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Welding Certification: 11 Top Welding Schools in Minnesota, Plus Scholarships

Sep 4, 2020
01 Trades Hub Welding schools hero

If you’re looking to become a welder in Minnesota, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we give a quick rundown of what a welder’s career path looks like, followed by welding schools and training programs – plus scholarships! – in Minnesota.

How to Become a Welder: Education and Career Roadmap

Welding is an exciting career path that offers a lot of different opportunities. Welders are tradespeople who join metals like steel, aluminum, brass and stainless steel using a variety of welding techniques such as Shielded Metal Arc, Gas Metal Arc, Flux Cored Arc, Gas Tungsten Arc Welding Processes Oxy/Fuel, Plasma Arc, Carbon Air Arc Cutting and Gouging Processes.

Welder Career Outlook

In the U.S. and elsewhere, skilled welders are in high demand due to the fact that welding is involved throughout every stage of industrial operations, with many jobs in manufacturing, construction, and repair.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, welders, cutters, solderers and brazers are expected to see 3 percent job growth in 2019-2029. According to the American Welding Society (AWS) there will be a shortage of more than 375,000 welders by 2023.

That means that now is a great time to get into welding.

The average hourly wage for welders in Minnesota is $25.22, which is 22 percent higher than the national average, so Minnesota is a good place to become a welder.

Potential Job Titles

  • Welder
  • Fabricator
  • Solderer
  • Metal Fabricator
  • Structural Steel Worker
  • Plumber or Pipefitter
  • General Construction Worker
  • Machine Operator
  • Production Operator
  • Plant Maintenance
  • Robot Welder
  • Salesperson
  • Foreman
  • Shift Supervisor

Where You Could Work

  • Manufacturing shops
  • Metal fabrication companies
  • Stainless steel tank fabrication
  • Structural steel fabrication
  • Power plant construction
  • Pipe fitting for medical grade equipment
  • Pipe fitting for petroleum
  • Equipment and robotics sales
  • Self-employment/entrepreneurship
  • Transportation manufacturing
  • Agricultural manufacturing and repair
  • Offshore drilling construction
  • Your own business

Potential Employers for Welders in Minnesota

  • Flour City Bending Inc
  • Despatch Industries
  • Caterpillar, Inc.
  • LeJeune Steel Company
  • WestRock
  • GE Power & Water
  • BAUER Manufacturing
  • Millwrights Local 548
  • Spectro Alloys
  • Park Industries
  • New Flyer
  • Advanced Process Technologies
  • DCI Inc.
  • Rotochopper
  • Al's Ornamental Iron
  • Safety Rail Company
  • Northern Metal Products
  • Weidner Mechanical
  • BTD

(And many more).

How To Become a Welder

To become a welder, you’ll typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and many shops offer on-the-job training and apprenticeships. That said, many employers will prefer candidates with a formal diploma or Associate’s Degree, and more technically qualified welders with broader skillsets tend to earn more – which makes formal welding training a good investment in your future.

Welders who have the ability to read blueprints and fabricate products to specification are in particularly high demand.

Keep reading for our roundup of the top welding schools in Minnesota as well as scholarship opportunities.

Welding Schools in Minnesota

Below, we’ve rounded up a collection of welding training programs and scholarships in Minnesota.

1. Welding and Metal Fabrication Certificate from Minneapolis Community and Technical College, MN

About the Program

Long considered an art form, metalworking is a hands-on creative learning experience where you solve problems with your mind and body. Minneapolis College’s Welding and Metal Fabrication program provides you with the technical knowledge and hands-on skills needed to gain entry-level employment in manufacturing, construction and various other industries.

  • This is a short-term, flexible program – you can earn your 30-credit welding certificate in just one year by taking either day or evening classes!
  • Small class sizes provide lots of one-on-one attention from instructors and hands-on learning experiences.
  • Minneapolis College's Welding and Metal Fabrication program is an excellent stepping-stone for further education in the manufacturing and engineering fields with the capacity for advancement.
  • Welder certifications are available to students in multiple processes to American Welding Society Standards.
  • Students participate in Behind the Mask and Skills USA welding competitions each year.
  • American Welding Society scholarships are available.
  • The program encourages creativity; you plan and fabricate your own projects for course credit.

Location

1501 Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis, Minnesota

Degree Type

Certificate

Class Time/Lesson Format

Day and Evening

Duration of Program

1-2 Years

View Program Details

View Scholarships

2. Welding Program at Dakota County Technical College, MN

About the Program

The Welding Program at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, Minnesota offers a variety of training in different welding processes specific to our trade. Students will gain knowledge through theory in class and hands-on experience in the welding lab.

The major topics and welding processes will be covered in this nine-month course to ready the student for entry level positions in the industry. Subjects that are covered include: Shielded Metal Arc, Gas Metal Arc, Flux Cored Arc, Gas Tungsten Arc Welding Processes Oxy/Fuel, Plasma Arc, Carbon Air Arc Cutting and Gouging Processes.

