Trade School vs. College for Welding: Where to Get Your Welding Classes in Phoenix, AZ

December 4, 2018 3:41 am Published by Leave your thoughts

There is a constant high demand for welders, so if you’re interested in steady employment in a respected trade, this could very well be an ideal option for you. But you might be wondering how to get the training and certification you need. Is it a better idea to go to trade school or to college for your welding classes in Phoenix, AZ?

Each option provides you with a viable path to a solid career as a welder, but you’ll have very different experiences in each option. Here’s a quick look comparing the two.

Makeup of the program and courses

At a trade school, you can expect a much more focused educational experience that’s focused on teaching the most important skills that directly apply to welding. The training is all specific to your career path, and is set up in a way that it gives you much more hands-on, practical experience, even relatively early in your training. Class sizes are smaller, and you are likely to be able to benefit from industry partnerships and internships.

At a college, there’s going to be more general education coursework required, and a larger emphasis on theoretical studies.

Completion time

The vast majority of trade school certificates will take less than two years to earn, and more than half can be earned in under 12 months. About 60 percent of all students who go through trade school succeed in earning their certificate.

At a college, it’ll take at least two years for you to complete your certification, because you’ll be taking more general education coursework. Only 11.7 percent of students get their associate’s degree within two years, and only 21.1 percent after three years.


The national average for trade school certifications is about $33,000, versus the average of $10,000 per year for community college costs (as of 2014). A community college is still significantly cheaper than the cost you can expect at a four-year university, but still likely to be more than what you’d pay for trade school.

However, the median salary for trade school graduates is about $7,000 less per year than graduates who have an associate’s degree. While trade school graduates can earn more than people with college degrees, the averages are not in their favor.

With welding, though, people stand to earn a solid salary with trade school certification.

Ultimately, for welding, many people choose to go the trade school route. It takes less time and less money, and if you know for sure that you want to be a welder, it gives you the focused training you’re going to need without the extra general education requirements you’d get at a university, which are beneficial for other reasons, but not as beneficial if you’re looking at your post-secondary education in a more utilitarian manner.

For more information about your choices in how you can get certified as a professional welder, contact Vern Lewis Welding Supply, Inc. about the pros and cons of welding classes in Phoenix, AZ at trade schools and colleges.

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