How to Become a Welder in 6 Steps + Top Programs

Welding is an interesting career.

It’s an old craft, but it’s still very much needed in today’s world.

It’s one that is very versatile, where you have the opportunity to repair, design, or even create things that are metal.

For instance, you may find a career as a welder in the motor or even construction industries.

Welders need to have excellent analytical and technical skills.

If you believe you can see yourself working as a welder, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know about obtaining the necessary education and license.

6 Steps to Become a Welder

Here are several steps to follow to become a professional welder:

1. Research, Research, Research

The first step to becoming a welder is to start off by researching various types of welding jobs that are available.

This can educate you on the duties of certain welding positions.

By doing this, you’ll be able to easily find which position matches your abilities and skills.

Depending on the welding career you choose, different certifications may be required.

Following your research, you’ll have a better understanding of the exact type of training and education you need to move forward with your career.

2. Find Welding Courses to Take

Once you have decided on the exact type of welding position you want to pursue, you will know where you’ll enroll in courses.

Many high schools offer welding courses.

This is a great opportunity to learn everything you can about the basics of welding before you go any further.

3. Enroll in a Welding Program

Following graduation from high school, you will officially be ready to move forward with a career in welding.

You can begin by finding a welding program to enroll in.

Many welding programs can last anywhere from six months to 24 months.

During the time you are enrolled in a welding program, you will gain basic knowledge of welding responsibilities.

Many welders choose to further their welding education by enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program.

4. Gain Necessary Experience

Once you have earned your welding certificate and successfully completed a program, you can start gaining hands-on experience via an apprenticeship for whatever type of welding career you are pursuing.

During an apprenticeship, you’ll have the opportunity to complete work under supervision.

After completing an apprenticeship, you can remain with the company you worked for or use this opportunity to apply for a new welding position elsewhere.

5. Become a Licensed Welder

Prior to working as a full-time welder, you will need to earn the necessary license, depending on the type of welding position you’re pursuing.

There are many licenses and certifications available to welders.

The main license or certification that is required by most employers is the AWS Certified Welder certification.

In order to receive this license, you must take an exam.

6. Start your Job Search

The last step requires you to start a job search for open welding positions.

This comes after you’ve received the required training, education, and experience.

You can easily look for positions online that match your skill set.

These skills should also be included on your resume in a specific area.

Licensing Requirements to Become a Welder

To earn a license as a welder, you will need to meet certain requirements.

The basic requirements to obtain a license include:

  • Take a written exam to receive an AWS certificate
  • Complete an AWS welder performance qualification exam
  • Send in a certified welder application
  • Apply to receive your state license

There are certain states that will require you to apply for a state welding license.

This means that not only will you need to have regular certification, but you’ll also need a license before you can work as a welder.

For instance, the state of New York has very specific welding licensing requirements.

You will need to earn your certification through AWS in addition to a background check.

However, to be eligible for AWS certification, you will need to take a written exam.

Once you pass all the required exams, you can submit your application to receive your license.

Your license will need to be renewed before the expiration date.

You can renew your license by sending in a maintenance welder certification form.

Online Training Programs

Because welding is a hands-on career, there are only certain parts that can be taught online.

Online welding courses are available and can help students better prepare for exams.

They can also teach students the theories behind welding.

These online courses are great for those looking to learn additional skills.

Here are several online schools that offer training programs to become welders:


AWS offers an 8-week online welding program for those who have some type of welding experience.

This program was designed to help prepare students for the AWS certification exam.

The program cost can range anywhere from $2,030 to $2,795.

The program is accredited by the American Welding Society.

This program includes a 2-hour live online class where students can take advantage of having a live instructor.

Hobart Institute of Welding TechnologyHobart Institute of Welding Technology

This school offers various courses for those who are considered welding instructors or for those looking to maintain their license or certification.

Hobart does offer online classes, but those are strictly limited to inspectors and educators.

However, they do offer in-person courses for those new to welding.

The entire course length is four hours per topic.

The cost is $89 per topic.

Udemy Certification in Welding TechnologyUdemy Certification in Welding Technology

This is a great option for those pursuing a welding profession to learn basic or in-depth knowledge pertaining to welding.

This program also provides students with a history of welding and much more.

Students can complete their courses on their own schedules.

The course length is three and a half hours of video.

The cost is just $34.99. It’s affordable and excellent for those looking to learn just a bit more about welding.

Ohio State UniversityOhio State University

If you’re interested in taking your welding career a little bit further by earning a master of science degree in welding engineering, you can earn it successfully online.

Ohio State University offers an online welding engineering program.

It was created for professionals who already possess a bachelor of science or who wish to undergo training to become a welding engineer.

It is 100% online and costs $812.07 per credit hour.

By the time you have completed this program, you will have earned 30 credit hours.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average national salary for welders is $47,540.

This equals $22.86 per hour.

There are nearly 431,800 welding jobs available across the country.

The job outlook for welders is not expected to change from 2022 to 2032.

Additional Resources