Before you see sparks fly like fireworks, with a new job in welding, it pays to do your research.
There is a lot that goes into becoming a welder even when going through an online welding training program.
However, there is also a great benefit, including financially and career-wise.
Learn more about what it takes to become a welder online and all of the fine details about online welding training programs.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 What Courses Are in an Online Welding Program?
- 2 Can You Earn a Welding Certification Completely Online?
- 3 How Long Does it Take to Earn a Welding Certification Online?
- 4 How Much Does an Online Welding Certification Cost?
- 5 Benefits of Online Welding Training Programs
- 6 Drawbacks of Online Welding Training Programs
- 7 Benefits and Drawbacks of Online Welding Training Programs – Summary Table
- 8 Types of Welding Certifications
- 9 Schools Offering Online Welding Classes
- 10 4 Self-Study Tips for Welding Online Students
- 11 Summary
- 12 Source
- 13 Frequently Asked Questions
What Courses Are in an Online Welding Program?
According to the American Welding Society, there are some quite interesting classes students get to take when they enroll in an online welding program.
This includes metallurgy, which is the study of metals and how these react with heat, water, and other elements.
Students must learn student safety in welding, as well as the fundamentals, in order to get to metallurgy, of course.
There are also fabrication math classes and courses on welding symbols, as well as non-destructive testing training.
Other courses related to welding that are available online include using welds professionally and decoratively in various occupations.
Students may also take courses advising them on various career pathways to follow once they have their welding certificate in hand.
Can You Earn a Welding Certification Completely Online?
All of these classes, according to the AWS, can be done on a computer using internet-based training programs for welders.
Everything is in an open book format, which allows students to easily review and check their work.
Since this is an open book format program, students are genuinely required to learn the material.
Everyone can essentially pass the certification exam as long as they pay attention.
But to be truly capable as a professional welder requires having the skills to do welding in real-life safely and efficiently.
Therefore, students who take and complete online welding certification must also have welding experience and be able to apply their welding skills in the real world.
These training programs do require students to obtain welding materials and tools, including soldering irons, so as to practice independently and in person.
These welds are samples that should be used in a portfolio when showing what kind of welding experience one has for a future employer.
How Long Does it Take to Earn a Welding Certification Online?
The welding certificate online requires the completion of a program that takes approximately two years.
Most students will complete the training in fewer than two years, but some students may take longer.
The online welding training can take up to four years in some cases for students who are training part-time.
How Much Does an Online Welding Certification Cost?
To attend an online welding training program, students will need to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $15,000.
However, the median pay for tuition is $5,000 and includes American Welding Society tests and certifications.
Getting a certificate as a welder costs a $50 fee for the application to the AWS, followed by the cost of each certificate, which varies at around $100 for each test.
Benefits of Online Welding Training Programs
A primary reason why anyone would choose an online welding training program is convenience.
There is a degree of freedom that comes with online training for welders that makes this much more advantageous compared to traditional training programs.
Instead of sitting in a tech school or applying to a community college, students can learn in the privacy and security of their living room or home office.
Online welding students can even use a local coffee shop as their school setting—it is all up to the student.
Welders are independent, by trade, and this kind of starting block for a welding student works wonders for building confidence.
Students in an online welding class must also be self-starters, which is where a drawback comes in.
However, for independent learners, the online setting is a great option.
Learn at Your Own Pace
Students in online welding training can learn at their own pace.
If you are someone who struggles to keep up with the rest of the class in a traditional college setting, or who has high anxiety socially, online learning is the best option possible.
It accommodates students who prefer to work independently.
Online welding training typically comes with high-tech programs and software to help mimic the work of making welds in real life.
This reduces the use of natural materials in order to complete welding while in training.
Students minimize their impact on the environment while learning how to weld.
If you are concerned about the safety risks involved with welding, then completing an online training program is a great entry-level way to proceed with caution in this industry.
Online training minimizes the fire hazards and safety issues associated with doing welds as a student.
Students can also practice new and interesting weld styles without causing any grave damage or destruction to tools or materials.
This opens up the doors for conducting welds in a professional setting, as students are well versed and experienced with trying and testing a wealth of welds.
Drawbacks of Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is a hands-on career field, and some online programs for welding are not cut out for training fully in this area.
There needs to be some sort of supplemental program for the student, either through an internship or online software, that simulates hands-on training.
This can be difficult to access and forces most online welding students to do some fieldwork as a volunteer or on their own in order to fully understand all of the welds.
The online platform for welding training programs lacks the traditional collegiate or post-secondary technical school structure.
This can be a struggle, especially for younger students who are of typical college age.
They may not find the online setting to be the right fit for them without having some social structure or engagement.
Online learning can also prove to be too distracting for some students who may not be able to handle the rigors of independent, online learning.
Students who struggle with learning on their own may not have the willpower to complete an online course, especially if it is a free training program.
There is less investment involved with online training based on physical presence in a classroom setting, and free programs have even less of a commitment.
This is where some students in online welding programs will never progress or complete the program.
