How Long Does it Take to Become a Welder? The Ultimate Guide

Welding is an essential trade that involves the joining of materials, such as metals or plastics, using high heat and pressure. It is a highly skilled profession that requires both technical expertise and hands-on experience.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a welder, you may be wondering how long it takes to become one. The answer to this question varies depending on the level of education and training you choose to pursue.

In this article, we will explore How Long Does it Take to Become a Welder and provide you with a general timeline for each option.

The Various Types of Welding Include:

1) ARC Welding:

ARC welding may also be known as stick welding. It is the process of melting thick and large materials in the process of manufacturing or construction.

2) MIG Welding:

MIG welding is among the most widely used and basic welding techniques. Employers generally require applicants to have a good understanding of this type of welding.

MIG welding is the combination of aluminum, mild steel as well as stainless steel.

3) TIG Welding:

TIG welding is by far the most complicated type of welding. It utilizes tungsten-inert gas in order to produce quality welds. TIG welding requires more knowledge, experience, and certificates compared to other types of welding.

4) Oxyacetylene Welding:

This kind of welding uses oxygen and acetylene gas in order to heat steel. This is why it is employed for the cutting and maintenance of metals.

5) Hyperbaric Welding:

Hyperbaric welding is a common process during underwater welding processes. However, it could also be performed in the above-water procedures. This kind of welding can be applied to oil platforms, ships pipelines, and oil platforms.

The Path to Becoming a Welder:

There is no traditional educational route to becoming a welder. There are a variety of degrees and certificates for training are offered.

These are designed for those who are on the professional path of a welding career. The time required to become a welding professional and to obtain the necessary credentials is dependent on the certificate and training course.

The training ranges between 7 months and 2 years, contingent on the course one chooses. The most popular steps toward becoming a welder are to obtain industry certifications as well as pos secondary courses. Both of these steps are mandatory due to the preference of employers and regulations.

Other requirements for employers include the requirement for a GED or high school diploma, as well as on-the-job training. Here is a detailed explanation of becoming an accredited welder as well as the time it takes to become one.

Welding Training:

There are many options for training for becoming a welder, such as community colleges, vocational schools apprenticeships, welding education programs, as well as on-the-job training.

After training, the students are awarded an award, such as a diploma or an associate degree. These options of training determine the length of time needed for becoming a licensed welding professional.

Students are taught the following metallurgy techniques, as well as welding techniques, blueprint reading, and safety protocols.

Here are a few of the essential skills needed to be a welder:

  • Knowledge of all safety regulations and procedures
  • Basic skills in welding and trigonometry
  • Attention to the smallest of details
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Training on the job

Some welders begin as workers and receive on-the-job instruction, which provides the opportunity to progress in this area without attending any course of instruction at a vocational or trade school.

The downside of this method is that it could require years before becoming an experienced welder. In addition, many employers would prefer hiring employees with a degree rather than training their employees on the work.

Vocational School:

The vocational school that trains you to become welders is another feasible alternative to learning. All welding-related courses at vocational schools are based on hands-on learning.

This includes safety in the shop, reading blueprints skills, pipe-fitting, and various welding methods. Vocational training programs also include cutting techniques as well as metallurgy, safety and math, metal properties, and the art of rigging.

Students at vocational schools are able to complete their studies in just seven months. After graduation, students are awarded a diploma.

Community College:

The welding programs offered by the community college last over two academic years. After graduation, students earn an associate’s diploma. The welding training programs offered in community colleges cover the same areas as vocational programs do.

But, students are required to take other classes in education, such as History as well as English.

Community colleges also provide training schedules. This can extend the time for training for students who are part-time. At community college, you can find various kinds of welding degrees, including.

Welding Certificate:

The completion of the welding certificate program is the most common option for any welding professional.

The programs are brief and mainly focus on fundamental welding abilities. The trainees are taught the basic mechanical and thermal properties of metals as well as manipulating the metals using heat and force.

They also are taught emergency procedures and safety protocols. The welding certificate is heavily focused on practical, hands-on experiences.

This technique prepares trainees for a job entry-level in the welding industry. This certificate, however, doesn’t cover any materials that aren’t in the realm of welding fundamentals.

Welding Associate Degree:

Associate degree courses are typically offered by professionals who are interested in the advancement of their careers.

They typically provide the same information as certificate courses. But associate programs include the theoretical and scientific components of metals. Students learn about the practical welding processes and also the physics and chemistry of welding.

Associate degree programs permit students to focus on areas of welding that are subdivided. They can choose to specialize in robotics welding or automotive welding.

They also learn how to take certification tests which allow them to become welding supervisors and managers. A degree program for associates lasts between 2 and three years to complete.

Welding Bachelor Degree:

Bachelor’s degrees in welding can require about four years to finish. These kinds of programs are not very common. Welders who are interested in designing processes and manufacturing at a high level take part in these courses.

The programs are designed to help students become familiar with the various welding techniques as well as theories and specific welding techniques. They also include automated machine welding as well as computer-aided design. These programs concentrate on the management of welding projects.

They are taught in group projects that are oriented towards teamwork. Graduates can become welder instructors or professional experts as well as welding supervisors. They can also be involved in the development and manufacturing of innovative welding techniques.

Welding Master’s Degree:

Master of Science in welding engineering is one of the most sought-after education programs. These kinds of programs are usually extremely special.

