How long is welding training?
Because there are different paths to learning to weld, there’s no single timeline for welding training. Some people attend school part-time while working their current job, while others can focus full-time on their welding training courses. People interested in learning how to weld as a hobby can also take classes from professional welders, such as at KCMA & Services in Waterloo, Indiana.
Expect to take at least two years to go from welding newbie to American Welding Society Certified Welder. A junior college Certificate of Completion welding course is two semesters full-time, or 10 units of coursework. With this certificate, students are qualified for an apprenticeship or internship, rather than a full-time entry-level job. Welding apprenticeships range from 6,000 to 8,000 hours long, equalling three to four years at 2,000 hours per year. Some junior colleges, such as Cerritos College in the Los Angeles area, offer more in-depth welding programs that lead to different welding certifications, such as arc welding and tungsten gas arc welding. These take three to four semesters to complete, so you could be qualified for an entry-level job in about two years of full-time study. Alternatively, you can prepare for employment more quickly through an intensive vocational program at a trade school. For instance, Ohio’s Lincoln Electric Company offers a comprehensive program that prepares people for a welding career in just 20 weeks and 600 hours of hands-on instruction.