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280 Hour Welding Program

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Program Overview

Want to get started in welding but aren’t sure where to begin? This course has options for both beginners and welders with some experience. Beginners may elect to take only the GMAW/FCAW program. Experienced welders can choose one of three welding process concentrations: SMAW, GMAW/FCAW or GTAW. The GTAW course can be taken as a pipe welding course.

Students enrolling in the SMAW or GTAW structural welding concentration must demonstrate their welding experience by passing a 3G and 4G welder qualification test in a process of their choice before starting class. Students enrolling in the GTAW pipe welding concentration must pass a 3G and 4G GTAW welder test on plate.

Welding opens doors.

You don’t need to go thousands in debt pursuing a four-year degree at a traditional university to find a great career. Welding offers a quick path to an in-demand trade. Here’s a look at why it’s a good career choice:

  1. Welding is stable.

    While some people lose their jobs if the economy takes a downturn, welders are always in demand. From manufacturing to infrastructure repair, welders, cutters, solderers and brazers are essential workers, with 50% of all American-made products requiring the skills of a welder at some point.

  2. It doesn’t require years of schooling.

    You can get trained in the basics of welding in a matter of months. Even our most advanced program can be completed much faster than many degrees. That means you’re already employed in your new career while your peers at a traditional college are still working on their general education courses.

  3. It pays well.

    Like any industry, your potential to earn more money increases with time and hard work. But welding wages also start off well above average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, the median pay for welders was more than $20 per hour.

  4. You can choose where you work.

    Because welders are needed everywhere, professional welders can travel or switch industries as often as they like. Want to work on oil pipelines in the Alaskan wilds? You can do that. Prefer to work in maritime repairs in sunny San Diego? You’re trained for that too. Wherever you want to go, qualified welders are needed.

What you’ll learn

In this 280 Hour program, you’ll learn the skills you need to launch a career as a professional welder. While 90% of all our programs are hands-on training, they do feature a small classroom component, as noted in the table below. Here is a detailed look at some of the courses you’ll take in this program:

Classroom Hours

Basic Employability Skills

2 Classroom Hours
  • Walks you through a typical welding interview process, including all details regarding weld tests.
  • Creates a workable resumé for students to take to upcoming welding opportunities.

Weld Quality

6 Classroom Hours
  • Identifies the codes that govern welding, including marine welds. Identifies and explains weld imperfections and causes.
  • Describes non-destructive examination practices, visual inspection criteria, welder qualification tests and the importance of quality workmanship.

Welding Symbols

4 Classroom Hours
  • Identifies and explains the different parts of a welding symbol. Describes different types of fillet weld, groove weld and nondestructive examination symbols.
  • Explains how to read welding symbols on drawings, specifications and welding procedure specifications.
  • The basics of welding blueprints.

Reading Welding Detail Drawings

8 Classroom Hours
  • Identifies and explains welding detail drawings.
  • Describes lines, fills, object views and dimensioning on drawings.
  • Explains how to use notes on drawings and the bill of materials, a comprehensive list of parts, items and assemblies.
  • The basics of welding blueprints.