15 Best Welding Schools in Los Angeles | 2023|Requirements

Welding is an excellent career option if you want to enter a field that does not require a college degree. 

In Los Angeles, welding certificate programs can be completed in as little as 12 months. You will have the option to complete additional units to obtain an Associate’s Degree as a graduate. 

However, a degree is not required for a welder’s certification or employment. Multiple career paths are one of the best benefits of the welding profession. 

Welders work in various industries, and you can continually advance your career with additional education. 

Inspection, robotics, sales, engineering, education, and project management are just a few options once you’ve gained industry experience.

Except when performed at the shop of an approved fabricator, all welding in Los Angeles must be completed by certified operators. 

A completed Trade License application, a colored passport-type photo, and the examination application fee of $54.50 are all required for certification. 

You must pass the written and performance exams at an approved testing facility. Welding schools in Los Angeles provide comprehensive preparation for the challenging exam. The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety is responsible for welder certification.

Keep reading to find out the best welding schools in Los Angeles.

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Are There Welding Schools In Los Angeles?

There are several welding schools in Los Angeles. Some of these welding schools include:

  • Welding Certification Center
  • Cerritos College
  • Los Angeles Pierce College
  • Los Angeles Trade Technical College
  • College of the Canyons
  • Harbor Occupational Center
  • Santa Ana College
  • Compton Community College
  • El Camino College
  • Long Beach City College
  • Pasadena City College
  • Orange Coast College
  • Los Angeles Valley College
  • Fullerton College
  • Glendale Community College

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How Does One Become A Welder In Los Angeles?

To become a welder in Los Angeles, you should take the following steps:

Get your high school diploma.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a lucrative job that doesn’t require at least a high school diploma. Many high schools provide technical courses such as auto shop and welding.

To be a welder, you should take every course available to learn the fundamentals. 

These courses will also help you decide whether or not you want to pursue this career. You can learn the skills needed to be a successful welder in high school.

Earn a welding certificate or degree

Welding programs range in length from six to eighteen months. The prices range from $3,500 to $20,000. 

The advantage is that you can practice your craft in person. Some schools offer an Associate Degree in Welding Technology.

These programs can range in price from $6,500 to $55,500. Associate Degree programs last two years and include face-to-face classes where you can practice your craft. 

Some colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in welding engineering. The bachelor’s programs will last four years and will include face-to-face instruction.

Acceptance into an apprenticeship

The apprenticeship is as old as time. Those who could not afford an education found work through apprenticeships. 

Apprenticeships are great places to learn and gain experience. You will collaborate closely with an expert in the field and provide best practices, trade secrets, and real-world experience.

The training can help you get your foot in the door of a company that may later hire you. You begin earning money as a welder while still in school. Instead of being theoretical, learning is applied.

Acquire a welding certification.

You have the education and the experience; all you need now is the certificate. The certification validates your knowledge and skill level when you apply for jobs. 

All welding certifications are standardized by the American Welding Society (AWS). The first step is to obtain your Certified Welder (CW) license.

This certification has no prerequisites, is $35, and is administered at an accredited testing facility. 

All certificates besides CW require some education, work experience, and a fee. You can become an AWS member and have your additional certificates discounted.

What Are The Best Welding Schools In Los Angeles?

Below are the 15 best welding schools in Los Angeles:

Welding Certification Center

The Welding Certification Center is a state-approved private welding school in California. The school provides several course options for both beginning and advanced welders. 

Workshops are also available for LADBS Certified Welder Performance Test candidates who want to improve their chances of passing the written exam. 

WCC is an authorized testing center, so students can take the exam there. The Level I Welding course is the first in a series of introductory courses designed to prepare students for advanced-level courses and state certification. 

The emphasis will be on Shielded Metal Arc Welding related to Structural Steel Certification. 

Additionally, safety, welding codes, procedures, test preparation, and destructive testing are all areas of study. 

The school follows an open enrollment policy. Candidate acceptance is based on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Cerritos College

To prepare students for success in the industry, Cerritos College offers an ARC Welding Certificate program. 

To lay the groundwork for advanced courses and state certification, the course begins with Welding Shop Math and Beginning Arc Welding. 

Blueprint Reading for the Welding Trades, Intermediate Arc Welding, and Advanced Arc Welding Lab are some of the other courses available. 

New students are accepted into the program during the fall or spring semesters. There are day and evening classes available.

Program Overview:

Arc Welding Certificate of Achievement

Duration: 3 semesters

Units: 19

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Los Angeles Pierce College

Los Angeles Pierce College offers a Gas and Arc Welding certificate to prepare students for entry-level employment. 

