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 $50,460 in 2022 (bls.gov).
To help offset the cost of the trade school and college, financial aid is available to those who qualify. 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, grants do not need to be repaid, but student loans do.
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 grants and scholarships to help out those who meet the requirements.
For many, grants are the most desirable option, because they don't require repayment. 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, usually with interest. Student 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 federal government offers student loans, as well as many private loan providers.
Merit scholarships are awarded based on exceptional work or achievements. Merit scholarships are usually given to people who have had high academic or extracurricular success, but it is not the case in every scholarship. These scholarships can be competitive, so check the requirements to see if you are qualified to enter.
Scholarships Specific to Welding School
There are welding-specific scholarships available to you from companies and organizations like John Deere and the American Welding Society (AWS). If you want a list of scholarships you can apply for, check out this article for a list of welding specific scholarships.
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.