Welding Technology

Start a career in a growing industry that employs nearly 10,000 people in Washington State alone. Our Welding Technology program pairs you with some of the best training equipment on the market used by the best fabrication shops in the industry. You’ll earn real, hands-on experience when it comes to using high-tech equipment to solve problems in a dynamic industrial environment. You'll also earn a degree and several certificates:

What's different at SPSCC?

Classes that fit your needs. Whether you’re looking for career training, to increase proficiency, or to supplement job skills, you’ll find a variety of classes to meet your goals.

  • Full-time career training that leads to a certificate and/or degree.
  • Part-time evening courses that do not lead to a degree or certificate.

Graduate at a fraction of the cost. Studying welding at SPSCC can save you more than 70% compared to the tuition of private training schools and programs. SPSCC is also a WABO (Washington Association of Building Officials) certified testing facility, so testing fees are included in the cost of your tuition.

Worker Retraining funds. Some welding students qualify for Worker Retraining, which helps pay for tuition, fees, books, supplies, and more. Learn if you qualify for Worker Retraining >.

Frequently Asked Questions

General

When can I start?

Welding courses are offered Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters. General Education courses related to an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree in Welding Technology are normally available every quarter.

What types of welding classes are offered?

Welding classes fall into two general categories:

1. Full-time career training that leads to a certificate and/or degree

2. Part-time evening courses that do not lead to a degree or certificate

What times are classes offered?

Two scheduling options are available for full-time career training:

1. Morning shift is 6:45 a.m. until 12:15 p.m., Monday through Thursday

2. Afternoon shift is 12:40 p.m. until 6:10 p.m., Monday through Thursday

Part-time evening courses meet from 6:15 p.m. until 9:15 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays, but are currently unavailable due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Career Training Classes

What classes should I take in the first quarter?

If not already completed, we highly recommend taking the General Education courses (Math, English, etc.) before registering for welding courses.

If General Education requirements have already been completed, the welding courses in the first quarter are:

WELD 102 – Welding Theory I

WELD 103 – Thermal Cutting & Gouging

WELD 104 – Oxyacetylene Welding

WELD 106 – Shielded Metal Arc Welding I

These four classes must be taken together and are 14 credits combined.

What should I do if the welding classes are full?

If welding classes have already been filled by your designated registration time, we recommended placing yourself on the waitlist and to attend the first class. If a registered student does not show at the beginning of the first class, they will be dropped from the course and their seat will be filled by priority of the waitlist of those who are physically present. Also, if the General Education courses for the AAS Degree haven’t already been completed, this would be an excellent opportunity.

To be fair to everyone, we are not allowed to reserve space in the course. Registration times are assigned by the college and are based on the number of credits accumulated and priority registration status.

How many students are there in the class?

There are normally 20 students per instructor, but typically only three to eight students in each course. Because we accept students every quarter (except summer), there are students at all levels using the same training space at any given time. This is done to maximize our equipment, space, and instructional resources.

We typically have three openings available per shift. There may be more openings, depending on how many students graduate the previous quarter, among other factors.

What tools are required?

A list of all the required tools and personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided on the first day of class. We can provide the tool list earlier upon request, but we prefer to discuss it on the first day to explain considerations that should provide a better value to students. Students should be financially prepared to purchase tools by the third day of class.

The exact cost will depend on personal choices and market conditions, but we estimate roughly $1000 in the first quarter to start the program. Ongoing costs in subsequent quarters for consumable items (gloves, grinding wheels, etc.) are estimated at $100/quarter. These cost estimates are based on decent quality, but not extravagant choices.

Are any textbooks required?

Yes, there are two required textbooks for the AAS Degree in Welding Technology:

Welding Principles and Applications; Jeffus, 6th, 7th, or 8th Editions

Blueprint Reading for Welders; Bennett/Siy, 7th, 8th, or 9th Editions

Welding Principles and Applications is required by the second week of class and will be used throughout the entire length of the program. Blueprint Reading for Welders will be needed for WELD 134, taken in the second or third quarter of the program. As noted above, any of the last several editions of either book are acceptable for class and it may be possible to find a used and/or older edition for substantial cost savings.

What is the difference between a Certificate, a Degree, and Welding Certification?

A certificate is an educational credential that is achieved after the successful completion of specified coursework. A degree is also an educational credential but develops a greater depth of knowledge and includes General Education coursework that has shown to increase success on the job. Welding Certification is an industry credential that is achieved after the successful completion of a welding skill test.

Our Basic Welding Certificate is designed to help prepare someone for employment as an apprentice or shop helper. Our Certificates of Proficiency (Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Gas Metal Arc Welding, etc.) are designed to prepare someone for employment within a particular specialty of welding. For the most thorough training, and likely the best employment and pay prospects, we recommend completing the Associate Degree in Welding Technology.

Can I get certified at SPSCC?

Yes, our full-time instructors are American Welding Society (AWS) Certified Welding Inspectors (CWI) as well as Washington Association of Building Officials (WABO) Welding Examiners and can perform welding certification testing for SPSCC students that meet all testing requirements.

We perform WABO certification testing without charge to our students, but there is currently a $55-dollar administrative fee paid directly to WABO upon successful completion of the test.

What job opportunities are related to welding?

Although there are many diverse opportunities in welding, jobs can usually be classified into one of three broad categories: Manufacturing, Construction, or Maintenance. Welding employment is a large (and important) subject. Please visit Careers in Welding and the Bureau of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook for more information.

All types of welding have their advantages and disadvantages. We feel that to have the most opportunities, it is best to be flexible and have proficiency in all the most common welding processes used in the industry. Our degree program has been designed with this goal in mind.

Part-Time Evening Classes

What tools are required?

A list of all the required tools and personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided on the first day of class. We can provide the tool list earlier upon request, but we prefer to discuss it on the first day to explain considerations that should provide a better value to students. Students should be financially prepared to purchase tools by the third day of class.

The exact cost will depend on personal choices and market conditions, but we estimate roughly $600 in the first quarter to start the program. These cost estimates are based on decent quality, but not extravagant choices.

Are books required for the evening classes?

There are no required books for either of the part-time evening classes.

Can I register for the evening classes online?

You may register for the WELD 100 – Introduction to Welding online, however the WELD 201 – Welding Upgrade, requires a signature from the evening instructor. Please contact Corey Wilson at cwilson2@spscc.edu or 360-596-5526 to arrange instructor approval.

Can I do projects in the evening classes?

Due to time constraints, personal projects are usually not allowed in the WELD 100 – Introduction to Welding class. Personal projects may be allowed in the WELD 201 – Welding Upgrade class, upon approval of the instructor. All materials for personal projects must be supplied by the student.

Can I get certified in the evening classes?

Yes, WELD 201 – Welding Upgrade, is designed to allow Washington Association of Building Officials (WABO) testing for students that have shown they can consistently pass the weld test that they wish to certify for. Our full-time instructors are American Welding Society (AWS) Certified Welding Inspectors (CWI) as well as WABO Welding Examiners and can perform welding certification testing for SPSCC students that meet all testing requirements.

Careers in Welding Technology

Check out Career Coach to discover careers related to your interests in this subject. Learn more about what you'll do in the industry, how much you can earn, and view job postings in and around Thurston County.

Degrees & Certificates