The American Welding Society is affiliated with the classes. The curriculum will include classroom lectures and hands-on work in the school’s modern lab facility. 

All Oxy-Acetylene Welding, Arc Welding, Inert Gas Welding, and Advanced Arc Welding are all course modules. 

After completing general education requirements, students can pursue an Associate’s Degree.

Program Overview:

Certificate of Achievement in Gas & Electrical Welding

Duration: 3 semesters

Units: 24

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Los Angeles Trade Technical College

Students who complete the full-time Certificate of Achievement in Welding Gas and Electric are prepared for entry-level positions in the field. 

Students must be able to devote at least 21 hours per week to theory and hands-on lab training. 

All required courses are: Acetylene Welding, Cutting and Brazing, Welding Related Technical Instructions I, Applied Mathematics, Electric Welding, Blueprint Reading, Welding Related Technical Instruction, and Inert Gas Welding. 

Students will learn how to name and select appropriate hand and power tools for establishing a portable oxyacetylene welding outfit, set up and weld a Vee Groove with welding equipment and jigs, and apply proper calculation and measurement procedures by sketching oblique, isometric, and pictorial views. 

Because LATTC is a Certified Welding Test Center, students can take the certification exam on-site. 

Students who complete the required general education coursework will be awarded an associate’s degree.

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College of the Canyons

The College of the Canyons’ Welding Technology program is a career education program that prepares students for entry-level employment in the welding and fabrication industries. 

The curriculum will begin with fundamental welding principles and progress to more technically advanced topics. 

Students will learn about safety precautions, metal fabrication, applied theory, and welding processes. 

The curriculum follows the American Welding Society’s SENSE Entry Welder Program and is taught by AWS Certified Welding Inspectors/Educators. AWS, LADBS, and ASME offer welder certification to graduates.

Program Overview:

Welding Technology Certificate of Achievement

Duration: 4 semesters

Units: 31

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Harbor Occupational Center

The Harbor Occupational Center provides a series of welding courses culminating in preparation for the Los Angeles Departmental Welding Exam. 

Welding includes technical instruction and hands-on practice in metal arc welding, oxyacetylene cutting, and trade math. 

Welding II teaches advanced welding and cutting techniques, as well as advanced welding, plasma arc cutting, weld joints, and trade math. 

However, you are required to take Welding I before taking Welding II. 

Welding III focuses on advanced shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, groove welds, and the City of Los Angeles Departmental Welding Exam requirements.

Program Overview:

Welding I, II, III

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Santa Ana College

Students enrolled in Santa Ana College’s Welding Technology program will receive comprehensive training in common types of welding. 

Students will gain the necessary practical skills and technical knowledge to operate welding tools and equipment. 

The instructors will go over how to prepare for welding certification. Introduction to Welding, Structural Welding, Metallurgy, Math/Blueprint Reading for Welders, and Advanced Electric Arc Welding are all required core courses.

Program Overview:

Welding Technology Certificate of Achievement

Duration: 4 semesters

Units: 26

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Compton Community College

The Compton Community College District was established in 1927. It was absorbed into the Compton Union High School District. 

The college’s primary mission is to foster an inclusive environment in which individuals can pursue and achieve success.

Compton College provides degrees and programs in three areas:

  • Health, natural sciences, and human services
  • Arts, social sciences, and career technical education
  • Humanities and mathematics 

Earn an Associate of Science in Welding (only a day program is available). Select one of the welding courses (parallel plans available). 

Alternatively, obtain a Welding Certificate of Achievement (day and evening programs are available).

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El Camino College

El Camino College was established in 1947 and had a 126-acre campus. The institution is one of the largest two-year, single-campus colleges in the United States. 

The college has transfer agreements with numerous four-year universities and offers flexible schedules. 

El Camino is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

Also, El Camino College has 850 academic and career programs to choose from. There are nine major groups of academics. Earn an Associate in Science in Welding Technology or a Certificate of Achievement. 

The Welding Program prepares people to work in the field and assists those already working to improve their skills.

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Long Beach City College

Long Beach City College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. 

The College’s mission is to provide academic excellence and workforce development to our diverse communities. The Liberal Arts Campus and the Pacific Coast Campus are both beautiful and spacious.

Long Beach City College has many programs and courses to choose from. Earn an Associate of Science in Welding, a Certificate of Achievement in Welding, and a Certificate of Accomplishment in Advanced Arc Welding, GAS Tungsten Arc Welding, or Shielded Metal Arc Welding.

