15 Best Welding Schools in San Diego 2024


In this article, we have curated a list of the best welding schools in San Diego in 2023. Feel free to engage this article as it will help answer many of your unanswered questions about welding colleges in San Diego.

Welding may be your right career if you enjoy building or repairing things. Welding, which involves complex instruments and flames, necessitates extensive training and practice to be effective in the industry.


Welders can continue developing their skill set after gaining this knowledge and experience to advance in their careers and complete more significant jobs.

To select the best welding school, you must consider several essential factors that cannot be overlooked.


First and foremost, determine whether the school is legitimate and has official permission to provide welding career training. Welding requires extensive welding training, which takes time. So, make sure you’re devoting enough time to learning welding fabrication.

Next, examine the welding lab to see if it is adequate for your welding certificate program. The school you choose should have a good lab where you can practice.

The next factor to consider is the cost of a welding job training program. Welding classes can be expensive. Prospective students can inquire with the student body of the schools to see if any scholarships are available.


In San Diego, there are a few welding programs where students can learn about welding techniques, fabrication, different types of welding, and different metals. A degree program also prepares graduates for national certification.

If you want to start a career as a welder in San Diego but don’t know where to start, you can learn about the best welding schools in the state.

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Is Welding a Good Career Path in San Diego?

When it comes to welding, the highest-paying jobs are usually the most difficult, require specialized welding skills, or are performed in the most dangerous environments.

As a welder, you can work for a company that pays less per hour but provides consistent hours, job security, and benefits. You can also work as an independent contractor, which means different companies can hire you for specific projects. Although working as an independent contractor pays more per hour, you are not always guaranteed work as an employee.

Are there Welding Schools in San Diego

There are very few welding schools in San Diego. These schools are: 

  • Summit College
  • Center for Employment Training
  • South Coast Welding Academy
  • MiraCosta College
  • Palomar College
  • San Diego Continuing Education

How to Become a Certified Welder in San Diego?

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

You want to 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 want to demonstrate proficiency in various welding skills.

How to Renew Your Welding Certification in San Diego

You must renew your certification as an AWS Certified Welder every three years. You want to recertify every nine years through examination, obtaining approved endorsements, enrolling during a recertification course, or demonstrating 80 hours of continuous education, among other requirements. If you do not recertify before your certification expires, you’ll lose your certification status and need to retest on all parts of the initial exam to regain your certification.

How Much Do Welders Make in San Diego?

Individuals with a high school diploma and some welding experience are typically qualified for entry-level welding positions. Welders at the entry-level can earn up to $30,000 per annum. An experienced welder can earn up to $45,000 per annum. 

The salary of a welder in San Diego varies depending on the region, profession, and experience level.

How Long is Welding School in San Diego?

Welding programs are typically available at 2-year colleges in and around San Diego. In as little as 1-2 years, you’ll obtain a welding certificate in various specializations. There’s also an associate’s degree program that can train you in multiple types of welding and help you prepare for a national exam for certification. Of course, before beginning training, it is essential to understand how much time is required to obtain the certificate.

Training time varies by school. Nonetheless, you’ll be confident that your training will not last two years.

Best Welding Schools in San Diego 

#1. Summit College

One of the best aspects of Summit College’s Welding Program is how quickly you can be on your way to a career as a professional welder. From professionals with years of experience, our curriculum teaches you all the real-world skills you will need as an entry-level welder. The welding program is often completed in as little as nine months.

Laboratory activities also include oxyacetylene welding, brazing, and cutting (OAW), Arc Welding (SMAW), MIG Welding (GMAW), Flux Cored Welding (FCAW), TIG welding (GTAW), a basic understanding of pipe welding, and certification test preparation in accordance with current industry standards, practices, and techniques.

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#2. Palomar College

The gas metal arc and flux core arc welding program will cover print reading and welding basics. Metal layout for fabrication and gas metal arc and flux-cored arc welding will be covered.

