Welders are needed in many industries, just like many other tradespeople. Even though some jobs require years of schooling and training before starting working, you can become a professional welder in as little as six months, even if you haven’t done it before.
And since becoming a certified welder doesn’t require a certain number of class hours—students have to pass a test—would-be welders who want to change careers don’t have to quit their jobs to start training.
Even though hands-on training is necessary to learn how to weld, several online courses can provide additional instruction and guidance to help prepare welders for the workforce or give those already working a chance to keep learning. Find out some of the best online welding courses in the next section.
How To Pick The Best Online Welding Course
When picking an online welding course, students need to know how vital accreditation is and what kinds of welding these courses teach. Find out more about these and other features of online welding courses below.
Welding Methods Taught
There are four kinds of welding, and students can find classes online for each of them. Different kinds of welding are used for different things, so when looking for an online welding course, students need to think about the kinds of welding they want to learn and what they want to focus on.
MIG: MIG is an abbreviation for “inert metal gas.” The term “gas metal arc welding” is also commonly used to describe this process (GMAW). When welding metal, MIG welders feed a tiny wire through a device to melt the metal together.
TIG: GTAW is another name for TIG, which stands for “inert tungsten gas” (gas tungsten arc welding). It’s a more advanced type of welding that requires coordination between the non-dominant hand, the dominant hand, and the foot while using a tungsten electrode that doesn’t burn out.
Stick: Stick welding gets its name from the shape of the welding electrode. Shielding gas is not required when performing stick welding, commonly known as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW). This means stick welding can be done outside in the wind or rain and on dirty or rusty materials.
Flux-cored: Flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) is another easy method for beginners. Like MIG welding, it uses an electrode fed in a steady stream. The shielding gas and a substance called “flux” are used in flux welding. The flux cleans the metal and protects it from oxygen and vapor.
Length and Structure of the Course
When looking for and choosing a welding course, potential students need to think about how the course is set up, how long it is, and when it meets. An instructor teaches some welding classes, and the student has to attend virtual classes on a particular day and time. Some self-paced courses let students finish the work whenever they want to. Instructor-led classes give students more chances to talk with the teacher and other students. On the other hand, a self-paced course is excellent for people who are too busy or have unpredictable schedules to attend live classes.
Career Training for Beginners vs. Advanced Training
Welding courses are made for people who have little or no experience welding or for professionals who want to improve their skills. When looking for classes, students will want to make sure they choose a program that fits their needs.
Welders who want to keep learning should look for online welding classes that focus on a specific skill they want to learn or classes that let them keep their certifications up to date.
Learning in Person vs. Learning Online
While in-person training is necessary for learning a hands-on skill such as welding, an online welding school allows students to complete much of their required training from the comfort of their own homes and on their schedule. Not only are online welding courses more flexible, but they are also usually cheaper than in-person courses. This makes them great for people on a tight budget.
Students in a good online course can watch training videos, read materials, do other assignments, and talk to the teacher. The course should also clearly state what equipment and supplies the student needs to purchase to practice new skills. Also, read Best Online Sewing Classes.
The cost of online welding courses depends on how long the course is and whether or not it has been approved by the American Welding Society (AWS). Accredited online courses designed for entry-level welders who want to become certified typically cost between $2,000 and $3,000 and last several weeks. This is less than the $5,000 to $15,000 first-level courses taught in person cost.
Accreditation of a Program
When looking for an online welding course, people who want to take it should consider whether or not the program is accredited. An accredited program will allow the students to complete coursework that can be used to obtain or maintain various certifications needed to work as a professional welder.
Preparing for the AWS Certification
AWS offers the welding certification that is most widely recognized in the field. To get the AWS certification, students don’t have to take any courses or meet any requirements. Instead, to get the certification, students must pass a written test and a performance evaluation. A student who wants to get certified should look for an online welding course to help them prepare for this test.
Best Online Welding Courses
The best online welding classes are made for people with different backgrounds and levels of skill. Students can use the following options to get their welding certification online, continue their education to get better at welding or learn how to weld as a hobby.
1) AWS 8-Week Online Welding Seminar
The most widely accepted certification for professional welding comes from the AWS, so it makes sense that its 8-week online seminar is the best way for aspiring welders to learn from a distance. Students should know that this is not a program for people who have never welded.
Instead, students are expected to know the basics of how to weld and what the terms mean before enrolling. The program is made up of a series of 2-hour live online classes. This is great for students who don’t have time to attend a class in person but still want to learn from a live teacher.
In addition to the live classes, the course includes study guides and practice tests designed to help students prepare for the AWS exam. It also comes with a 3-year membership to AWS. Members of the AWS can get discounts on tuition through the AWS. Also, read Best Riding Lawn Mowers in 2023.
- Course length: 8 weeks
- Entry-level vs. advanced career training: Entry level
- Cost: $1,925 to $2,660 for members; $2,180 to $2,915 for nonmembers
- Program accreditation: American Welding Society
- AWS certification preparation: Yes
- The AWS made a course for studying for exams.
- Interactive online seminars
- You need to know the basics of welding before you start.
2) Hobart Institute of Welding Technology
Hobart Institute of Welding Technology has a variety of classes for welding inspectors and teachers who need to keep their licenses up to date. Hobart has a lot of in-person classes for people who want to learn how to weld, but it has yet to have any online courses for beginners.
Only welding inspectors and teachers can take online courses from it. Hobart’s online welding institute has seven classes about evaluating welds and finding flaws so that quality control can be kept up. Each of Hobart’s courses is made up of five 25-minute videos.
Each course is also affordable, costing $89. Students take a final test at the end of the courses to get a certificate of completion and continuing education credits. These classes can be used to earn course credits that can be used toward AWS recertification. Also, read Best Places to Buy Dining Room Furniture.
- Course length: 4 hours per topic
- Entry-level vs. advanced career training: Advanced career training
- Cost: $89 per topic
- Program accreditation: American Welding Society
- AWS certification preparation: Yes
- Topics designed by the AWS for specific careers
- Courses can be used to get recertified for AWS.
- Somewhat few courses to choose from
3) Udemy Certification in Welding Technology
Welding classes can cost thousands of dollars, which makes no sense for someone who wants to learn how to weld but doesn’t want to get certified. If you want to start welding on a budget, you don’t have to look further than the online class aggregator Udemy.
For the low price of $19.99, you can take a deep Certification in Welding Technology class. Prospective students need to know that the program needs to be accredited and can’t be used for AWS certification.
This class gives an overview of the history of welding, the types of welding joints, and the different welding methods. Students don’t need to know anything before taking the course and can finish it on their own time. Students can also look at reviews and ratings of the class right on the website to decide if it’s right for them.
- Length of course: 3.5 hours of video
- Entry-level training vs. training for a more advanced job
- Cost: $19.99
- Accreditation of the program: Not a member
- Preparation for the AWS certification: No
- Costs that aren’t too high
- On the course page, reviews and ratings for each course are shown.
- Students don’t get any accreditation or certification.
Since the American Welding Society is the best organization in the country for welding certification, it offers the best online welding classes to help students prepare for the AWS certification test. Certification in Welding Technology on Udemy is a good option for people who want to try welding but don’t want to spend much money.