Welding is a great career choice if you prefer technical skills over academia and don’t mind hard work. As interest in craft professions wane, demand for workers in all sectors of the construction industry will rise as more than 30% of the current workforce are expected to retire by 2029. Although there are schools that offer a welding degree, you don’t need one to enter the field. You can enroll in a certificate program and complete the requirements for entry-level employment in as little as 6 months. Apprenticeships are also worthwhile as they will give you the opportunity to learn from the ground up in hands-on way and earn as you learn.
When demand exceeds supply, you can expect your earning potential to be high especially as you gain experience in the field. Skilled welders earn upwards of $55,000 and there are always opportunities if you need to change your working environment. Welders have a crucial role in construction. However, the sky is the limit. You can work in sectors such as manufacturing, shipbuilding, aerospace applications, oil and natural gas, automobile manufacturing, electrical power generation, pipeline transportation, and much more.
St Philip’s College Southwest Campus
The Welding Technologist program at SPC prepares students to function as effectively in machine shops, maintenance shops, oil field operations and much more. Shop activities on industrial welding equipment will help students develop the skills that are essential for success. Course modules include Intro to Blueprint Reading for Welders, Introduction to Oxy-Fuel Welding, Introduction to Gas Metal Arc Welding, Advanced Gas Tungsten Welding, Introduction to Layout and Fabrication, Advanced Flux Cored Arc Welding, and Internship. The goal of the program is to provide students with marketable skills for fast entry into the labor force. American Welding Society (A.W.S.) certification is available as requested. The cost of certification is not included in the program cost.
Welder/Welding Technologist, AAS
Duration: 2 years
Credit hours: 60
- Must complete the application process by the published deadline
- Submit a completed application for admission to SPC via ApplyTexas
- Request official transcripts of high school and college courses completed and have them submitted to SPC
- High school transcripts must indicate the graduation date
- GED/HSE admissions recipients must submit an official passing score report
- Complete the TSI assessment and submit scores for reading and writing, and math skills – exemption will be granted to applicants who submit satisfactory ACT or SAT scores or those who have earned an associate or baccalaureate degree from an accredited Texas public institution
Tuition costs $99 per credit for in-district students and $215 per credit for out-of-district students. The cost does not include application requirements, fees, books, materials, uniforms, insurance, and other miscellaneous costs.
Address: 2222 N. Alamo St., San Antonio, Texas 78215
South Texas Vocational Technical Institute
South Texas Vocational Technical Institute’s Combination Welding program prepares students with knowledge and skills to pursue a career in construction and maintenance. Experienced faculty will emphasize hands-on learning and workplace safety. Training will include 317 lecture hours and 643 lab hours. Areas of study are shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, flux-cored arc welding, and plasma arc cutting. Students will work with hand and specialty tools during shop courses. Morning sessions meet Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm and Friday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. Afternoon sessions meet Monday through Thursday from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Friday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Evening sessions meet 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm on Monday through Thursday and on Friday from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
Duration: 40 weeks
Clock hours: 960 instructional hours
Quarter credit hours: 56.5
- Must have a high school diploma or GED
- Complete an application for admission
- Attend an interview with an Admission Representative
- Remit the registration fee to confirm enrollment
- Complete an enrollment agreement
- Must undergo a background check
Tuition and registration for the program cost $20,830. Books, tools, and kit are included in the program tuition.
Address: 734 SE Military Dr., San Antonio, TX 78214
Phone: (866) 480-9776
Career & Technical Education Center
The Welding program at Career & Education Center prepares students for entry-level employment in the welding field. The training is designed for students from grades 9 through 12. They will gain knowledge and skills in safety, tool usage, Gas Metal Arc Welding, Stick Metal Arc Welding, oxyfuel cutting and welding, and more. Although completion of the four years is not mandatory, it is recommended for students who wish to pursue a career in the Welding industry. A Welding Business and Industry Endorsement will be awarded to those who participate for two years.
Duration: 4 years
Clock hours: N/A
Semester credit hours: 8
- Must have enrolled in high school – grades 9 through 12
- Complete an application for admission
- A representative will advise of enrollment status
Tuition is free for high school students. Books, uniforms, and supplies are not covered.
Address: 3736 Perrin Central, Bldg 4, San Antonio, TX 78217