15 Best Welding Schools in California | 2025 Requirements

In a welding career, you can use your analytical skills to construct things. If you enjoy working with your hands and want every day to be different, this is the job for you.

You can start a welding career in California as it offers one of the best places for it. With growth expected to continue, there are plenty of job opportunities, and wages are among the highest in the country. Can you beat that?

 Everything you need to know about this career path, licensing, major employers, and the best welding schools in California has been carefully written. Read slowly!

Top 15 Welding Schools in California | Requirements for 2025

  • 1 Welding Certification Center
  • 2 Welding Center
  • 3 Cal-Trade Welding School
  • 4 SoCal Welding Institute
  • 5 The Fab School
  • 6 CTM Welding
  • 7 Central Valley Opportunity Center
  • 8 American Fabrication Academy
  • 9 Orange Coast College
  • 10 Los Medanos College
  • 11 City College of San Francisco
  • 12 Santa Rosa Junior College
  • 13 Napa Valley College
  • 14 The Center for Employment Training
  • 15 Los Angeles Trade Technical College

#1 Welding Certification Center

The Welding Certification Center, which serves Los Angeles County, is the only private welding school authorized by the State of California’s Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education.

This facility aims to assist students in achieving their welding goals by providing them with practical welding knowledge and experience.

This school provides a wide range of courses and workshops for students of all skill levels, whether they have no prior experience or have had time to receive professional instruction.

They also accommodate students’ schedules and provide comprehensive, well-organized college-level courses.

Check out their course descriptions to see how much they charge, as they value being open and honest with their students.

It is one of the best welding schools in California.

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See also: 15 Best Welding Schools in Florida | 2025 Requirements

#2 Welding Center

The Welding Skills Test and Training Center is the best option for introductory or refresher courses.

This center also provides a design-your-own program tailored to the individual student’s needs.

The classes are designed for welding professionals who need accelerated training and experienced welders who need certification.

Students interested in welding can choose between a comprehensive training program and a one-week beginner workshop at this facility.

The classes consist of 25% lectures and 75% hands-on activities. The Welding Skills Test and Training Center prices vary depending on the certifications required.

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#3 Cal-Trade Welding School

Cal-Trade Welding School offers a variety of courses, including combination welding, blueprint reading, and AWS Inspector.

After completing the course, they connect their students with current job openings; the school maintains a list of open positions and assists students in landing interviews!

Despite the lack of information on the website, prospective students are encouraged to contact them via phone or the comment box on their website.

However, graduate students say it is one of the best welding schools in California.

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#4 SoCal Welding Institute

SoCal Welding Institute in California is a state-approved welding school and testing center with AWS accreditation.

They provide individualized, hands-on training to each student, and enrollment is open so that you can begin at any time.

Because their goal is to meet industry workforce needs, when you complete their course, you will be prepared to enter the workforce. They also provide a fast-track option for students who want to start working immediately.

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#5 The Fab School

For certifications in metal fabrication and welding, attend The Fab School.

To best serve their students, the Fundamentals of Fabrication program is offered at two times and requires 728 clock hours: Graduates of day courses can do so in six months, while those of night courses can do so in eleven.

The fabrication program’s curriculum has been accelerated while still emphasizing hands-on welding. This course will teach you skills that are useful in a variety of fields.

Additionally, students engage in various projects that give them a chance to use their skills. These projects are specially made to ensure students use the entire curriculum and help them advance the knowledge they have gained since the first day of class.

This is one of the best welding schools in California.

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#6 CTM Welding

For welders of all levels of experience, CTM Welding offers courses and training and refresher workshops for those getting ready to take the LADBS (L.A. City), Certified Welder Performance Test. The workshops are designed to help you succeed on the written test.

The school combines lab instruction with classroom lectures to ensure a well-balanced curriculum. If you only want to obtain certifications, visit this location.

CTM Welding also offers tests for people who are already working as professional welders.

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#7 Central Valley Opportunity Center

The Central Valley Opportunity Center (CVOC), Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides job-search assistance and training.

