Frequently Asked Questions

Please feel free to browse through out most frequently asked questions below. If you have a question that you don’t see answered below, click here to fill out contact form and ask any questions you’d like.

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

While the actual registration process is handled by administrative staff, our instructors can
provide guidance to applicants who are unsure of which program(s) they should take, based on
the type of career they would like to have once they graduate.

To enroll at AWS, applicants must provide college transcripts, high school diploma, GED, or
TABE 11/12 Assessment results. Contact the office at (225) 667-9797 for more information, if
you need to take the TABE 11/12 Assessment.

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 applicant, consultant, and instructors during the initial interview

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. Ask your
consultant about having an assessment of your current skill level for placement within our

AWS does not operate on a traditional semester schedule; we have open enrollment. As long as
our 1/10 student-to-instructor ratio has not been exceeded, applicants can be enrolled. If the
school has met its maximum student-to-instructor ratio, approved applicants will be enrolled
based on the date the applicant applied.

Total tuition depends on how many courses/programs a student takes. The more
courses/programs a person signs up for the larger the discount they will receive on their entire
school package. There are some Financial Aid options available for students that qualify.

Additionally, VA students receive a 10% discount on courses/programs and are eligible to use
their education benefits. Contact the AWS Administrative Office for more information.

All equipment is required for the first day of training; AWS does not sell these items to

  • Welding Gloves
  • Clear Safety Glasses
  • Steel Toe Leather Boots
  • FRC Welding Shirts
  • Welding Hood
  • Side Grinder – 4.5 inch, 110 volt with guard
  • Chipping Hammer
  • Wire Brush
  • Welding Cap

Price Range is $250.00 to $500.00, based on options chosen by the student. Ask your consultant
and school instructors about discounts and recommendations.

All other supplies are provided by AWS.

No. All of the courses/programs at AWS are competency-based education programs (CBE);
therefore, all training occurs in the “Lab”/Shop.

No. AWS does not use textbooks at this time; all training is hands-on (kinesthetic learning).

Yes, AWS offers hands on experience within the first week of classes.

  • Students should bring all safety equipment starting on their first day.
  • Instructors will give safety demonstrations on metal cutters, ironworkers, cutting torches, track torches and grinders.

Yes, there is welding during the first week of school.

AWS offers hands on experience with welding during the first week of school

  • 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 over a dozen different certifications.

Each course is 320 clock hours. Depending on the student’s schedule, they can complete one
full course in as little as 40 class days or as much as 80 class days. If a student takes more than
one course, the length of their program will increase. All students must have a schedule that
includes no less than 20 hours per week.

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 courses 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 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 does offer career placement services. While we can not guarantee placement of students upon their graduation, AWS works tirelessly to help put students in touch with potential employers and provides assistance with resume writing and interview skills.

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. 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
careers, shortly after graduation, 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.

Welding appears in the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s 5-Star Jobs from Long Term
Projections for all Occupations to 2026 report; welders are in high demand. Welding is
considered as a highly in-demand occupation in the following areas of Louisiana:
Baton Rouge – Capital – Regional Labor Market Area 2
Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St.
Helena, Tangipahoa, Washington, West Baton Rouge, & West Feliciana
Houma – Bayou – Regional Labor Market Area 3
Assumption, Lafourche, & Terrebonne
Lake Charles – Southwest – Regional Labor Market Area 5

Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis,  Vernon
New Orleans – Southeast – Regional Labor Market Area 1

Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the
Baptist, & St. Tammany
Shreveport – Northwest – Regional Labor Market Area 7
Bossier, Bienville, Caddo, Claiborne, Desoto, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Sabine, Red
River, & Webster

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