding with Print Reading: $11,400**
|Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center||Less than 2-year, public; small suburb||Welding Program||$9,650*|
|Harrisburg Area Community College||2-year, public; small city|| Welding Diploma Program,
Welding Technology Certificate Program
| $6,683 (in-district)*
|Lancaster County Career and Technology Center||Less than 2-year, public; large suburb||Welding Technology Program||$10,400*|
|Northampton County Area Community College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Welding and Fabrication Certificate,
Welding Fundamentals Specialized Diploma Program,
Associate in Applied Science in Welding Technology
| $4,380 (in-district)*
|Pennsylvania College of Technology||4-year, public; small city|| Welding Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Welding Technology,
Bachelor of Science in Welding and Fabrication Engineering Technology
| $16,740 (in-state)*
|Pennsylvania Highlands Community College||2-year, public; small suburb||Associate of Applied Science in Welding Technology|| $5,820 (in-district)*
|Westmoreland County Community College||2-year, public; fringe rural|| Welding Engineering Technology Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Welding Engineering Technology
| $5,214 (in-district)*
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center.