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How to Enroll
We know you don’t have time to waste on a long and complicated admissions process – you just want to get started on the road to a great welding career. That’s why we’ve made the admissions process as simple and hassle-free as possible. We also have admissions recruiters to walk you through every step of the process.
An experienced admissions professional will guide you through every step of the enrollment process and help answer any questions you have.
Touring our welding labs and campus will let you experience the environment you’ll be training in. During the tour, you have the opportunity to speak to an instructor who may also help you choose the best program for you.
Our financial aid staff will meet with you to discuss tuition financing and payment options. Read about your options on our financial aid page.
This is where the fun begins. You can learn new skills in as little as six months. There’s a good chance you’ll make some new friends too as you pursue a career you’re excited about.
We want you to succeed. That’s why our career services team is there – to help you polish your resume, prepare for interviews and weld tests, and partner with you to find a job in your chosen field.
Every student is different. Our student services are customized for your unique needs – to track your success in the program and handle any questions that may arise.
Requirements for curriculum-based programs
- Valid High School diploma or GED*
- Minimum age of 18 years old, or 17 years with parental consent
- Capable of meeting the visual and physical requirements a welding career demands
- Must visit and tour the campus prior to starting class
- Veteran Students Only: must be able to supply transcripts from all post-secondary institutions previously attended and funded with VA educational benefits
*Ask the college for details on homeschool diplomas or foreign high school diplomas.
Jump into an Awesome Career
High School Students
We get it – a 9-to-5 cubicle job isn’t for everyone. Some people are just looking for something different. Maybe you want to build, repair or use your hands. If you’re not sure what your next step will be after graduation, remember a four-year college degree isn’t your only option. Welding offers an exciting alternative and with Arclabs you can get started in a new career in as little as six months.
- A Stable Career
From aircraft carriers and space shuttles, to smartphones and jewelry, more than 50% of products made in this country require welding. According to NAM, manufacturers in South Carolina employ 12% of the state’s workforce. Texas is the top state to employ welders, with over 50,000 welders calling it home1. Welding is an in-demand skill and will be in high demand for a long time to come.
- Travel for Work
One of the coolest things about a welding career is the ability to travel. Whether it’s maintaining and repairing NASCAR vehicles, installing pipe in the beautiful Alaskan wilds or performing repairs on a cruise ship, the travel options for skilled welders are practically unlimited. Of course, if you prefer to work closer to home, you can do that too.
- Get Paid Well
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average welding salary is $41,380. For welding jobs that require more technical skills like electric power generation, transmission and distribution, the average salary is $76,600.
Lots of students feel pressured to go to a traditional four-year college. While that’s a good option for some, it’s also an easy way to rack up tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, sometimes with no tangible skills to show for it.
There’s another option. Welding is a skill that will continue to be in demand for years to come. Here’s why you should consider sending your student to Arclabs:
- Training is more cost effective than traditional 4-year schools
Our 900 Hour Advanced Welding Course can be completed for less than $17,000 in 6 months. That means your child can get started on their career sooner. Arclabs also offers financial assistance to those who qualify. Find out more about financial aid here.
- Welding offers many opportunities
More than 50% of products made in the US require welding work. Welders are needed in the manufacturing, construction and nuclear industries to name a few. Currently, the average age for welders is 54 years old. As Baby Boomers begin to retire, there will be a growing need for welders for years to come. By 2023, the American Welding Society predicts a shortage of 375,000 trained welders.
- Get Paid Well
The average welder makes $41,380 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Welders who specialize or travel can earn more than twice that amount.
Frequently Asked Questions
Charleston, Columbia and Piedmont
Day Classes: Monday – Thursday 7:00am – 4:00pm & Friday from 7:00am to 1:00pm
Evening Classes: Monday – Friday 6:00pm to 11:00pm
Day Classes: Monday – Thursday 7:00am – 4:00pm; & Friday 7:00am – 1:00pm
Part Time Night Classes: Monday – Friday 5:30pm – 11:30pm
Full Time Night Classes: Monday – Thursday 3:45pm – 11:30pm & Friday 2:00pm – 11:30pm
Over 90% of the total time of the 900 hour program is spent in the shop honing your welding skills.
Hands-on training at Arclabs Welding School is a great way to get started in a welding career. The Career Services team is here to help with the next steps, including:
- Preparing resumes
- Employment searches
- Interview preparation
- 20 free hours of booth time to prepare for employer welding tests
- On-campus employer presentations of the company and jobs available
- On-campus employer interviews with students
- On-campus employer weld testing for graduates
Our team works with both local and national employers to help graduates find positions.
Although we strive to find jobs for all our graduates, we can’t guarantee job placement. Enrollment in Arclabs or completion of the program does not guarantee employment.
Yes, attendance is vital. This is a fast-paced program that requires commitment and focus to succeed in the program. Daily attendance is important for our students to gain the knowledge needed for a career in welding. Students must achieve 85% cumulative attendance for graduation.
Professional welders work almost everywhere from the automotive, aerospace and aviation industries, to shipyards, shops and skyscrapers. Wherever metal needs to be joined, a welder is needed. Our training program teaches you skills that can be used worldwide, so almost anywhere you want to go, your welding training can take you there.
Only candidates who go through AWS Accredited Test Facilities (ATF) get AWS welder certifications. After the candidate takes his/her test at an ATF, the ATF conducts visual inspections and the tests required (typically bend samples or X-ray). The resident or contract CWI inspects the weldment prior to sectioning, inspects all test samples, and then determines if the weldment passes the qualification criteria stipulated in the code. The WPS and WQTR records are then sent to AWS where they are verified and filed, and a wallet card is issued. All AWS certifications are good for six months, at which time a welder is required to submit a maintenance form to renew and keep his/her certification current.
Students in the 1300 Hour Master Welder program will be given the opportunity to test for 3 certifications through the American Welding society (AWS) before graduation. Two AWS certifications are included in the 900 Hour Advanced Welding program.
We also offer training opportunities for businesses that already employ welders, but need to improve their workers’ skills. Arclabs can offer these companies various services including testing, qualification, assessment and training.
We offer a variety of financial aid programs for those who qualify to help you pay for your training. Federal Aid includes federal grants and loans, veterans’ benefits and payment plan options. For more information, visit our Financial Aid page.