About Advanced Welding School

AWS is a hands-on, professional level welding school in Walker, Louisiana. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t received a high school diploma or GED or have no money to get started. Anyone can advance their life by becoming a professional welder. This is an opportunity that anyone can take, no matter your background or financial status. We will guide you through the financial aid and application process every step of the way! 

A New Approach To Welding Education

Most welding trade schools in Louisiana teach you welding through books and theoretical classes, with a small hands-on portion. But AWS is the exact opposite. In fact, when you show up for “class” each day, you won’t find any books. What you will find is an expert teacher who is there to give you the hands-on experience you need to succeed in the real world. The way we see it, welding is a hands-on skill, and every welding test you’ll have to pass to earn new certifications and prove yourself on the job will be a test of your physical welding skills. So that’s how we teach you welding – by doing it. As a result, you’ll come away from AWS with more real-world skills than your trade school counterparts. You’ll feel more confident in your abilities, and you’ll be more prepared to hit the ground running in any new career you choose. That’s the AWS promise.

  • No Experience Needed
  • Pay With Financial Aid
  • Workforce Ready Training
  • Finish In As Little As 8 Weeks
advanced welding school students

Words From Our Founder

My name is Richard Hope and I am the owner of Advanced Welding School, LLC. which I formed in July of 2017. I am 62 years old and have been involved in the field of welding since I was 17 years old. I started in high school and knew instantly that this was a skill set that I wanted to learn and master. I have always wanted to be the best welder that I could be. Since that humble beginning I have been either welding, inspecting welds or teaching welding ever since.

After graduating from high school, I put myself through college with various jobs welding in and around the city of Baton Rouge. I finished LSU with a degree in Finance and went to work in various companies over the following years but never totally isolated myself from the field of welding. Fast forward until roughly five years ago and I found myself semi-retired and looking for something to do. I ran across an advertisement for a local community college in town who was looking for someone who could start their welding program from the ground up. I found that I really enjoyed teaching young people the craft of welding. I found it extremely rewarding to play an active part in changing the future of all my students.

After several discussions with the owner of the community college about expanding his program I decided that I would start my own program and change how welding was being taught in my area. I found that all the programs that were active in our state were beginning courses that had outcomes that make the students investment in time and money a bad decision.

I reviewed the existing curriculum and developed a program that would help students who wanted to learn welding achieve a job that was equal to or surpassed their financial earnings expectations. My entire focus was to end up with an AWS certified welder that could get employed in a production level job right after graduation.

Advanced Welding School is the only school in the State of Louisiana that graduates a fully capable production level welder so our demand for graduates has been very high. I employee a full time student success person who works every day with area companies that need welders. We work directly with them to align their desired skill set of the welders they need to increase the probability of all of our students being hired as soon as they graduate. We currently have seventy companies that have committed to hiring our graduates.

The word is being spread throughout the industry that we are producing highly skilled welders and this is resulting in many companies contacting us on their own and scheduling visits to talk to our students about coming to work for them when they graduate.


Meet Our Team

Richard Hope

CEO/ Founder

American Welding Society – Certified Welding Inspector, Certified Welding Educator, B. S. Degree in Finance from LSU. Welding since 1975.

Chief Administrator 225.445.6999

Ron Stockman

Vice President

Ron has spent the last 25 years building strong relationships within the Louisiana welding industry: his main focus will be job placement for graduates. 

Miller Weld Process Training Level I and II. Lincoln Weld Process Training Level II. ESAB Welding Technology Course. B.S degree from ULM

Mark Stephens

Welding Instructor

Mark Stephens has spent 31 years honing his welding craft before joining us as an instructor at Advanced Welding School. 

Bryan Weaver

Welding Instructor

Bryan Weaver  has welded for more than 30 years and has taught welding at several locations. He is highly proficient in all forms of welding and is a major asset (or instructor) or whatever fits for AWS. He is excited to be able to teach a new generation a lifelong skill.

Robert Smith

Welding Instructor

Robert Smith brings 23 years of welding experience in a variety of fields including Sunland Fabricators, Construction Turnaround Services, and Boilermakers Local 37.

Our Goals

At AWS, our goals is simple: we aim to make Louisiana a better place to live and to work, one world-class welder at a time. We aim to ensure the best possible experience for all our welding students and will help you through everything step from start to finish. At AWS, our biggest priority is making sure that our students feel confident and ready to start their welding career. We partner with Louisiana’s top industry leaders to find job placements and provide expert education and resources for our students, because we believe skilled welders play a vital role in the economy of our state and our nation as a whole.


advanced welding school

Start Your Journey at AWS!

The Advanced Welding School Advantage

The AWS Facility

Our 17,000 square foot facility is equipped with the latest welding equipment and technology. Including a state of the art Lincoln Electric Plasma Cutter so you can focus on welding instead of cutting metal!

Start Right Away

Our program includes 16 different welding classes and several American Welding Society Certification Programs in order to fit the needs of all our welding students.

Accredited School

We are an American Welding Society accredited teaching facility and laboratory, which provides hands on welding testing under American Welding Society Codes.

Skilled Instructors

Our instructors are highly qualified with multiple welding certifications and years of hands on welding experience.

Open Enrollment

Enrollment is always open and you set your own schedule so you can get certified at a pace that works for you. There are no classrooms, you start welding on day one!

Leading Technology

Our Lincoln Plasma Arc Cutter is used to save you time so you can show up and weld rather than spending valuable time cutting your own materials.

Kings of Welding has awarded AWS as the BEST WELDING SCHOOL in the state of Louisiana!

Awards based on facilities, teaching expertise, welding experience and course content.

What Our Students Say


Our Lincoln Plasma Arc Cutter is used to save you time so you can show up and weld rather than spending valuable time cutting your own materials. Plasma cutting is a process that cuts through electrically conductive materials by means of an accelerated jet of hot plasma. Typical materials cut with a plasma torch include steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass and copper. Although, other conductive materials may be cut as well. With our Lincoln Plasma Arc Cutter and over 80 Welding Booths you won’t have a problem working at your own pace to become a certified welder.

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