How Long is School for

MIG Welder Vs Arc

If you want to become a welder but wondering how long is school for welding, you may get different answers from different sources. So where do you get a reliable source if you really want to work in this profession?

To aid people who want to dive into the world of welding either to learn it for personal use or make it as a profession, we did some research on how long it takes to become a welder. And from different sources like schools to companies that aid workers earn certifications, we came up with the general info about the duration of schooling for welding.

To make it clearer for you, we also made our discussion more concise to give you direct perspectives on how long it takes to become a certified welder.  Why is this important? Because if you live in a developed country you will not be considered a certified welder without certifications that can prove the welding skills you got. 

Gases for MIG Welding
how long is school for welding

How Long Does it Take to Become a

First, you have to know that welding is a serious job. You may have learned that welding is as simple as fusing metals to create other forms of metals. But if you are to apply for work as a welder to a large company, the employer will not simply accept you even if you showed how good you are with your craft. Why? 

Because when it comes to more in-depth understanding like safety precautions to more complicated jobs like identifying metals and how to fuse them, you may lack the training for these. It is therefore fundamental that to be able to be accepted as a welder for industry’s work, you must be equipped with the right credentials which you can achieve from training programs and certification institutions. 

So if you are inquiring about how long it takes to get a welding certificate, the answer is that it depends on the skills you have to be trained although generally, it will take around 3 months to less than a year for the basics to get them mastered. The fact is, there is always the variability in duration in every welding course based on specialization.    

TIG Welding Gas
how long is school for welding

How Long is Welding

The best way, so far, to get into the welding profession is to attend a welding school. A welding school could be a vocational or a trade school. But first, you will need a high school diploma or a GED as a requirement. Or if you haven’t finished your secondary school you must present an on-the-job training certificate to prove that you have been taught the basics of welding. Moreover, working through on-the-job training can take more than a year or depending on how fast you can learn the skills.  

So how long does welding school take if you already have a training certificate? In some cases, a welding course may take years to get you certified. And if you prefer to go further for a specialization, that will add more years to your training.   

To give you an example, at Midwest Technical Institute, they certify students who pass the basic process of welding such as GTAW, SMAW, and FCAW. However, once these students get in the field, most of them will be required by their employers to be equipped with certifications from accredited certifying institutions such as the American Welding Society (AWS) and training could take more months to years to complete.MIG Welding Without Gas

How Long Does Welding School Take for a

A welding degree is different from a welding course. A welding course could be a program with a number of classes. If you have taken a welding course, this could be your stepping stone to get an advanced technical career or even a welding degree. Community colleges and vocational schools are the most common learning institutions that offer 2- year programs for welding.

How long is school for welding if you want to pursue just a course? If you want to pursue a program with just 1 class this could only take you about 2 weeks to complete. But since one class is not enough to earn you many skills, you may get additional classes and each class can take 3-4 weeks to complete. So overall you may spend about 6-8 weeks to complete a course program. Experts suggest that it’s better to take a minimum of 3 classes to give you an advantage when looking for a job.   Commercial Log Splitter

You can learn a lot from welding programs because they offer majors in different areas such as basic welding, welding safety, welding technology, pipe welding, gas metal arc welding and flux core welding. You will learn about joint preparation, electrode selection, technical drawing, and even architectural drawing. But the most important part of taking a program is getting your certification which could spice up your credentials. 

how long is school for welding
how long is school for welding

How Long Does it Take to Get a

MIG Welder Vs Arc

In this 2-year program, you would be taught to identify the various types of metals including their properties. You will also gain the knowledge and skills of using welding equipment and learn the process of welding based on the metals. After this program, you can now pursue a welding degree. If your type of job is about manufacturing processes and mechanical design that are connected to welding, a bachelor’s degree is the better option. A degree can upgrade your skills in machinery testing, quality control, maintenance, alloy fabrication and the use of automated welding machines.

For a welding engineering technology degree, this is a more in-depth study of metals and their properties. You will learn how to use computer-aided design (CAD) and even utilizing robots that are used for welding. You will also be taught to understand the industry’s main languages which are the welding codes and standards and you will earn the skills in testing metals and inspection.   

how long is school for welding
how long is school for welding

How Long Does it Take to Get a Welding

A welding certificate is like a gem on a welder’s credentials. It says about the skills of the welder and the hours he or she had spent in earning these skills. So each certification serves as eligibility for the job that a welder would like to apply to. But not only the schools can help welders earn certifications. Even companies can do their part in aiding welders in gathering up their welding certifications. MIG Welding vs TIG Welding

For example, the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) which is a US non-profit organization is providing certifications to welders of fabrication companies that produce quality pressure vessels and boilers. That means the products these companies make are complying with the ASME’s codes and quality standards.

So how long does it take to become a welder with a welding certificate from the ASME if you work for a company?

Here is the simple explanation that we got from the ASME’s website identifying the process of employees’ certification in coordination with the companies:   

Submittal of complete application requirements and deposit by the company to the ASME- 14 days processing

Scheduling review survey by the ASME – 7 days processing

Acceptance of schedule dates for review/survey by the company – 21 days

Performance of review survey by the company – 69 days

 Commencement of evaluation of review/ survey results by the ASME – 5 days

Completion of evaluation by the ASME – 55 days

Issuance of certificates by the ASME – 14 daysGases for MIG Welding

So all in all, it will take about 6 months for the ASME to give certifications to employees but take note that these certification steps only ordinarily  happen to companies that produce pressure vessels and boilers.

How Long is School for Welding and

As you now know it would take about 6 – 8 weeks to earn a certificate from a welding program, 2 years for an associate certification and 4 years for a bachelor’s degree. 

To earn a welding certificate in the US, college or skilled trade schools usually require payment between $5,000 to $15,000 for the whole program with an average of $6,850. For the basic programs, this could cost you around $3,600. If you want to pursue a bachelor’s welding degree, this may go between $40,000 and $100,000 or depending on the curriculum and the school’s tuition cost.  These costs do not include associated fees and hidden costs such as housing, food and books. For underwater welding which is part of commercial diving, the tuition price could go around $15,000 to $23,400 with an average of $14,901 for the whole course. Weld Spatter

Looking at the cost closely, we would notice that the underwater welding can cost you a good amount of money. This is because, among welders, the underwater welders are the ones who must be armed with a number of certificates. Aside from the underwater certification, they must also get certificates from diving schools as well as certificates from inland welding. About 25.5 weeks could be spent on an underwater welding program and if the commercial welding school falls under the trade school category, the rate could even amount to $30,000 to $35,000. And that’s how long is school for welding for land and underwater welding programs.


For those who want to know how long is school for welding, this blog may give you the ideas including the possible cost. Remember that the cost of schooling not only depends on the welding course but also on the reputation of the school and its facilities. The more advanced facilities the schools have, the costlier could be your tuition. MIG Welder Vs Arc

If your passion is into welding but lacks the knowledge and details of it, you could purchase a book that will tell you many things like how to cut, weld, and shape metal and other significant know-how on welding. Or if you are a hobbyist who wants to do things your way in your home workshop and don’t know much about welding yet, you can have the beginner’s handbook for welders. These books will introduce you into the wonders of welding so if you want to pursue either a career in welding or becoming a consistent DIY welder, these materials can really help. 

As a last note, I should say that welding is a very prolific and challenging career and there are a lot of options to get you into this field. What you need is just perseverance, hard work and of course your worthy investment. So for those who are still curious about how long it takes to become a welder, this is for you.  

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