The welding program trains students in manual, and semiautomatic welding processes used in a variety of fabrication and construction industries. Students develop skill proficiency through practice in over 19 welding processes, in all positions, and with a variety of metals. In addition, welding students learn to identify base and filler materials and their properties, operate equipment properly, practice correct procedures, test for strength and appearance, work safely and productively, be responsible for quality control, read blueprints for necessary information, measure and use math, and practice good interpersonal relations.
Is This Program for You?
Do you enjoy building things? Are you mechanically inclined, with strong math skills? Does a job working independently appeal to you? Welding may be a great career choice.
Students entering the Welding program should:
- Enjoy building things.
- Have good math skills.
- Have manual dexterity.
- Be able to work with little direction or supervision.
- Have good vision (glasses are acceptable).
- Have good hand-eye coordination.
- Be able to concentrate with patience on detailed work.
- Technical diploma, requiring a minimum of nine months to complete.
- High school articulation courses accepted.
- Financial aid available.
- Curriculum & Costs
Cost of Attendance (COA) 23-24
Cost of Attendance (COA) is a total of all the usual expenses of being a student. The COA sets the maximum amount of financial aid a student can receive.
Category Amount Tuition and Fees $4,713 Living Expenses (Housing and Food) $9,614 Books and Supplies $2,061 Personal Expenses $2,245 Transportation $2,007 Charger Tech 360 Fee $600 Loan Fees $83 Yearly Total (Living Away from Home) $21,323 1 Semester Total (Living Away from Home) $10,662
Based on Wisconsin Residents.
Approximate school costs are for a full-time (12 credit) student over a semester span of 17 weeks.
Fees are legislated by the Wisconsin Technical College System Board.
These costs are estimates and are subject to change without notice.
Admission and Program Requirements
- Submit Application
- To make sure your classes are the right fit, we consider any previous college credit you've earned, Accuplacer or ACT scores, high school GPA, or an assessment at your registration session. Submit High School Transcripts, College Transcripts, and Test Scores to: Southwest Tech, Attn: Admissions, 1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, WI 53809
- Admissions Preference Policy
Priority for program acceptance will be given in this order until January 1, 2024:
- Southwest Wisconsin Technical College District Residents (permanent address is in one of Southwest Tech’s 30 school districts the College serves) Southwest Tech District Information
- Non-District State Residents
- Out-of-State Residents
Helpful Academic Background
- Technical education courses
- Youth Apprenticeship
- This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
- Estimated cost for each semester can be found under the Curriculum tab. Please note that costs are approximate and are based on the current academic year.
- Please discuss additional fee questions with the program advisor or instructor.
Students must have eye wear protection (safety glasses with side shields or wrap around safety glasses over prescription glasses) and must meet OSHA Z87.1 or greater while they are conducting operations that are deemed hazardous in nature. These glasses can be purchased at the College Bookstore.
At the completion of the program, students are expected to be able to:
- Demonstrate industry-recognized safety practices
- Interpret welding drawings
- Produce shielded metal arc welds (SMAW)
- Produce gas metal arc welds (GMAW)
- Produce flux core welds
- Produce gas tungsten arc welds (GTAW)
- Perform cutting operations
- Produce Oxyfuel welds
Technical Skill Attainment (TSA)
This TSA scoring guide will be used to document your attainment of technical program outcomes for the Welding Degree. To meet the requirements on the scoring guide, you will be asked to draw upon the skills and concepts that have been developed throughout the program and are necessary for successful employment in your field. Results will be used to inspire continual improvement of teaching and learning in Wisconsin Technical College System. In addition, this assessment will provide feedback to you about your performance.
- Career Opportunities
Welding is the most common way of permanently joining metal parts, so welders are employed in a wide variety of manufacturing and construction jobs, including automotive and equipment manufacturing, structural building, maintenance, and repair. Welders may work on land or underwater, inside and outside.
- Welding Technicians, Supervisors, Inspectors, Instructors, Repair Shop Owners
- Pipe Layers, Plumbers, Pipe Fitters and Steam Fitters
- Aircraft Body and Bonded Structure Repairers
- Aircraft Structure Assemblers
- Weld Fabricators
- Iron Workers
- Ship Building Workers
- Bridge Construction Workers
Southwest Tech's Career Connections Center offers Services to assist students looking for job placement.
- Prior Learning
Credit for Prior Learning
Experience Pays! You've Been There... You've Done That... Let's See If You Can Get Credit For It!
Credit for prior learning gives you opportunities to earn credit for college-level knowledge that you have already acquired. This may be the result of work or volunteer experiences, certifications, apprenticeships, military training, extensive self-instruction, or professional development. Credit for Prior Learning affords you the opportunity to accelerate the completion of your educational goals.
For more information on Credit for Prior Learning see our Credit for Prior Learning page.
At any time, you may Request Credit for Prior Learning.
Welding Courses that may have Credit for Prior Learning options:
Course # Course TitleChallenge Exam
31-442-311 Oxyfuel Gas Cutting & Gouging 31-442-312 Arc Cutting & Gouging 31-442-313 Plasma Cutting & Gouging 31-442-314 Oxyfuel Equipment 31-442-315 Oxyfuel Brazing & Welding-Carbon Steel 31-442-316 Oxyfuel Brazing & Welding-Stainless Steel 31-442-320 SMAW - Equipment 31-442-323 GTAW - Equipment 31-442-324 GTAW - Carbon Steel 31-442-325 GTAW - Aluminum 31-442-326 GTAW - Stainless Steel 31-442-327 GMAW - Equipment 31-442-328 GMAW - Carbon Steel (S Process) 31-442-329 GMAW - Aluminum 31-442-330 GMAW - Stainless Steel 31-442-331 GMAW - Carbon Steel (Spray Transfer) 31-442-332 FCAW - Equipment 31-442-333 FCAW - Carbon Steel (Gas Shielded) 31-457-317 Forming & Folding Metal 31-457-318 Fabricating 31-457-334 Fabrication Planning & Drawing 31-804-305 Applied Mathematics College Mathematics CLEP Test would also be accepted. 32-442-308 Blueprint Reading-Welding 1 32-442-309 Blueprint Reading-Welding 2
The Welding curriculum was developed in part through a Department of Labor TAACCCT Grant. This is an equal opportunity program. Veterans and TAA eligible populations are encouraged to participate.