What to expect from a career as a Welder
Skilled trades are always in demand, and welding is no exception. You can expect the training you get from welding programs at Ontario colleges to help you transition easily into an apprenticeship, and ultimately the workforce.
Welding takes precision and a solid understanding of mathematics and engineering. If you’ve got these skills and are interested in applying them to a career as a welder, here’s what you need to know.
Ontario college welding programs are generally offered in two ways:
- Certificate Programs. One-year programs such as welding techniques or welding fitter are intended to fast-track students into their apprenticeships with an overview of welding techniques (such as gas metal arc welding and shielded metal arc welding) and welding equipment operation, as well as skills in blueprint reading and sketching.
- Diploma Programs. Two-year diploma programs, such as welding technician or inspection programs, will give students a broader depth of knowledge in the field before they begin their apprenticeships. They will still learn all the welding skills in certificate programs, but will also focus on trade practices and job planning skills that will help them advance in the industry.
Graduates with work experience will also be able to apply for welding certification with the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (to become a certified engineering technician).
General Welding Program Requirements
Welding diploma and certificate programs require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, which may include a grade 12 English and grade 12 mathematics credit. Additional mathematics courses may be required.
Note: Before commencing an apprenticeship, students must register with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.
Welding Jobs and Salaries
Certified welding professionals, experienced in mig welding, tig welding, arc welding and laser welding, can expect to find positions in a number of areas, including (but not limited to):
- Steel fabrication
- Construction and manufacturing
- Mills and refineries
While graduates will see entry-level salaries in the low- to mid-$30,000 range, certification and experience could lead to wages of $45,000 to $75,000 per year. Unionized welders could make even more.
Ontario Colleges Offering Welding Programs
Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of welding programs at Ontario colleges.