The organization provides employment, skill training, education, and emergency services to improve the quality of life for farm workers and underserved members of our communities.

CVOC’s Welding and Industrial Maintenance course teach the fundamental skills required for careers in welding and metalworking. The course is primarily practical and teaches students the fundamentals of the welding trade.

Their training includes reading blueprints and layouts, cutting and welding with gas and oxyacetylene, electric arc welding, and more.

Lectures, handouts, practical activities, videos, lectures, and workbook assignments are also used to impart knowledge. The program lasts 770 hours (about 22 weeks).

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See also: 8 Best Welding Schools in Wyoming | 2025 Requirements

#8 American Fabrication Academy

The American Fabrication Academy is a modern college focusing on metal fabrication and welding. The small class sizes at the school allow for hands-on, stress-free learning.

It is one of the best welding schools in California.

All of the instructors at the Academy are AWS certified, have years of teaching experience in fabrication schools, and have more than 20 years of metal fabrication experience.

Students have access to hands-on learning opportunities and equipment because of the school’s small class sizes.

Their 600-hour program includes career services such as resume writing, mock job interviews, and ongoing job placement assistance.

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#9 Orange Coast College

Orange Coast College offers numerous welding technology programs. Throughout your studies, you will learn about the importance of this career in various industries, such as petrochemical plants, underwater vessels, appliance manufacturing, and national security.

It is a fantastic program with equal opportunity because it accepts both men and women.

You can earn a Certificate of Completion or a Certificate of Achievement in welding at Orange Coast College.

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Most of the programs are geared toward seasoned professionals seeking to expand their knowledge.

They also provide an Associate in Arts degree for new welders.

#10 Los Medanos College

Students at Los Medanos College who study welding will benefit greatly, regardless of their experience level. Their current program includes professional programs for advanced students as well as beginner programs.

You will receive practical instruction to help you understand welding practices and principles throughout your studies.

Working in a modern shop setting will also benefit you because it will prepare you for production-style welding.

Your program’s courses will be available during the day, evenings, and weekends. It’s also worth noting that this program is open to both men and women, which can help you diversify your trade skills.

The welding technology program at Los Medanos College offers a variety of courses. Students will work with metal plates, pipes, and sheet metal in various settings.

It is one of the best welding schools in California.

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#11 City College of San Francisco

Students can enroll in various unique welding courses at City College of San Francisco.

Even if the school does not have a welding program, you can enroll in the manufacturing program. This program will teach you not only how to weld but also how to work with machines.

When putting together your academic schedule, you can schedule an unusually large number of welding courses. Among these classes are the following:

Welding Symbols and Inspection, Intermediate Welding Processes, Welding Process Survey, and Advanced Welding Processes are all covered.

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#12 Santa Rosa Junior College

Santa Rosa Junior College offers a one-of-a-kind Welding Technology Certificate after completing 17.5 units.

You will practice a variety of welding techniques in this program. There will also be contemporary welding techniques to accommodate newer metals.

You will develop a wide range of fundamental employable skills throughout your studies. In addition to using their math abilities, students will also learn to read blueprints, recognize welding symbols, differentiate between nonferrous and ferrous metals, and much more.

Once you have graduated, you will possess all the knowledge necessary to sit for and pass the American Welding Society Unlimited Structural Certification Test. You can pursue your dream job once you pass this test.

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#13 Napa Valley College

The welding technology program at Napa Valley College is ideal for students interested in a quick-paced and meticulous career.

With your training, you’ll be able to find employment in various industries, such as pipe welding, structural metal fabrication, steam fitting, and pipe fitting. Many graduates go on to work as welding inspectors or engineers.

All welders will learn fundamental skills from one of the best welding schools in California.

You will acquire substantial expertise in flux core, shielded metal arc, MIG, and TIG welding.

Additionally, students will experiment with machine shop procedures, technical math, and digital design.