The students specialize in a variety of welding processes including maritime welding, medical devices as well as electronics, and aerospace welding. Students of these programs develop cutting-edge welding techniques and methods.

The programs typically take two to three years for the trainee to become a welder.

When deciding on a training option you should look at the choices that provide the following benefits:

1) Basic Welding:

The most popular welding techniques comprise ARC, MIG, and TIG welding. The welding techniques are used to tackle the majority of tasks.

2) Reading Blueprints:

Along with pipe-fitting are essential skills to assure professional success. This is taken into consideration when choosing a course.

3) Combination Welding:

Classes instruct students in pipe and plate welding. Combination welding allows metals to be joined together to make equipment and machine components. They give welders an advantage in the business.

4) Apprenticeship:

The apprenticeship begins following formal training. In this type of training program, the welding apprentice works with real customers, however, they are only subordinate to a supervisory professional welding technician.

Apprenticeship is among the most efficient ways to learn. It gives the trainee hands-on experience and personal focus. Additionally, the trainee earns money while they learn.

In an apprenticeship program, the trainees are not required to cover the cost of their education. The time required for someone to learn to become a welding technician is dependent on the skill level of the trainee. The typical duration of training is 3 to 4 years.

When the apprenticeship is completed and training, the apprentice earns the title of “journeyman.”

The term “journeyman” refers to someone who has the full practical knowledge required in the welding industry. So, a journeyman has been certified.

Hands-On Training:

Prior to stepping into the workforce, The welder needs to master the following practical skills:

  • Metal cutting techniques
  • Basic fitting
  • Advanced pipe fitting
  • Basic welding techniques

Welder Specialties:

Specialties for Welders that are most sought-after include:

1) Underwater Welding:

This is the only one in which welding professionals wear scuba diving gear. This equipment allows them to make underwater repairs.

This is a common practice for pipeline and oil drilling companies. To become an underwater welding specialist you must be able to obtain a commercial welding and diving certificate.

2) High Tech Welding:

High-tech welders are typically employed in the automotive, medical, and aerospace industries. Welders in these industries are involved in the manufacturing of aircraft missiles, satellites, and air-crafts. Welders in these sectors utilize the most recent technology, including robots and leasers.

The most important requirement for a hi-tech welder is formal postsecondary training. They also have to keep up-to-date with all cutting-edge technology.

3) Sheet Metal Welders:

The form is among the most well-known kinds. It involves joining sheets of metal.

4) Structural Iron and Steelworkers:

This is also widespread. Welders are employed in construction sites like commercial and residential structures. Ironworkers are also employed by federal and state authorities.

Additionally, they repair or build public infrastructures like bridges, railways, and highways.

Employment Opportunities Levels in the Welding Industry:

There are several levels of employment for welding professionals. Each one requires different qualifications and levels of expertise.

These levels of employment include:

1) Welders:

Welders are involved in the process of gluing metals. They perform the majority of manual work. They also engage in erecting, fussing, and welding metal structures.

Welders are able to find work in a wide range of manufacturing establishments. They utilize their skills in the production of automotive parts as well as other heavy machinery.

2) Welding Engineering:

Welding engineers have more responsibility than welders. They are accountable for managing the welders’ work along with metallurgy, planning, and managing projects.

Welding engineers need to earn a degree that is four years long for welding as well as material engineering. They are required to possess the best experience in creating drawings using CAD.

3) Instructors in welding:

Welding instructors require a welding instructor certificate. To be able to obtain this certification you must have a minimum of five years of experience in a variety of types of welding. The main function of this certification is to teach other welding professionals about how structures should look.

4) Welding Inspectors:

Welding inspections must also be certified. The welding inspector certification demands that welders be an apprentice under an instructor in senior welding.

Getting a Welding Certification:

There are many types of welding certificates, such as SMAW, GTWA, and FCAW. Different training institutions offer various types based on the level of education. Employers are more likely to hire candidates who have these welding certifications.

Private organizations like The American Welding Society (AWS), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Petroleum Institute (API), as well as the American Petroleum Institute (API), provide certifications.

The examination and testing required for obtaining a certification can be a lengthy process that can take many hours. The process of the application and obtaining these certificates may vary in time.

The types of welding certifications offered by AWS include:

  • Senior welding inspector
  • Welding Inspector
  • Associate welding inspector
  • Welding supervisors
  • Welding sales representative
  • Welding engineer
  • Welder
  • Robotic Arc welding

Getting a Welding License:

The standards for licensing are different between states. The state must approve applicants prior to taking the licensing exam. The exam is conducted over an exam time of two hours and comprises 60 questions.

The techniques tested on the test include cutting, oxyacetylene welding, planning, or blueprint comprehension. Questions regarding pipes welding and brazing material, GIAW, SMAW, testing, and an inspection could be included in the test.

To pass the licensing exam, it is required that examinees respond to 70 percent all the time correctly. Examiners are also required to pass a business and law management test to be able to get the state-issued license.


As mentioned in the previous article, it is a three-step process required to become a welder. The steps include obtaining the required education, getting the required certification, and getting permits.

The amount of time required to complete each step is contingent on many factors such as the individual’s ability, preference for education, or work requirements. But, based on these details you can approximate the length of time your specific welding program will require.

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