Welding training programs can feel expensive, but the price of school could be a very good investment in your future. You can be career-ready in as few as 7-10 months, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, welders made an average pay of $48,290 in 2021 (bls.gov).
To help offset the cost of the trade school and college, financial aid is available. Continue reading to learn more about getting financial aid for welding training.
Financial Aid Options
The two major types of financial aid available include government-funded grants (such as the Pell Grant), or student loans. Keep in mind, student loans require repayment.
Some local welding trade schools have their own funds that can be applied for, whether it's a scholarship, grant, or loan. There are also state government and federal government courses.
For many, grants are the most desirable option, because they don't require repayment. That means they don't accrue interest either. Some options are the Pell Grant, the Welding Workforce Grant, along with sectional scholarships provided by the American Welding Society. For more information, you can visit the American Welding Society's grant information page.
While student loans help cover the costs of school, they must be repaid over a designated period of time, with interest. These loans are typically offered at a lower rate than the market, so the payback isn't as intimidating. They do not reduce the costs of schooling overall; they just help with the immediate payments due. The U.S. Department of Education offers the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program and the Sallie Mae Career Training Smart Option Loan.
Merit scholarships must be applied for at the welding school you will be attending. The scholarships are awarded based on certain criteria and standards set in place by your school.
Scholarships Specific to Welding School
There are welding-specific scholarships available to you from companies like John Deere and organizations like the American Welding Society (AWS). You can research scholarships you may qualify for with a simple internet search.
Not all trade schools qualify for government financial aid, so make certain to discuss viable options with the financial aid officer at your school of choice. Your school’s financial aid officer should be able to point you in the right direction.
While the cost of schooling can seem daunting, students should remember that financial aid, whether in the form of a grant, scholarship, or loan, can be greatly beneficial. Schooling is an important step in beginning your journey as a welder, and students should feel encouraged to know that financial assistance is available.