How long will it take me to finish welding school?

How long will it take me to finish welding school?

How long? That’s the question most people want to know when they are considering enrolling in a trade program.

This is especially true with attending welding schools, where many learners are eager to finish their schooling then get out into the real world and start making a decent welding salary.

What you need to know first is that many welding schools offer three different types of welding programs. Each of these programs can vary in length. To choose the school that is best for you, you’ll want to consider all your options.

The length of each school’s welding program depends heavily on what you are being taught. That said, you’ll want to choose a school that at the very least offers the following:

  • Basic welding – Professional welders must master the three basic welding processes. To ensure you’re being taught the fundamentals, you’ll want to be sure your welding school offers SMAW/Stick, GMAW/MIG and GTAW/TIG welding training. These basics processes will help you tackle most welding projects you’ll face on the job.
  • Combination welding – These courses will help you learn pipe welding and plate welding, too. Combination welding is a specialty within the field of welding. Combination welders often put together metal to create machine parts, equipment and motors. They also repair metal pieces.
  • Reading blueprints – Reading and understanding blueprints along with having pipefitting skills will be absolutely critical to your professional success. To enhance your learning here, you can also enroll in classes like metallurgy, welding theory and metal identification.
  • Welding certifications – Keep the end in mind. Find out if your school offers in-house welding certification tests. You can always take these on your own with the help of a third party, but a school that offers these courses presents a good sign that they understand welding jobs.

Combination welding

So, depending on which of the above you’ll be learning, the time you spent pursuing your coursework can vary. For example, if you decided to take on pipe welding at the same time as plate welding with all of the common welding processes, then expect to spend at least five or six months earning your certification. Welders who are truly skilled at what they do never cease practicing. With that in mind, consider searching for a welding school that requires between six months to a year of learning.  That should be more than enough time for you to refine your skills.

Earning a degree

The length of associate’s degree welding programs will require additional time. When attending a welding school that offers an associate’s degree, you will find that the length of welding school will typically range between a 12 and 18 months. Remember, a degree is not required to become a welder. Many companies are more impressed when they see experience and certifications on your resume. Still, earning a degree is never a negative thing. In fact, it could prove to be helpful if you decide to apply for a management position or return to school sometime down the line.

Exotic welding programs

Another option you can consider is welding exotic metals and alloys. Not everything that is welded is steel. There are a host of manufactures, plants and factories that utilize different metals for the various products they create. If you become a more specialized welder, you can earn even more money. But learning how to weld different metals will require a longer time to learn this special art.

Welding underwater

Typically underwater welding schools require about 7 to 12 months to complete the program. The welding portion is only a small portion of underwater welding school. You will become a certified diver and salvage expert. You do not need prior welding experience to go to underwater welding school.

A final warning

Don’t be too eager to slip on your welding gloves and your welding mask. If you are in a hurry to finish welding school, please remember to watch out for scam schools. When you start researching schools, you’ll find may claim they will train you in three months. Any experienced welder will tell you this simply isn’t enough time to learn much more than the basics – if that.

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