The 18 Best Welding Schools in California: Latest Rankings

Welding is such a lucrative career in California and one of the most popular jobs in the industry at the moment.

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2021, the average yearly salary for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers in California is $47,010 while the average hourly wage is $23.21.

So if you’re interested in learning how to weld, then California should be your first stop because of all the opportunities and the great welding schools.

How do you become a welder in California?

To become a certified welder in California and start taking advantage of the opportunities that are available, you should get enrolled in any of the welding schools approved by the American Welding Society and obtain their diploma.

You can also become a welder in California by enrolling in an accredited six-month welding educational program and/or an apprenticeship.

What are the best welding schools in California?

Best Welding Schools in California

1. Welding Certification Center

Welding Certification Center is one of the top welding schools in California located in Southern California, North Pomona.

It is a private institute and the only private welding school licensed to operate by the State of California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education in Los Angeles County.

This school offers welding classes that include;

  • SMAW
  • FCAW
  • GTAW
  • GTMAW, etc.

The price varies on the choice of course and programs selected, and students are taught by experienced instructors who are active and former community college welding professors.

Contact details:

Phone: (909) 334-2378.

Location: 2701 N. Towne Ave Unit C, Pomona, CA 91767.

Related: 28 Best Welding Schools in Texas, Programs, Contact & Key Facts

2. Orange Coast College (OCC)

OCC’s welding program is considered one of the best in California, it is open for both men and women to apply with equal opportunities.

The program can be completed in two to four years, and during your studies, you will learn how beneficial welding technology is across different industries, including petrochemical plants, underwater vessels, appliance manufacturing, and national security.

Most of the programs here are Certificates of Completion and include training that covers;

  • Basic to Advanced Welding
  • Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
  • Gas Metal Arc Welding
  • Pipe Welding

The certificate gotten here are designed for individuals who are ready to start their careers, therefore, the program equips you with the necessary skills to find better employment opportunities.

Contact details:

Phone: +1 714-432-5072

Location: 2701 Fairview Rd, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, United States.

3. American Fabrication Academy

The American Fabrication Academy is a well-known academy for those who have an interest in welding and fabrication training in Corona, California.

It is a state-of-the-art school with instructors that have AWS certifications, years of fabrication school teaching experience, and over 20 years of metal fabrication experience.

The school has small class sizes which allow for a hands-on, stress-free learning experience, some of the classes offered here include;

  • MIG/TIG
  • Plasma Cutting
  • Notching
  • Bending and More

One of the reasons many people choose this welding academy is that they offer graduates job placement assistance and other services such as resume writing, and job interview preparation.

Contact details:

Phone: (951) 279-9353

Location: 1781 Capital St Suite H & I, Corona, CA 92880.

4. Los Medanos College (LMC)

The next on our list of the best California welding schools is Los Medanos College located in Pittsburg, CA.

Los Medanos College’s welding technology program offers students hands-on training in the principles and practices of welding processes that equips them with related opportunities.

During the training, students will have the opportunity of working in a modern shop environment, helping them prepare for production-style welding.

The course will cover programs in;

  • Flux-cored arc welding
  • Oxyacetylene welding
  • Gas-tungsten arc welding
  • Gas-metal arc welding, and
  • Shielded-metal arc welding.

These courses are open to both men and women, and are available on days, evenings, and weekends.

5. Cal-Trade Welding School

Cal-Trade Welding School is one of the institutions offering a diverse range of programs in welding, blueprint reading, and AWS inspector classes in California.

This institution is located in Modesto and they provide students with an updated curriculum and graduate job openings.

Here are some of the welding classes offered at Cal-Trade Welding School;

  • Combination
  • MIG/TIG
  • Structural and
  • Pipeline

Contact details:

Phone: (209) 523-0753

Location: 24 Kansas Ave, Modesto, CA 95351.

6. City College of San Francisco (CCSF)

The City College of San Francisco was founded in 1935 as a public community college in San Francisco and has grown to an urban community with a student size of over 60,000 students.

The CCSF welding program is one of the best welding schools in California, students will be groomed to become professional welders and machinists.

Here are some of the courses offered here;

  • Manufacturing Processes
  • Survey of Welding Processes
  • Intermediate and Advanced Welding Processes
  • Welding Symbols and Inspection

Related: The 12 Best Safety Schools In California To Get Into

7. Socal Welding Institute

The Socal Welding Institute is one of the best places to get your welding training in California, it is located in Lake Elsinore and is accredited by the AWS, and offers a hands-on learning experience.

Some of the classes available here include;

  • Workshops
  • Stick
  • MIG/TIG, etc.

One of the reasons most students prefer Socal Welding Institute is because of their updated curriculum, the top-notch classes meet industry workforce needs, thereby preparing the students for related opportunities upon completion.

Another reason Socal Welding Institute is considered one of the best in the state is that they offer a fast-track option to help students quickly go into the workforce.

Contact details:

Phone: (951) 536-3809

Location: 32081 Corydon St, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530.

8. Santa Rosa Junior College

The next on the list is Santa Rosa Junior College, a very prestigious public community college offering top-notch welding programs in Santa Rosa, California.

The hands-on welding program offered here leads to a welding technology certificate that you shall receive after getting 17.5 units.

One of the reasons people go for this welding institute is because they can diversify in related employable skills, so you will try your hands in various welding areas.

Graduates are groomed and assisted to sit and pass the American Welding Society Unlimited Structural Certification Test with which they can start their welding careers.

Contact details:

Phone: +1 707-527-4011.

Address: 1501 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95401, United States.

9. The Fab School

The Fab School is one of the top welding schools in California for students who wish to pursue careers in metal fabrication, CNC machinery, 3D modeling, and carbon fiber applications.

It is a private, post-secondary school that has been training students on the technical skills and theories of fabrication since 2005.

One of the main reasons most students choose this institution is that they have a 95% placement rate and their programs are fast-paced, and they also provide a hands-on learning experience.

Contact details:

Phone: +1 877-411-9353.

Location: 9571 Pittsburgh Ave. Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730 United States.

10. Napa Valley College

Napa Valley College is a public community college located in Napa, California that offers students interested in welding a fast-paced welding technology program.

The welding program here enables students to pursue careers in fields such as;

  • Pipe welding
  • Steamfitting
  • Pipefitting, or structural metal fabrication.

Napa Valley College has become one of the best welding schools in California, and as a member of the AWS educational institution, the school trains students to become AWS-certified welders.

Contact details:

Phone: +1 707-256-7000

Locattion: 2277 Napa Vallejo Hwy, Napa, CA 94558, United States

Conclusion

Welding for sure is a great profession that is also in demand as explained earlier in the article, these schools are the most recommended in California.

FAQs on the best California welding schools

What are the best welding Schools in Southern California?

The best Southern California schools to get a welding certificate include; John Lopez Welding School in Bakersfield, Welding Skills Test and Training Center in Rancho Cucamonga, Elite Welding Academy in Southern California, and Precision Welding & Fabrication, Inc.

What are the best welding schools in Northern California?

The best Northern California schools to get a welding certificate include; Cal-Trade Welding School in Modesto, Allied Welding School in Richmond, GK Welding School in Richmond, Cal Weld in Freemont, and Sierra College.

What is the cost of welding schools in California?

The tuition fee for most of the welding schools in California costs less than $15,000 for a year, you can get into a good school with a budget as low as $5,000.

What is the requirement for the welding schools in California?

Most of these welding schools just require their prospective students to have a high school or a GED diploma for enrollment, and by the end of the program, graduates will be required to sit for and pass the test that proves their proficiency in welding.

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