How much does it cost to become a welder? There are different price points associated with the varying training options: an apprenticeship, trade school, or even community colleges. Read on to learn which form of training could be best for you depending on your budget.
How Much Does Welding School Cost?
There are a few different routes you can take when becoming a welder. You can enter an apprenticeship, or enroll in either a trade school or community college. Each option comes at a different price point. Keep in mind, the following numbers are simply an average — the exact amount you will spend on tuition depends on the school you attend.
Also note that these figures are BEFORE any financial aid has been applied. Many schools, along with The American Welding Society, offer financial assistance to those who qualify.
Trade School Cost
If you would like to attend a trade school, expenses can range between $15,000 to $30,000, depending on your program. In addition to tuition, you may have other expenses. These additional expenses can be shop supplies, tools, books, and room and board.
Specialized programs, or attending a 4-year university, can increase the price index. However, to become a welder, a bachelor's degree is not typically required. In fact, most trade school programs can be as short as 10 months. For this reason, trade schools are a popular alternative to universities.
We partner with schools nationwide that focus on giving their students the highest-quality welding training possible. Take the first step toward becoming a welder and find a school near you, today!
As for trade school/certificate programs, expenses of community colleges range too. Tuition can fall between $5,000-$15,000. Prices can increase for out-of-district and out-of-state students. By enrolling in a community college, your training can last anywhere from a few months to 2 years, if you attend full time.
Again, with a community college education, you should also factor in the additional expenses of shop supplies and tools, books, along with room and board.
A welding apprenticeship generally takes between 3-4 years to complete. You'll need at least 2,000 hours of hands-on training a year, and to be present for a formal education section of 144 classroom hours per year.
Apprenticeships are great opportunities to earn some money while gaining hands-on experience. You will work under the guidance of a licensed journeyman welder during your years as an apprentice.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
While tuition for trades careers is generally more affordable than university tuition, it's still a good sum of money needing to be paid. This is where financial aid comes into play.
Your school of choice could have financial aid opportunities to qualifying students, but there are welding scholarships that are also available to students outside of schools.
The American Welding Society also has specific welding scholarships that are offered to students who qualify. In 2023 alone, there are over $2,000,000 in AWS scholarships available.
Choosing to pursue specialized training after you complete trade school will come at an additional cost - but also at a higher earning potential later in your career.
For example, a specialization in underwater welding will not only prepare a welder for a career in that particular industry, but also sharpens one's welding skills overall.
Underwater welding is an extremely dangerous and skilled sect of the welding industry. So, someone specializing in underwater welding is sure to stand out in the job market compared to a welder without any specializations. If you have an interest in a specific welding specialization, you should pursue it.
Find a local welding trade school now.
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