Ultimately, the goal is to graduate with a certificate in welding, so this is a huge barrier for some students.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Online Welding Training Programs – Summary Table
|Benefits of Online Welding Training Programs||Drawbacks of Online Welding Training Programs|
|Learn at Your Own Pace||Self-Paced|
Types of Welding Certifications
There are more than 100 kinds of welding methods that are utilized in the field.
To be efficient in these welds, students receive certificates if they pass Tests for Certified Welder (CW) by the American Welding Society at AWS accredited testing facilities.
These are available for certification in several categories including:
- Associate Welding Inspector
- Manual-Shielded Metal Arc Welding Process (opt. for 3G and 4G)
- Radiographic Interpreter
- Robotic Arc Welding
- Senior Welding Inspector
- Welding Educator
- Welding Engineer
- Welding Inspector
- Welding Sales Representative
- Welding Supervisor
There are additional welding certifications that are outside of the AWS.
These include the American Petroleum Institute (API) Welding Inspection and Metallurgy Certificate.
Getting certified in computer-aided design and drafting or CADD is also advisable for new welders.
This introduces the use of computer software to help guide and simulate welds for more complex projects.
Depending on the line of work you plan to take on when becoming a welder, you may want to proceed with these additional welding certificates.
These certifications can also benefit you if you are trying to get a job in an area where there is hot demand for seasoned welders.
Schools Offering Online Welding Classes
|American Welding Society Learning||8669 NW 36 Street, #130 Miami, Florida|
|California State University, Chico||400 W First Street | Chico, CA 95929-0250|
|Tyler Junior College||1327 South Baxter Avenue Tyler, Texas 75701|
|Midlands Technical College||316 S Beltline Blvd, Columbia, SC 29205|
|UEI College||3737 Rosedale Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93308|
4 Self-Study Tips for Welding Online Students
Staying On Track
The biggest issue for students taking online welding classes is staying on target with goals.
The online pace is completely free, in most instances, allowing students to come and go when they are available to learn.
This can be a problem and a major distraction.
Avoid this issue by setting specific times and days each week to attend an online welding program.
Try to treat the schedule as you would a traditional program—but without the stress over finding parking and looking presentable for an in-person classroom.
Using Your Time Wisely
Avoid distractions in other ways when you are studying online and doing the online welding program.
Do not use social media or watch YouTube videos while you are learning, for example.
When the online program portal is on your screen for welding class, power down everything else electronic.
This will save you from the lure of texting and other behaviors that are preventing you from learning.
Concentrate the study time in the welding class and you will get far more accomplished in a shorter amount of time overall.
Study Outside of Class
While the online program is made to help you learn everything there is to know about welding, you also want to set aside some time for studying outside of the online class.
This is important since you are learning most of the information on a computer.
Find a place like a park or in a cafe where you can study using notecards and written material you have copied from the online class.
Discuss welding with other students in the class or in another setting, such as at a MeetUp or virtually with a group of welders.
Use ways to practice your welding knowledge beyond the online platform in order to better cement it into your subconscious.
Focus On the Future
Stay focused on the future beyond the online welding program.
What are your goals and anticipations of what you will do with this certificate?
Do you have a job in mind or are you going to be searching for employment?
Is there an in-person internship available to you?
Can you find a company or mentor willing to take you on as a new welder with minimal experience?
These are the questions that should fill your time when you are not studying welding online.
This will ensure your brain is completely zoned into welding and getting your career on track.
As a result, any of your study time and work time will be less stressful, as you maximize on what you need to become a professional welder.
Getting a career started as a welder is as simple as starting an online welding training program.
Students are able to earn a certificate as a trained welder 100 percent online and within a year in most cases.
Certificate exams by the American Welding Society and other associations help welders advance their careers even further with more training.
These certificates have online tests that allow students to become certified online as welders.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do welders make the most money?
In the US, the state where welders make the most money per year on average is Alaska at $71,860 or $34.55 an hour.
Next up are Hawaii, the District of Columbia, Wyoming, and North Dakota.
Louisiana, New Mexico, Washington, and Maryland are also in the above $53,130 to $71,860 range and the highest paying states for welders.
What are the most common occupations for welders?
Welders are commonly hired as brazers, cutters, and solderers.
These are jobs in prefabricated metal product manufacturing; machinery manufacturing; and motor vehicle body and trailer manufacturing.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, foundation, structure, and bodying exterior contractors also hire welders.
Where do they hire welders?
Industries that hire welders most frequently are railroad rolling stockyards; trailer and motor vehicle body manufacturers; and ship and boat builders.
The top-paying industries hiring welders are air transportation; natural gas distribution; electric power generation; and petroleum and other pipeline transportation.
What region has the most welders?
The BLS reports that the US regions with the highest employment in nonmetropolitan areas (non-cities and urban areas) are Kansas, North Texas, Northern Indiana, West Northwestern Ohio, and Southern Indiana.
Those regions with the highest concentration of welding jobs in the US are East North Dakota, Northern Indiana, Southern Indiana, Eastern South Dakota, and North Texas.
Read the full guide: How to Become a Certified Welder