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See also: 15 Best Welding Schools in Arizona | 2025 Requirements

#14 The Center for Employment Training

The Center for Employment Training was founded in 1967. CET was already regarded as the nation’s best job training program in 1971.

The center’s mission is to promote human development by providing people with training in transferable skills.

Choose one of the seven programs available: Business, childcare, technical trades, truck driving, and logistics are among the most popular careers.

Welding Fabrication is the name of a technical trades program. The course provides hands-on welding instruction. CET will assist you in finding work as soon as you graduate.

It is one of the best welding schools in California.

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#15 Los Angeles Trade Technical College

The Los Angeles Trade Technical College was founded in 1925. It is the oldest among the nine 2-year public schools in the Los Angeles Community College District.

The college’s main goal is to help the community grow by providing pathways to success in the workplace, the classroom, and transfer programs. The campus is only two miles from the Central Business District.

LATTC provides nearly 90 different occupational programs. Earn your Certificate of Completion, Associate of Arts, or Associate of Science.

You can choose between the Advanced Manufacturing: Welding and Fabrication program, the Welding, Gas, and Electric program (Associate of Science Degree), or both.

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What Industries have Welding Jobs in California?

A few industries, such as energy, transportation, and construction, account for many welding jobs in California. Welder-Fitter, TIG welder, and MIG welder are just a few common positions available throughout the state.

What is the Salary of Welders in California?

Welders in California earn an average of $52,460 per year, or $25.22 per hour, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This is higher than the $47,010 reported average for the United States.

Although slightly lower at $21.46 per hour, the average reported wage for welders in California, according to Indeed, is still 8% higher than the national average.

Top Welder Employers In California

Welding careers abound in California. According to Indeed, the top five welder employers in the state are as follows:

  • Siemens pays welders from $21 to $29 per hour
  • Waste Management pays an average annual wage for welders $35,646.
  • Total-Western pays their welders between $32 and $45 per hour
  • Trench Shoring Company pays an average of $20 per hour
  • Kleinfelder provides construction, repair, and maintenance services and pays an average welder salary of $56,742 per year.

How to Obtain a California Welder Certification

To work as a welder in California, you must first obtain state-level certification. The State Contractors Licensing Board is used for this. Local certifications may also be required.

The most common route to certification is high school graduation, followed by enrollment in a training course at one of California’s welding schools. Depending on the subjects and methods covered, programs can last from a few months to several years. (bangalore.apollohospitals.com)

You must complete at least six months of apprentice-level work experience during your training.

Although it is not an official requirement, many welders obtain certification from the American Welding Society or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Employers increasingly demand these professional credentials, which may help advance your welding career.

Is a Welder’s License Required in California?

Anyone wishing to work independently as a welder in California must obtain a license from the Contractors State License Board.

To do so, you must first complete the following steps:

  • Pass the required state examinations
  • Apply to the licensing board
  • Pay any fees owe
  • Certify your relevant work experience
  • And submit your fingerprints for a background check.

The state’s basic requirements for contractors included being at least 18 years old, passing business, law, and subject exams, and meeting experience requirements for each license level.

Before beginning work in a new area, check with local licensing organizations because some cities or counties may have additional licensing requirements.

Adding a welder classification to a California general contractor license is another option.

FAQS on Best welding schools in California 2025

How Long does it take to become a welder in California?

Becoming a certified welder in California can take as little as a year. This estimate considers the length of an apprenticeship, an exam preparation program, and an accelerated training program.
However, for those who enroll in a longer training course at one of the best welding schools in California, it can take up to three years.
Furthermore, to pursue a state welding contractor license, you must have four years of professional experience.

Is Insurance Required for Welders in California?

Welders licensed contractors in California must meet minimum bond and insurance standards, including a $15,000 bond and $1 million in liability insurance.
Because tools and equipment are highly specialized and costly to replace if lost, damaged, or stolen, additional insurance is recommended. On the other hand, no other additional regulation is required.

Conclusion

The process to become a welder in California is straightforward. Read this article for a guide on the best welding schools to enroll in California.

References

References

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