15 Best Welding Schools in California |2023|Requirements

Welding is one of America’s fastest-growing occupations. Learn the trade at one of California’s many reputable welding schools.

Interest in trade careers has been declining in recent decades. As a result, there is a surplus of skilled workers in these trades in the United States.

Now is an excellent time to enter the labor force! Trade schools, such as the ones listed below, are an excellent alternative to traditional four-year universities.

Whether you are a novice or have been a welder for a few years, the institutions in California provide excellent opportunities.

The state offers professional workshops, programs for those without experience, and workshops for your company’s team.

However, different tuitions, locations, and classes provide opportunities for everyone. California is an excellent place to begin your welding career.

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Are There Welding Schools In California?

There are numerous welding schools in California. Some of these welding schools are:

  • Welding Certification Center
  • Welding Center
  • Cal-Trade Welding School
  • SoCal Welding Institute
  • The Fab School
  • CTM Welding
  • Central Valley Opportunity Center
  • American Fabrication Academy
  • Orange Coast College
  • Los Medanos College
  • City College of San Francisco
  • Santa Rosa Junior College
  • Napa Valley College
  • Center for Employment Training
  • Los Angeles Trade Technical College

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How Does One Become A Welder In California?

Those who want to become welders in California must first obtain certification from the American Welding Society (AWS).

You must complete your training at an AWS-approved welding school to obtain the certification.

During their training, students attend both theoretical and practical classes.

You can take the certification exam as soon as you finish your training.

Usually, students can take their tests at their previous school.

To pass the test, you must demonstrate proficiency in various welding skills.

What Are The Best Welding Schools In California?

The 15 best welding schools in California can be found below.

Consider that each school has received SENSE Accreditation from the American Welding Society.

Welding Certification Center

The Welding Certification Center is L.A. County’s only private welding school licensed by the State of California’s Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education.

This facility is designed to assist students in achieving their welding goals by providing hands-on experience and essential welding knowledge. 

This school provides a wide range of courses and workshops for students of all skill levels, whether they have no prior experience or have had time to receive professional instruction.

They also accommodate students’ schedules and provide comprehensive, well-structured college-level classes. 

They believe in being open and honest with their students, so check out their course listings to see how much they charge.

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Welding Center

The Welding Skills Test and Training Center is ideal for those looking for introductory courses or refresher workshops. 

This center also provides a “build-your-own” program tailored to the student’s specific needs.

They also offer 2-5 day programs for experienced welders who need certification – the classes are geared toward welding professionals who need fast-tracked training.

Students can choose between a complete training program and a one-week beginner workshop, making this an excellent place for anyone interested in welding.

The classes are mostly hands-on, with 75% being hands-on and 25% lecturing. Prices vary depending on the certifications required at the Welding Skills Test and Training Center.

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Cal-Trade Welding School

Cal-Trade Welding School provides a wide range of courses, including combination welding, blueprint reading, and AWS Inspector classes.

After completing the course, they provide their students with current job openings; the school maintains a list of available vacancies and assists students in obtaining interviews!

The website contains limited information, but prospective students are encouraged to contact them via phone or comment box (found on their website).

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SoCal Welding Institute

SoCal Welding Institute is an AWS-accredited testing facility and a state-approved welding school in California. 

They provide hands-on, individualized training for each student and have open sign-up so that you can begin anytime.

Their goal is to meet industry workforce needs, so you will be ready to work in the field when you finish their course. They also provide a fast-track option for students who want to start working immediately.

Before applying, keep in mind that proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required at the time of enrollment.

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The Fab School

The Fab School is a one-stop shop for metal fabrication and welding certifications. 

The Fundamentals of Fabrication program requires 728 clock hours and is available at two times to best accommodate their students: day courses allow for graduation in six months and night courses allow for graduation in eleven months.

The curriculum of the fabrication program has been accelerated while maintaining a hands-on approach to welding. The skills you will learn in this course are applicable across multiple industries.

