How Long Does It Take to Learn Welding?

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Do you want to learn the basics of welding, or do you want to master the craft? In less than a year, you can acquire primary welding skills and prepare for an entry-level career. Under the supervision of skilled instructors, you can learn basic welding processes and procedures, cutting techniques, welding and equipment safety, codes, standards, and specifications, and an intro to fabrication drawings. But welding can be a lifelong career or passion where you learn something new every day.

First Weeks of Welding School

Before you learn to weld, you need to learn to weld safely. In the first weeks of welding classes, you learn about proper safety protocols. Based on standards developed by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and the American Welding Society, you learn to stay safe and not endanger those around you. You learn what to wear and what gear is required for the job. And you learn how to operate welding equipment and execute general safety measures that apply to welding and metal cutting.

First Months of Welding School

In the first few months you learn the basics of welding. Depending on your program, you may first learn about gas metal arc welding or MIG welding—which is considered easier to learn—or shielded metal arc welding or stick welding, which is considered more difficult to learn, but also more versatile. Stick welding can take up to six months to learn but is commonly used outdoors and can be used to weld aluminum, copper, iron, and steel. It can also create bonds on dirty or even rusty surfaces.

Intermediate Welding Classes

Once you understand basic welds, you can move onto cutting procedures. You learn the principles of oxyfuel, plasma arc, and carbon arc cutting. You learn about preheating, interpass temperature control, post heating procedures, weldment strength, ductility, and weld quality. Other classes should cover welds such as:

  • Beads
  • Fillet
  • Groove
  • Open V Groove
  • Joint

Later Welding Classes

As your skills and confidence grow, you can take on more complicated welds, procedures, and projects. You learn about welding fabrication, flux-cored arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, and how to work with aluminum and stainless steel. You should also get the opportunity to plan, design, prepare, and execute a project that you might find in a welding fabrication shop. You can design blueprints, build a materials list, gather your materials, cut steel to the approved specifications, and complete a full project during your training.

Become a Lifelong Welder

Although you can prepare for a career in welding in less than a year, it’s a craft that can take years to hone. Once you graduate from your training program, you can continue to learn through an apprenticeship under the supervision of a journeyman. You can also pursue certification through an industry organization, which validates your knowledge and skills in welding.

Are you interested in welding? Charter College offers a Certificate in Welding that can teach you the basics in as few as 10 months. Our program is offered in a blended learning format for convenience, and classes start every five weeks. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.