Students will work with a variety of metals which include: steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. Shop Fabrication, Blueprint Reading, Math, Visual Inspection, and Safety are covered in the curriculum.

Location

1300 145th St E Rosemount, Minnesota

Degree Type

Diploma

Class Time/Lesson Format

Day and Evening

Duration of Program

1-2 Years

Program Cost

$8,371

View Program Details

View Scholarships

3. Welding and Metal Fabrication Certificate from Minneapolis Community and Technical College, MN

About the Program

Students doing a Welding and Metal Fabrication Certificate at St. Cloud Technical & Community College in St. Cloud, Minnesota, learn a variety of techniques, including Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Oxy-Acetylene Welding and Brazing, Gas Metal Arc Welding, Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, fuel gas and plasma cutting. They will also learn metallurgy, fabrication and equipment, automated machining, CADD, blueprint reading and safety procedures.

Welds will be made to industry standards using the AWS D1.1 Structural Code and AWS D1.3 structural welding code-sheet steel. Welds will be done in all positions, and guided bend tests will be made to check weld quality.

Skills Acquired:

  • Demonstrate the ability to read and interpret blueprints and codes.
  • Use critical thinking skills and apply mathematics to solve Welding problems.
  • Select appropriate welding technology, techniques, and be able to properly demonstrate welding ability with GMAW, GTAW, FCAW, SMAW, OFW, and Robotic Welding.
  • Determine materials properties to insure safe handling and proper disposal of hazardous materials.
  • Use appropriate forms of communications to effectively and efficiently communicate with customers, co-workers and supervision.
  • Apply critical thinking and decision-making processes to technical problem solving.
  • Demonstrate the ability to schedule, plan, and manage time effectively so you are able to maintain a good attendance record.

Location

1540 Northway Drive St. Cloud, Minnesota

Degree Type

Diploma

Class Time/Lesson Format

Day

Duration of Program

1-2 Years

View Program Details

View Scholarships

4. Basic Welding Certificate from Century College, MN

About the Program

Earning a Basic Welding Certificate through Century College in North White Bear Lake, Minnesota will prepare students for entry level positions in the welding industries.

Students will:

  • Manipulate the power of fire and electricity to design and construct the metal products people use every day
  • Join, cut, bend, and manipulate metal for industrial and artistic applications
  • Work independently and in teams to troubleshoot and creatively solve a wide range of industry-based challenges

The certificate is a first look into welding, and can launch you into a career or prepare you for your next steps in education.

Location

3300 Century Avenue North White Bear Lake, MN

Degree Type

Certificate

Class Time/Lesson Format

Day

Duration of Program

1-2 Years

Program Cost

Less than $12,300

View Program Details

View Scholarships

5. Welding Fabricator Certificate from Anoka Technical College, MN

About the Program

The Anoka Technical College Welding Technology program in Anoka, Minnesota offers a Welding Fabricator Certificate designed and taught by industry professionals to provide graduates exceptional welding skills for success in the workplace. The program is designed as a series of building blocks to provide quick access into a welding career. This flexibility allows students to stop and restart as their life allows.

Location

1355 W Main St Anoka, Minnesota

Degree Type

Certificate

Class Time/Lesson Format

Day and Evening

Duration of Program

Less than 1 Year

View Program Details

View Scholarships

6. Welding Technology Diploma from Anoka Technical College, MN

About the Program

The Welding Technology Diploma at Anoka Technical College in Anoka, Minnesota is designed and taught by industry professionals to provide graduates exceptional welding skills for success in the workplace. The program is designed as a series of building blocks to provide quick access into a welding career. This flexibility allows students to stop and restart as their life allows.

Location

1355 W Main St Anoka, Minnesota

Degree Type

Diploma

Class Time/Lesson Format

Day and Evening

Duration of Program

1-2 Years

View Program Details

View Scholarships

8. Welding Degree from Anoka Technical College, MN

About the Program

The Welding Degree at Anoka Technical College in Anoka, Minnesota is designed and taught by industry professionals to provide graduates exceptional welding skills for success in the workplace. The program is designed as a series of building blocks to provide quick access into a welding career. This flexibility allows students to stop and restart as their life allows.

Location

1355 W Main St Anoka, Minnesota

Degree Type

Associate’s Degree

Class Time/Lesson Format

Day and Evening

Duration of Program

2 Years

View Program Details

View Scholarships

9. Welding Diploma from Saint Paul College's Welding Diploma Program, MN

About the Program

The Welding Diploma at Saint Paul College in Saint Paul, Minnesota will teach you some of the most commonly used techniques used in welding today.

Our goal is to prepare you for jobs in the welding industry. To become a successful welder, you'll need both the theoretical foundation as well as related hands-on activities every day. Applying shop safety concepts and blueprint reading skills in metal working projects will help you excel as a student and throughout your career.

