Applying to a welding program at your local trade school is fairly straightforward. You’ll need to meet your school’s admission requirements, then organize and submit any information on time.
Read on to learn about possible education, age, mathematical, and physical requirements. We also include a list of necessary tools and safety equipment you may need.
Diploma & GED
To apply to most trade schools, not just welding schools, you need a high school diploma recognized by your state. You may also use a GED, or some other state-authorized equivalency exam.
16-18 Years Age Requirement
Normally, you must be at least 16 years of age to apply to a trade school. Some programs in some states may require you to be at least 17 or 18 years old. All states have their own laws, and schools have different admissions processes. The quickest way to learn your state regulations is to speak to your trade school admissions adviser.
Find a welding trade school in your area.
Basic Math Skill Requirement
Most schools recommend a solid understanding of basic math skills. When starting a welding program, it’s important to understand whole numbers, fractions, and converting to decimals.
During your welding program, you’ll be taught to calculate volume and area. You’ll learn geometry to determine angles, and you may also get an introduction to trigonometry (tangent, sine, and cosine).
When applying for a welding program, you will usually need to meet some set of physical requirements. The following is a list of some common requirements, but every school’s set of standards will be different.
- Ability to perform safely in the shop
- Ability to lift 50 pounds to eye level
- Good eyesight is recommended
- Ability to communicate orally in a loud shop environment
- Ability to diagnose mechanical failures audibly
- Ability to understand and retain information found in service repair manuals
- Ability to use diagnostic flow charts
- Ability to visually read an LCD display on welding equipment
- Must possess the dexterity and mobility to weld in all positions
- Ability to stand for long periods of time
Required Tools, Equipment, and Clothing
Some schools require the student to purchase their own tools and equipment. The following list will give you a good idea of what you may need to buy.
You’ll need this equipment to protect your head, ears, and eyes.
- Approved safety glasses
- Hearing protection
- Approved welding helmet
- Approved face shields
Fire resistant clothing is a key part of a welder’s wardrobe.
- Fire-resistant jacket
- Fire-resistant gloves
- Fire-resistant steel toe boots
- Cotton shirts
- Cotton pants
These are some of the tools you’ll use when attending a trade school welding program.
- Tool box with lock
- 25 ft. tape measure
- #2 Phillips screwdriver
- #2 slotted screwdriver
- 4 1/2" right angle grinder
- Adjustable tri-square
- Adjustable wrenches
- Chipping hammer
- Cold chisel
- Center punch
- Grinder wheels
- Hack saw & blades
- Lineman pliers
- Metal scribe
- MIG pliers size
- Machinist's hammer
- Permanent metal marker
- Standard hex key set
- Slip joint pliers
- Spark lighter
- Stainless wire brush
- Steel protractor
- Steel compass
- Tip cleaners for propylene and acetylene cutting tips
- Vise grip pliers
Some schools supply all materials, tools, equipment, and clothing as part of the total cost of your program. Keep in mind, this is only a partial list of the welding equipment you’ll use. Ask your school for a complete list of required tools.