Most of the welding programs and courses in Massachusetts are offered through vocational high schools or adult education programs, but there are few postsecondary institutions in the state that offer courses in welding. Students may choose to take an individual course in the field or earn a certificate that encompasses a range of classes. Most welding classes concentrate on hands-on skills, teaching students how to use appropriate tools and equipment safely and providing instruction on techniques and methods to manipulate metals.
Employment in this field requires training and experience in one or more of the three types of welding: gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), tungsten inert gas (TIG), and gas metal arc welding (GMAW). Additionally, sculptors and other types of artists might pursue welding training to supplement skills related to their craft.
Read about the four postsecondary schools in Massachusetts offering courses in welding, and take a look at the comparison table to weigh the facts of each school.
Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Located in Boston, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, also called MassArt, offers community education classes as well as undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture, art teacher education, and the visual and performing arts. Some majors offered at this school include graphic design, metal and jewelry arts, painting, and sculpture. MassArt offers one welding course within its metal sculpture department. This 3-credit course introduces students to various metal fabricating processes like oxy-fuel, MIG, and TIG arc welding, and students create artwork using these processes.
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
The Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) is located in Buzzards Bay, a mid-sized suburb south of Boston. It's a 4-year public college that offers bachelor's and master's degrees and has a total enrollment of more than 1,300 students. The most popular major at this school is engineering, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), but the school also offers community education courses in areas such as firearms safety, occupational safety training, and commercial maritime training. Welding classes are offered in MMA's Center for Maritime Training, which is meant to provide educational opportunities, training, and workshops to local community members, including fisherman and professionals in the aquaculture or boating industries.
Three welding classes are offered at MMA. The two introductory welding classes both last two days and cover the basics of TIG, MIG and GTAW processes, materials, safety precautions, and equipment. The MMA also offers a 4-day welding class called Structural All Position Plate Certification Prep Lab, which prepares students for American Welding Society (AWS) Structural Welding Certification, which is granted by a Certified Welding Inspector upon successful completion of the course. This certification is one way to show employers proof of experience and competence in this field.
Southeastern Technical Institute
This South Easton, MA, school has a student enrollment of fewer than 150 students. The four welding courses are part of the school's evening program offerings. The basic and advanced welding courses are limited to ten students, and they must supply their own welding gloves. While the 5-week beginner welder course teaches simple processes and torch usage, the 5-week advanced course requires that individuals have experience or have completed the basic class. In the basic metal fabrication class, students work on a personal project using drill presses, metal saws, shears, and press brakes. Students also get a chance to formulate and implement a project in the blueprint reading for welders class after gaining a firm understanding of the various measurements and symbols involved in reading architectural plans.
Wentworth Institute of Technology
Located in Boston, Wentworth Institute of Technology enrolls almost 4,000 students each year and offers undergraduate and advanced degrees. This school also offers a certificate of achievement after successful completion of all three welding courses offered. Welding I, gas tungsten arc and gas metal arc welding, and advanced arc welding can be taken separately or in succession. The 3-course certificate program takes 15 weeks to complete. Completion of this certificate program prepares students for AWS' Certified Welding Inspector exam, as well as for entry-level jobs in welding.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Welding Classes Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)*|
|Massachusetts College of Art and Design||4-year, public; large city||Welding course|| $13,200 in-state
|Massachusetts Maritime Academy||4-year, public; mid-sized suburb|| Introduction to Welding I,
Introduction to Welding II,
Structural All Position Plate Certification Prep Lab
| $9,728 in-state
|Southeastern Technical Institute||Less than 2-year, public; large suburb|| Basic Welding,
Basic Metal Fabrication,
Basic Blueprint Reading for Welders
|Wentworth Institute of Technology||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Certificate of Achievement in Welding||$33,950|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator