Where Can I Take Welding Classes in the Seattle Area?

Learn about welding programs in the Seattle area. Get information about certification and training programs available, and get career and salary info for the region. Schools offering Industrial Automation Engineering Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

If you are seeking training in welding in the Seattle area, there are several community colleges and vocational/technical institutions that offer certificate and associate's degree programs. Certificate programs call for 3-5 quarters of study, while associate's degree programs take 2 years, which includes general education courses in addition to welding instruction. These programs will ready you for employment through instruction and hands-on training in several types of welding. You'll also learn about safety practices and first aid procedures.

While certification is not required, many employers prefer to hire a certified welder, so you may want to look for a program that prepares you for the Washington Association of Building Officials (WABO) or the American Welding Society (AWS) certification exam.


Welder Certificate Programs Near Seattle

Olympic College

  • Program: Welding Technology Certificate of Proficiency
  • Program Length: 59 credits / 3-4 quarters
  • Tuition: $3,297 for in-state per year; $3,732 for out-of-state per year (2011-2012, fees included)
  • Admission Requirements: Application, assessment and meeting with an advisor
  • School Type: 4-year, public; about 8,000 undergraduate students
  • Address: 1600 Chester Ave., Bremerton, WA 98337
  • Phone: 360-792-6050

Upon completion of the program at this college, which is located across Puget Sound in Bremerton, you'll be prepared for entry-level welding employment, in addition to AWS and WABO certification tests. Besides your welding courses, this program also includes classes in composition, strategies for academic success, CPR and first aid. Olympic College serves as a WABO-qualified welder testing agency.

Renton Technical College

  • Program: Welding Certificate of Completion
  • Program Length: 87 credits / 5 quarters
  • Tuition: $5,303 per year (2011-12, fees included)
  • Admission Requirements: Minimum 18 years, high school diploma or GED, assessment test, good eyesight (with or without glasses) and interview with counselor and instructor
  • School Type: 2-year, public; about 4,000 undergraduate students
  • Address: 3000 NE Fourth St., Renton, WA 98056
  • Phone: 425-235-2352

This school is located in a small city about 8 miles from Seattle. As a graduate of this welding program, you'd be able to perform 6 basic types of welding and be ready to take the WABO welding tests. You'll also earn your CPR and state industrial first aid cards. Job search planning and resume skills are also included in this program. Renton Technical College is qualified as a WABO welder testing agency.

South Seattle Community College

  • Program: Welding Fabrication Technology Certificate
  • Program Length: 64-66 credits / approximately 5 quarters
  • Tuition: $3,427 for in-state per year; $8,617 for out-of-state per year (2011-12, fees included)
  • Requirements: Application, placement test (or ACT scores) and transcripts
  • School Type: 4-year, public; about 6,000 undergraduate students
  • Address: 6000 16th Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98106
  • Phone: 206-934-5300

This campus is located in a West Seattle residential neighborhood. Through this program, you'll experience all facets of fabrication operation and welding, in addition to the operation of computer-controlled machinery. Special projects are available for weld fabricators who are journey-level and want to update certifications and skills. Besides your welding and fabrication courses, you'll also complete classes in business math/spreadsheets, integrated communication (or English) and psychology. South Seattle Community College is a WABO-qualified welder testing agency.


Welder Associate Degrees Programs Near Seattle

Lake Washington Institute of Technology

  • Program: Welding Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree
  • Specialization Areas: Structural and plate welding, pipe welding, aerospace/GTAW (gas tungsten arc welding) manufacturing or welding fabrication
  • Program Length: 95 credits / 6 quarters
  • Tuition: $3,461 for in-state per year; $8,651 for out-of-state per year (2011-12, fees included)
  • Admission Requirements: Application, assessment test, official transcripts, meeting with an advisor and attendance at orientation
  • School Type: 4-year, public; about 5,000 undergraduate students
  • Address: 11605 132nd Ave. NE, Kirkland, WA 98034
  • Phone: 425-739-8100

This school is located within 10 miles of Seattle, in a large suburb area. This program would prepare you for entry-level jobs as a welder, welder apprentice, welding fitter or welder fabricator. You'd also be ready for the WABO certification exam. In addition to your welding courses, this program also requires classes in humanities, social science, quantitative reasoning and written communication. This school also serves as a WABO-qualified welder testing agency.

Olympic College

  • Program: Welding Technology Associate in Technical Arts
  • Program Length: 107 credits / 2 years
  • Tuition: $3,297 for in-state per year; $3,732 for out-of-state per year (2011-12, fees included)
  • Admission Requirements: Application, assessment and meeting with an advisor
  • School Type: 4-year, public; about 8,000 undergraduate students
  • Address: 1600 Chester Ave., Bremerton, WA 98337
  • Phone: 360-792-6050

The classes in this program would prepare you to take AWS and WABO qualification tests. You'll also learn to draft manual orthographic drawings. In addition to basic welding, you'd also learn the skills of pipe welding and computer-aided design.

Renton Technical College

  • Program: Welding Associate of Applied Science Degree
  • Program Length: 107 credits / approximately 6 quarters
  • Tuition: $5,303 per year (2011-12, fees included)
  • Requirements: Minimum 18 years, high school diploma or GED, assessment test, good eyesight (with or without glasses) and interview with counselor and instructor
  • School Type: 2-year, public; about 4,000 undergraduate students
  • Address: 3000 NE Fourth St., Renton, WA 98056
  • Phone: 425-235-2352

The associate degree program at this school is built on the 87 basic credits from the certificate program. In addition, you'd take 20 credits of general education courses. Those classes would include algebra, speech, English and psychology.


Career Info for Welders in the Seattle Area

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some employers will hire inexperienced welders and provide on-the-job training. However, many prefer to hire welders who've had some formal training. Some employers in Washington might also prefer to hire welders who've earned voluntary certifications from the WABO or the AWS. The Certified Welder designation is based on your own welding, performed according to a certain specification and inspected by a certified welding examiner or inspector in a testing facility.

Salary and Job Outlook for Welders

According to the BLS, the annual mean wage for welders in the Seattle area was about $46,000 as of May 2011, which was higher than that for welders and related professionals in both Washington's average wage of about $45,000 and the national average of approximately $38,000. Nationwide, the employment of welders is predicted to grow 15% from 2010-2020, according to the BLS. Basic welding skills are adaptable to various industries, so you could move to the area or industry where your services are needed the most. The BLS warns, however, that untrained welders may face tough competition in the job market.

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