Additionally, students work on various projects that allow them to put their skills to use; these projects are specifically designed to “ensure students are repeatedly utilizing the entire curriculum” and building their expertise on skills learned on day one. 

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CTM Welding

CTM Welding provides courses and training for welders of all levels of experience and refresher workshops for those preparing to take the LADBS (L.A. City), Certified Welder Performance Test. The workshops are intended to assist you in passing the written exam.

The school combines lab training with classroom lectures to ensure a well-balanced program. This is the place to go if you only want to get certifications and nothing else.

CTM Welding also provides tests for those already employed as professional welders.

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Central Valley Opportunity Center

The Central Valley Opportunity Center (CVOC), Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides employment training and services. 

Its mission statement states that it “provides employment, skill training, education, and emergency services to improve the quality of life for farm workers and underserved members of our communities.”

CVOC offers a Welding and Industrial Maintenance course that covers the fundamental skills required for welding and metal-working occupations. The course is primarily hands-on and teaches students the fundamentals of the welding trade.

Their course covers cutting and welding with gas and oxyacetylene, electric arc welding, layout and blueprint reading, and more. 

Also, demonstrations, hands-on participation, handouts, lectures, videotapes, and workbook assignments are used to teach. The course lasts 770 hours (about 22 weeks).

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American Fabrication Academy

The American Fabrication Academy is a cutting-edge institution specializing in metal fabrication and welding. Small class sizes at the school allow for a hands-on, stress-free learning experience.

The Academy’s instructors are all AWS certified, have years of fabrication school teaching experience, and have over 20 years of metal fabrication experience. 

Hands-on experience and equipment availability is guaranteed due to the school’s small class sizes.

Their 600-hour program includes career services such as lifetime job placement assistance, resume writing, and job interview preparation.

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Orange Coast College

Orange Coast College has a wide range of welding technology programs. Throughout your studies, you will learn about the significance of this career in various industries, such as petrochemical plants, underwater vessels, appliance manufacturing, and national security.

It’s a fantastic program with equal opportunity because it accepts both men and women.

You can earn a Certificate of Achievement or a Certificate of Completion in welding at Orange Coast College. 

Most of the programs are intended for people who are already established but want to broaden their knowledge.

They also provide an Associate in Arts degree for beginning welders.

Los Medanos College

Welders of all skill levels will benefit significantly from studying welding at Los Medanos College. Their current program caters to beginners while also offering advanced professional programs.

You will receive hands-on training better to understand welding practices and principles throughout your studies. 

You’ll also benefit from working in a modern shop environment, which will help you prepare for production-style welding.

All your program’s courses will be available during the day, evenings, and weekends. It’s also worth noting that this program is open to both men and women, which can help you diversify your trade skills.

The welding technology program at Los Medanos College offers a wide range of courses. Students will gain hands-on experience with sheet metal, pipe, and metal plates in various positions.

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City College of San Francisco

Students at City College of San Francisco will have the opportunity to take a wide range of unique welding courses.

The school does not offer a welding program, but you can enroll in the manufacturing program. This program will train you not only to be a welder but also a machinist.

When creating your academic plan, you can schedule an unusually large number of welding courses. Among these courses are the following:

  • Intermediate Welding Processes
  • Survey of Welding Processes
  • Welding Symbols and Inspection
  • Advanced Welding Processes

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Santa Rosa Junior College

Santa Rosa Junior College offers a one-of-a-kind Welding Technology Certificate after completing 17.5 units. 

You will practice various welding techniques in this program. Modern welding options to accommodate newer metals will also be available.

Throughout your studies, you will broaden many essential employable skills. Students will use math skills, learn to read blueprints and identify welding symbols, distinguish between nonferrous and ferrous metals, and much more.

Once you graduate, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to take and pass the American Welding Society Unlimited Structural Certification Test. After passing this examination, you can pursue your dream job.

