FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Advanced Welding School has the most diverse course offering of any school in AWS area.

  • AWS Program has a 17,000 square foot facility with all brand new ESAB, four procedures, welding equipment.
  • AWS Program offers 16 different welding classes and several classroom American Welding Society Certification programs.
  • AWS Program’s instructors are highly qualified and multi-certified.
  • AWS facility is an American Welding Society accredited teaching facility and testing laboratory, which provides hands on weld testing under American Welding Society codes.
  • AWS Program has instructors that are both American Welding Society Certified Welding Inspectors and Certified Welding Educators.

Yes, all of the instructors at AWS will be a big part of the registration process.

No, you do not need a high school diploma or GED to take welding classes.

Students may become certified and licensed welders without a high school diploma.

Students will be individually evaluated in a one on one setting with the instructors to determine what classes will best fit each student and their goals of what type of job they want after school.

This will be determined by the instructor during the initial interview process.

  • If you have several years of experience, were previously certified, or have completed an apprenticeship program or another college or trade school program, you may take any of the classes offered by AWS depending upon what your personal goals are for your career
  • Instructors do not hold students back. If a person with a lot of welding experience or who has an innate ability to weld takes any of the classes offered by AWS a student could get certified in that class. Students progress at their own rate.

Yes, an AWS instructor will be involved from the very first meeting with every student.

AWS cost of a class depends on how many classes a student take.

  • The more classes a person signs up for at the initial meeting the more discount they will receive on their entire school package.
  • Financial Aid is available for students that qualify.
  • Contact AWS Financial Aid Office for more information.

Students are responsible for providing the following:

  • Students must furnish their own personal safety equipment.
  • New students will need approximately $120 to $200 worth of personal welding equipment.
  • This equipment will be usable for several years.
  • Instructors will give each student a list of equipment needed at the first class meeting.
  • Students will need all equipment by AWS start of the second week of the semester.

No, AWS Welding Program does not have a laboratory fee.

  • Students will be provided free of charge all of the following:
    • A laboratory with AWS’ newest and most advanced technology welding machines in the industry, highly qualified and multi-certified Instructors, High Tech Fabrication Equipment, Electricity, Oxygen, Argon, Carbon Dioxide, Propylene, Acetylene as well as Metals required to complete laboratory projects including: Steel, Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Plate, Angle, Channel, and Pipe.
    • Students are required to purchase their own Personal Protective Equipment.
      (Example: Flame resistant clothing, safety glasses, welding hood, hard leather safety work boots, etc.)

No, never buy text books before attending AWS first day of class.

  • Instructors will give each student a syllabus with AWS required textbooks and or reference books if required. A majority of AWS welding classes do not require textbooks.
  • Some books can be purchased online or thru AWS American Welding Society at a discount.
  • Used books may also be purchased from other students or former students.
  • Most welding classes use a specialized handout curriculum package in place of a traditional textbook.

No, AWS first week of school is dedicated to orientation and safety.

  • Students should bring safety glasses and gloves the first week.
  • Instructors will give safety demonstrations on metal cutters, ironworkers, cutting torches, track torches and grinders.
  • Intermediate and advanced students may cut and shear metal at AWS end of week one.

No, there is no welding during the first week of school.

  • AWS entire first week is dedicated to safety handouts, safety lectures, and live demonstrations.

We do not anticipate there being any substantial wait to get into any of our welding classes. If we do have a backup we recommend you look at taking one of the classroom courses we offer to increase your certification level and become more employable.

  • Try to get into any class you can. This will give you earlier registration for the next semester.

Advanced Welding School offers classes and certifications in all the most commonly used welding processes.

  • Click here to view welding class descriptions for details on each class.
  • Advanced Welding School offers the following special classes that are not offered at other colleges:
    Welding Shop Math
    Blueprint Reading
    Welding and Metal Fabrication Safety – Pipe Layout
    Structural Fabrication
    Advanced Structural Fabrication
    Certification and Licensing for Welders

Advanced Welding School offers over a dozen different certifications.

A person starting AWS Welding Program with no previous welding experience can normally get certified in 1 to 2 classes in a single discipline. If a students goal is to become a multi-process combination welder and they posses no prior experience it will take four classes at two months per class.

A certified welder has successfully passed a hands-on performance-welding test.

  • Certification tests are given with specific welding processes, metal alloys, metal thicknesses, joint designs, positions, and materials like structural steel plate or pipe.
  • A licensed welder is a person that has passed a hands-on welding test and has also passed a written exam.
  • AWS Welding Program has classes to prepare students to successfully pass both types of tests.

A welder with limited experience and no certification will earn a pay rate of $10 to $15 per hour.

  • A certified and licensed welder makes approximately $15 to $20 per hour.
  • A multi-certified and licensed welder with blueprint reading skills and fabrication experience can earn $20 to $40 per hour.
  • Certified Journey Level Union Welders can earn approximately $34 to $52 per hour.
  • Some Program Graduates that are rig welders or self-employed earn $65 to $95 per hour.

Some students can find a job after completing 1 to 2 classes. These are normally lower paying jobs in the $15 to $20 per hour range.

  • Students that want to earn $20 to $48 per hour will need to take numerous classes and obtain multiple certifications. Just like in many types of careers and industries, a person’s pay rate depends on education, certifications, and experience.
  • The more education you have and the more you learn directly translates into how much you can earn.

Get as many certifications as you can.

  • Learn skills in blueprint reading, shop math, and fabrication.
  • Diversify by taking as many welding classes as possible.
  • Cross train to learn how to perform structural, aerospace, fabrication, and pipe welding.
  • After you get certified in structural steel, continue your education and get certified in pipe.
  • If you really want to be the best of the best – take all 16 welding classes offered at AWS.

Pipe welding requires some of the most advanced skills in the welding industry. For this reason, only students that have completed both of the discipline courses in each given process and have obtained a structural steel certification may take pipe fundamentals and advanced pipe-welding classes.

  • Pipe welding requires advanced skills that take years to develop. Pipe welders are like the heart surgeons of the welding industry and that is why pipe welders often earn over $100,000 per year.

Graduates of the AWS Welding Program work in many industries and with a variety of companies, unions, and city & state agencies including:

  • The local Gas Company, Metropolitan Water District, Entergy Power Company
  • Honeywell and Boeing Aerospace Companies
  • CB&I, Performance Contractors, Turner Industries, Capital Steel, MMR, Cajun Contractors, Arco, Shell, Chevron, British Petroleum, Mobil, Union 76,… etc.
  • Government Organizations, City, County, State, and Municipalities.
  • Local Unions, including: Iron Workers, Steam Fitters, Elevators, Pile Drivers, Mill Wrights, Electrical Union, Glaziers, Plumbers, and Boiler Makers, etc.

AWS is constantly being contacted by companies, unions, and organizations wanting to hire students & welders. When contacted, AWS posts these job opportunities and makes them available to all students.

  • When job offers come into AWS they are posted and it is up to students to pursue the opportunity independently. Students with the required qualifications and certifications must apply for and compete for the job. AWS’s job is to get you the opportunity and skill set to get a job that you want.
  • AWS Program has developed dozens of great relationships with companies, unions, and the local industry, all of which now rely on AWS to continually supply them with new certified welders.
  • Successful students often find employment opportunities and start their welding carriers each semester through these industry contacts and relationships.

We are lucky to live in an area that is loaded with major manufacturing companies that service all the plants that is a major party of our economy. We are blessed to be one of the top five most heavily concentrated plant environments in the United States.