How Much Does Welding School Cost?
$5,250 – $11,100
Most welding training schools cost between $5,000 and $15,000 for tuition to earn your certification with most spending $6,850 on average. Basic programs cost as little as $3,600 while underwater welding schools can cost $15,000 or more. Get free estimates from welding schools near you.
Welding School Cost
When attending a college or skilled trade school to become a welder, you can expect to pay anywhere between $5,000 and $15,000. In comparison, a four-year bachelor's program can cost anywhere between $40,000 and $100,000, depending on the school and the curriculum.
The cost to become a certified welder ranges depending on the school you attend and the level of certification you seek. Those who complete a certification tend to begin their career in entry-level jobs or participate in an apprenticeship program. In contrast, those who obtain a bachelor's degree often start their career in engineering or management positions.
|National Average Cost||$6,850|
|Average Range||$5,250 to $11,100|
Table Of Contents
- Tulsa Welding School
- Lincoln Electric Welding School
- Illinois Welding School
- Knight School of Welding
- Underwater Welding Schools
Welding School Tuition Cost
Welding school tuition typically starts at around $5,000, lasting 3-7 months, college programs are closer to 15 months, costing on average of $15,000. While college offers many benefits, welding training takes less time to complete and is less expensive.
The exact costs associated with such training programs significantly vary, depending on numerous variables – including the location and field of study. Not only do these programs cost less, but since they tend to be shorter, they allow individuals to enter the workforce more rapidly.
Welding Course Fees
In addition to your tuition, you may need to pay associated fees and hidden costs. These include but are not limited to:
- Application fees, which are charged by nearly every school. Expect to pay an average of $125 to apply.
- Testing – Required testing, such as welding certification testing, may or may not be included in your tuition fee. These tests range for $300 to $550 per test.
- Housing & Food – When living away from home, the costs associated with housing and food quickly add up. Depending on your location and the program you enroll in, expect to pay anywhere between $500 and $10,000 for housing, food, books, and equipment. Housing alone can cost around $4,000.
- Books and equipment range, with the average book costing $220. Also, expect to pay anywhere between $500 and $1,500 for relevant welding tools and safety equipment.
Welding Tools You Need For School
To be successful in school and beyond, you will need to purchase your own set of tools. On average, this will cost you approximately $400. Depending on your program and curriculum as a whole, you may need to purchase some or all of the following:
- A welding helmet, as well as safety glasses
- A chipping hammer or ball peen hammer
- A wire brush
- For MIG welding, you'll need gauntlet cuff gloves; in comparison to TIG welding gloves which are thinner and more flexible
- MIG pliers
- Tape measure
- Welding jacket
Welding Certification Cost
In some states, employers will desire other certifications outside of a traditional diploma. One key example is the Certified Welder card you can obtain from the American Welding Society. To get this certification, you'll need to pass an exam, which will cost between $800 and $1,100.
There are also more specialized certifications, which often yield a higher salary potential and greater employment stability. For example, you can seek certification as a certified welding engineer or certified welding supervisor.
How long does it take to become a certified welder?
On average, welding programs take less than two years to complete. However, this depends on what it is you'd like to achieve long-term. Some schools offer programs that are seven-months, focusing more on career preparation and welding certification training.
On average, a vocational school program can be finished in one year, whereas an apprenticeship program typically takes two or more years – the same is true for community college.
How long is a welding certification good for?
The certification you seek will depend on your goals and the industry you're interested in. The majority of certificates must be renewed after a set length of time, as they typically expire after six months to three years.
Certification through AWS is the industry standard and must be renewed after to years. They will send you a remainder six month before your certification is set to expire. The cost to renew is $75.
Best Welding Schools
Around the country, there are many welding programs – all of which vary in regards to the associated costs. If you're considering welding school, these are some of the top schools.
|Tulsa Welding School||$19,977|
|Lincoln Electric Welding School||$6,850|
|Illinois Welding School||$9,035|
|Knight School of Welding||$3,600|
Tulsa Welding School Cost
Tulsa Welding School lasts for one academic year (40 weeks), and this Oklahoma-based school costs $19,977 to attend on average.
Lincoln Electric Welding School Cost
Lincoln Electric Welding School is the longest operating welding training facility in the world, two terms (450 hours) costs around $6,350, plus a $500 registration fee.
Illinois Welding School Cost
This diploma program at the Illinois Welding School Cost includes tuition, books, and materials, costing $1,300 for Continue Education - Basic Welding; $9,035 to become a Structural Welding Specialist; and $11,082 to become a Pipe Welding Specialist.
Knight School of Welding Cost
The Knight School of Welding is an 8-week program that costs approximately $3,600 for certification.
Underwater Welding Schools Cost
There are many underwater welding schools throughout the nation, including Diver's Institute of Technology, the International Diving Institute, and the Ocean Corporation. While some programs cost as little as $2,800, the average underwater welding school costs nearly $15,000. If you're interested, here is a comprehensive list of schools based on their location.
Apply for Welding Scholarships
When you apply to welding schools, be mindful of their associated scholarship programs. Depending on the scholarship, awards range from $1,000 to $10,000+. In some cases, your full tuition may be covered.
For example, at Delta Technical College, they offer external scholarship options through the American Welding Society (AWS). This is only available for the Journey Welder Program only. Annually, the AWS awards over $1 million to help students achieve their goals. Learn more about scholarship opportunities here.
What Are The Highest Paid Welding Jobs?
In terms of the highest paying welding jobs, those who are paid the most include:
- Pipeline welders – The majority of these welders work on refineries and rigs. However, there are other opportunities available. An experienced pipeline welder makes an average of $40 per hour, with average salaries ranging between $52,000 and $65,000 per year.
- Underwater welders – The average salary for underwater welders significantly range depending on the location and scope of work. While some understand welders make an average of $37,000 per year, others earn over $100,000 based on their skill set which leaves room for growth.
- Welding technicians – There is a growing trend towards "pay by experience" salaries in regards to welding technicians. On average, an entry-level welding technician will make around $50,000 per year – but pay can significantly increase when you work overtime.
In terms of location, Alaska tends to be the most profitable area to work as a welder, particularly in regards to the booming oil and gas industry – which is closely followed by Hawaii, especially for underwater welders.
Although you will need to pay a significant amount to be trained and certified as a welder, you will quickly receive a return on your investment. With so many opportunities and increasing job growth, welding is an excellent profession to pursue.
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