We have more than eighty booths in our welding lab, equipped with welding machines that are capable of MIG, TIG, and SMAW welding processes on various metals, such as mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.

Welders are often required to create products for the industry in which they work​, by performing fabrication duties such as operating metal shears, press brakes, grinders, torches, and even CNC equipment that will shape, cut, an​d bend metals. You'll gain fabrication skills through hands-on experience with various projects.

Welding fabrication is widely used in aircraft, automobile, trucking, shipbuilding, pipefitting, plumbing, sheet metal, ironworking and other trades that use metals. Skilled welders may become layout specialists, engineers, technicians, supervisors, Certified Welding Inspectors or private shop owners. ​ ​

Program Highlights

  • ​Operate state-of-the-art welding equipment used in today's fabrication industry.
  • Interpret blueprints and specifications with layouts.
  • Develop proficiency in grinding, finishing and preparation of welds to American Welding Society (AWS) standards.
  • Use CNC/NC plasma cutting, press break and robotic fabrication equipment in today's shops.
  • Operate oxy/fuel, brazing, and cutting operations required by skilled welders.
  • Practice oxyacetylene welding and cutting, shielded metal, gas metal, gas tungsten arc welding and plasma arc welding, plasma arc cutting, flux core arc welding and submerged arc welding techniques.

Location

235 Marshall Avenue Saint Paul, Minnesota

Degree Type

Diploma

Class Time/Lesson Format

Traditional in-class and hands-on training in state-of-the-art labs on Saint Paul College campus, St. Paul, MN​​.

Day and evening classes are available.

Duration of Program

1-2 Years

Program Cost

$9,699

View Program Details

View Scholarships

10. Welding and Metal Fabrication Program at Hennepin Technical College, MN

About the Program

Knowledgeable. Efficient. Competent.

Those words can describe you after you complete training in the Welding and Metal Fabrication program at Hennepin Technical College in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Whether your objective is to gain additional skills or embark on a rewarding career, this program will give you the solid foundation necessary to achieve your goals. The curriculum encompasses basic welding and fabrication methods, blueprint reading, and advanced technical skills, providing you with the essential knowledge and hands on experience you need to succeed.

The field of welding continues to evolve, with significant advancements in technology. Welders can specialize in an exciting variety of disciplines, including robotics and other automated systems, nanotechnology, pipe-fitting, alternative energy applications, infrastructure fabrication, underwater welding, and inspection. Welding has become a dominant force in virtually every aspect of our daily lives, and with the continued advances the industry is experiencing, welding will provide almost endless opportunities for those on the cutting edge.

Location

9000 Brooklyn Boulevard Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

Degree Type

Diploma

Class Time/Lesson Format

Day and Evening

Duration of Program

2 Years

View Program Details

View Scholarships

11. Welding Technology Certificate from Dunwoody Welding Technology, MN

About the Program

Looking for a career as a welder? With the Welding Technology certificate from Dunwoody Welding Technology in Minneapolis, Minnesota, you’ll learn all the standard welding methods used in industry, including oxygen-fuel and cutting, shielded metal arc, gas metal arc, and gas tungsten arc.

Train in our state-of-the-industry welding lab. Practice creating even, strong welds using both steel and aluminum alloys. During your final semester, you’ll plan, select materials for, and complete a welding fabrication project.

The program’s curriculum is closely aligned with standards set forth by the American Welding Society (AWS), which ensures you graduate with the skills employers are looking for.

All faculty members are AWS-certified welders, and students are encouraged to join the local AWS student chapter.

Credits earned in the Welding Technology certificate directly transfer into Dunwoody’s Welding & Metal Fabrication associate’s degree program.

Location

818 Dunwoody Boulevard Minneapolis, Minnesota

Degree Type

Certificate

Class Time/Lesson Format

Day

Duration of Program

1-2 Years

View Program Details

View Scholarships

12. Welding and Metal Fabrication Degree from Dunwoody College of Technology, MN

About the Program

Master the various welding, cutting, and fabrication processes required in a 21st-century manufacturing facility and enter the job market with both welding and machining skills doing Welding and Metal Fabrication Degree at Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Spend year one in Dunwoody’s state-of-the-art welding, where you’ll learn the standard welding methods used in industry, including oxygen-fuel and cutting, shielded metal arc, gas metal arc, and gas tungsten arc.

During year two, you’ll be in Dunwoody’s state-of-the-industry machine shop, learning engineering drawing, manual and CNC (computer numeric controlled) milling and turning, and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing.

The program’s curriculum is closely aligned with standards set forth by the American Welding Society (AWS) and the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS), which ensures you graduate with the skills industry values.

This degree directly transfers into Dunwoody’s Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering Technology.

Location

818 Dunwoody Boulevard Minneapolis, Minnesota

Degree Type

Associate’s Degree

Class Time/Lesson Format

Day

Duration of Program

2 Years

View Program Details

View Scholarships

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