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Napa Valley College

Students interested in a fast-paced but detail-oriented career will enjoy Napa Valley College’s welding technology program.

With your education, you’ll be able to work in various fields, including pipe welding, steamfitting, pipefitting, and structural metal fabrication. Many graduates progress to become welding engineers or welding inspectors.

As one of the best welding schools in California, you’ll teach fundamental and future-proof skills to all welders. 

You will gain extensive experience in plasma cutting, shielded metal arc welding, flux core, MIG, and TIG welding.

Students will also experiment with digital design, technical math, and machine shop techniques.

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Center for Employment Training

In 1967, the Center for Employment Training was founded. CET was already regarded as the best job training program in the country in 1971. 

The center aims to promote human development by providing individuals with marketable skill training. The Council of Occupational Education has accredited the Center for Employment Training.

Choose one of the seven programs available: Business, Childcare, Construction & Building Maintenance, Culinary, Medical, Technical Trades, Truck Driving & Logistics. 

Welding Fabrication is a program in the Technical Trades area. The program includes hands-on welding training. CET will assist you in finding employment as soon as you graduate.

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Los Angeles Trade Technical College

The Los Angeles Trade Technical College was established in 1925. LATTC is the oldest of nine public 2-year colleges in the Los Angeles Community College District. 

The college’s primary mission is to advance the community by providing career, academic, and transfer success pathways. The 25-acre campus is just two miles from the Central Business District.

LATTC provides nearly 90 different occupational programs. Earn your Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, or Certificate of Completion. 

Choose between the Advanced Manufacturing: Welding and Fabrication program, the Welding, Gas, and Electric program (Associate of Science Degree), and the Welding, Gas, and Electric program (Associate of Science Degree) (Certificate of Achievement).

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How Long Are Welding Schools In California?

Of course, before beginning training, it’s critical to determine how much time is required to obtain the certification.

The length of training varies by school.

Nonetheless, you can be sure that your training will not last more than two years.

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How Much Are Welding Schools In California?

Welding training programs at community colleges or technical schools typically range in price from $5,000 to $15,000.

Programs typically last two years and result in a certificate of completion.

Depending on location and specialization, tuition and training duration may vary.

For associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, tuition varies greatly between residents and non-residents.

Attending a nearby school saves you a significant amount of money.

Associate’s degrees can be obtained in two years and range in price from $2,000 to $31,000.

A bachelor’s degree takes four years to complete and costs between $40,000 and $100,000.

Welders with a bachelor’s degree or higher are more likely to advance to positions as welding supervisors, inspectors, instructors, or engineers.

How Much Do Welders Make In California?

Welders have numerous job opportunities in California, and their pay is competitive.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, welders are expected to be in high demand until at least 2026.

By that year, it is expected that there will be approximately 22 500 new job opportunities for these professionals.

In California, the median annual salary for a welder is $44,159.

This is more than a welder’s $ 39-533 median national annual salary.

Furthermore, the top 10% of welders earn approximately $45 418 per year, whereas the same segment of welders in California can earn roughly $50 731 per year.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, becoming a welder in California is an excellent option for those who enjoy working with their hands.

Indeed, there are numerous job opportunities for qualified welders in California.

Furthermore, this is one of the higher-paying jobs.

If you want to start a career as a welder in California but don’t know where to start, this article will teach you about the best welding schools in the state.

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FAQs

Is welding school in California a good idea?

Yes, welding school can be worthwhile because, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a postsecondary welding education is progressively becoming a requirement among employers (BLS).

How do I get a welding job with no experience in California?

A high school diploma is usually required to get a job as a welder with no experience. No-experience welding jobs are frequently part of an apprenticeship or trade school program incorporating classroom instruction with on-the-job training.

Can you weld without a degree in California?

Welders must have a high school diploma, at the very least. Some welders receive training while earning their diplomas at vocational high schools. Others pursue specialized vocational training or degree programs after graduating from high school.

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