 You’ll learn how to set up a welding shop and the fundamentals of various welding specialties in the gas tungsten arc welding program. You’ll learn how to operate and maintain gas tungsten arc welding equipment and how to weld stainless steel, steel, and aluminum in two positions. 

The entry-level shielded metal arc welding program includes instruction positions in welding steel plates, technical mathematics, shop operations, and equipment maintenance.

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#3. San Diego Continuing Education

Every year, approximately 100,000 students attend classes at San Diego Continuing Education. This school offers professional development and technical training opportunities, including a welding technology program. You’ll choose between certificate programs in structural welding or pipe welding. 

The structural welding program will teach you ways to cut oxy-fuel, and plasma arcs, also as flux-cored arc welding and shielded metal arc welding. The pipe-welding program focuses on steel pipe and tube gas tungsten arc welding and shielded metal arc welding. Technical math, blueprint reading, and workplace safety also will be covered.

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#4. Center for Employment Training

CET’s welding program emphasizes hands-on training to help students gain the skills and training required for entry-level welder employment. The curriculum includes 900 clock hours. Some courses may be taught online. 

The program will begin with fundamentals such as shop safety, shop math, shop English, and blueprint interpretation. The instructors will review welding theories such as the SMAW, GTAW, GMAW, FCAW, and Oxy-Fuel processes. Students will become acquainted with standard tools and equipment such as grinders, cutters, and welding machines as they complete projects.

Instructors will introduce students to essential skills such as job preparation, interviewing, and resume writing in their final preparation for the world of work and customer service. 

All students are eligible for job placement assistance. Graduates will be confident, knowledgeable, and skilled enough to work as entry-level fabrication welders, MIG welders, fitters/welders, maintenance welders, or sub-arc operators. Each cycle, the class size is limited to 20 to 25 students. The school is a Sense-approved educational institution by the American Welding Society (AWS).

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#5. South Coast Welding Academy

This is one of the most reputable welding schools for welding fabrication. They teach everything there is to know about the welding industry by using welding processes and welding machines. A degree there will cost you around $15,000. Fortunately, scholarships and grants are available for those in need.

Students will learn the fundamentals of construction Jobsite safety in this welding course. They will also look into the safety standards and regulations covered in the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) certification assessments and performance tasks, as well as those enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Students will also look at standard construction equipment and tools. They will also evaluate the significance of communication and employability skills. Students will also test their construction, math, and drawing skills.

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#6. MiraCosta College

This 132-hour course will cover basic welding processes and procedures, safety, blueprint/shop drawing interpretation, metallurgy, fabrication tools, welding qualifications, and procedure qualification. Furthermore, students will receive extensive hands-on training in the following areas:

  • Metal Arc Welding with Shielding (SMAW)
  • Welding by Gas Metal Arc (GMAW)
  • Arc Flux Welding (FCAW)

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How Much Does Welding Schools Cost in San Diego

The cost of studying the welding process varies by school. The career paths you choose necessitate excellent and top-rated instructors, both of which are available at good welding schools. Welding school in San Diego can be pretty expensive.

Certificate programs in welding will cost you $14,500 at the Center for Employment Training and will take eight months to complete. Palomar College will charge out-of-state students $8898 and in-state students $1338.

Welding Schools in San Diego FAQs

Is it worthwhile to become a certified welder?

If you already know how to weld and want to broaden your knowledge for a job or self-improvement, a certificate is a better option. A certificate course allows you to choose what you want to learn to advance your education without requiring you to take expensive classes that you don’t need.

Are welders paid well in San Diego?

Welders at the entry-level can earn up to $30,000 annually. A more experienced welder can earn up to $45,000 per year.

In San Diego, how long does welding school last?

Welding programs are typically available at 2-year colleges in and around San Diego. In as little as 1-2 years, you could obtain a welding certificate in various specializations.


Welding fabrication courses in Arc welding, TIG welding, and other welding fields necessitate a comprehensive welding job training program. You can pursue your desired career path by enrolling in the best San Diego school that provides specialized courses.


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