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Pasadena City College

Pasadena City College opened its doors in 1924. It is regarded as one of the best community colleges in California, having been ranked first in the state for Associate Degrees, Associate Degrees for Transfer, Veterans Services, and many other categories. 

Every year, Pasadena City College awards students over a million dollars in scholarships.

PCC offers over 90 academic programs. Earn an Associate of Science in Welding with a Certificate of Achievement in Gas Tungsten & Gas Metal Welding or Construction Welding. 

Take a welding course at this school to earn your degree or certificate.

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Orange Coast College

Orange Coast College opened its doors in 1947. OCC has grown into one of the country’s largest community colleges. 

Every semester, the College enrolls over 24,000 students. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges has accredited OCC.

Orange Coast College provides a wide range of programs and courses, as well as online and adult education. 

The Certificate of Achievement program in Welding Technology is ideal for those looking to start a welding career or advance their skills as welders. 

You can later earn an Associate in Arts degree. OCC also provides welding completion certificates.

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Los Angeles Valley College

Los Angeles Valley College opened its doors in 1949. It is a two-year public college in the Los Angeles Community College District, one of nine in the state. 

With over a thousand plants, the campus is a true urban oasis. LAVC is the state’s first community college designated as a Tree Campus USA. 

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has granted the college accreditation.

Transfer education, lifelong learning, and job training are available at LAVC. Learn about engineering technology, manufacturing technology, mechanical engineering technology, and other fields.

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Fullerton College

Fullerton College is California’s oldest continuously operating community college. It has become one of the most successful community colleges in the United States since its inception in 1913. 

The school’s primary mission is to create flexible pathways for individuals seeking educational and career advancement. 

The Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges completed a routine evaluation of Fullerton College (ACCJC).

Fullerton College provides a diverse set of programs and courses. Get a Welding Technology Certificate. 

By the end of the course, you will be able to demonstrate code-compliant welding requirements. The American Welding Society certifies all full-time Welding Inspectors.

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Glendale Community College

Glendale Community College was founded in 1926. Currently, the College has over 25.000 students. 

GCC’s primary mission is to ensure that students succeed in the following areas of learning: basic skills education, lower division post-secondary education, career, and technical education, and general education. 

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges has accredited the college.

Glendale Community College provides a diverse array of courses and programs. Obtain a Welding Certificate (general, occupational, or advanced). Occupational welding is a two-year program that prepares students for entry-level jobs.

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How Long Are Welding Schools In Los Angeles?

Any student is understandably curious about how long it takes to finish a welding program, but there is no definitive answer.

Each school has its program, which can be of varying length.

You can be sure, however, that your education will not last more than a year.

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How Much Are Welding Schools In Los Angeles?

Programs to learn welding at technical schools or community colleges typically cost $5,000 to $15,000.

Programs typically last two years and end with a completion certificate.

Depending on the location and the specialization, tuition and training times may vary.

Residents and non-residents pay significantly different tuition rates for associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.

You spend a lot less money going to a nearby university.

Associate’s degrees take two years to complete and range in price from $2,000 to $31,000.

A four-year bachelor’s degree can be earned for between $40,000 and $100,000.

A bachelor’s degree or higher is typically required for welding supervisor, inspector, instructor, or engineer positions.

How Much Do Welders Make In Los Angeles?

In Los Angeles, California, the average pay for a welder is $59,282 per year and $29 per hour. A welder’s average salary ranges from $43,039 to $71,020. 

A high school diploma is a welder’s most common level of education. 

This salary survey data was collected directly from employers and anonymous employees in Los Angeles, California, for this compensation analysis.

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Conclusion

So, are you considering becoming a welder? You made an excellent decision!

If you study welding technology, you can work on the land, underwater, and even in the air! 

Furthermore, an experienced welder can easily switch from one field to the next, so chances are you’ll never get bored with your job.

Read this article to learn about the best schools for future welders in Los Angeles, and then make your decision!

FAQs

What does a rig welder in Los Angeles do?

Welders for oil rigs work on oil rigs. They run, maintain, and repair all drilling equipment used to extract crude oil, gas, and coal.

How many hours do Pipeline welders in Los Angeles work a day?

Most pipeline welding jobs are full-time, requiring at least 40 hours per week, and welders are occasionally required to work overtime. 

What is the highest-paid welding job in Los Angeles?

Rig welders are among the highest-paid welders, earning an average of $77,000 annually, but frequently work long hours under challenging conditions.

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