Welding & Fabrication FAQs

Listed below you will find a listing of frequently asked questions about the welding and fabrication program as well as answers to those questions. 

How long does it take to get a welding certificate? 

If one goes full-time, you can complete the WEL certificate in one year (36 Credit Hours).

Can I get an Associate Degree in Welding?

While there is not a degree for the welding program directly, we encourage those student who are interested in the degree pathway to speak with counselors about the Technological Sciences Degree.

What is the AWS SENSE LEvel 1 Program?

SENSE stands for School Excelling through National Skills Standards Education and is a comprehensive set of minimum standards and guidelines for welding education programs set forth by the American Welding Society.

Can I become a certified welder after I complete the certificate program?

We offer AWS SENSE Level 1 certificates.  While this is not the same as a 'traditional' AWS certification, having this certificate is an advantage in the industry. Take a look at the comparison chart below to see the difference between an AWS SENSE certificate and a traditional AWS certification.

   Certified Welder Certificate  SENSE Certificate

 Scope of Certification/Certificate

The Certified Welder program is a performance-based program that tests an individual's ability to successfully produce sound welds to a specific welding code, on a specific based material, within a specific range of variables, and on a specific process.

The SENSE Certificate Program verifies that an individual has attained a broad range of welding related competencies. The student is required to show competency not just in welding on various base metals and ranges, but also demonstrates understanding of welding theory and practice.


Must be conducted through an AWS Accredited Test Facility with a CWI that did not train the student recently.

Testing can be completed in the SENSE school's welding lab, or any other suitable location, and may be supervised by the SENSE Instructor, Testing Supervisor, or any other person deemed appropriate by the school.

 Written Exams

 No written exams.

The SENSE program requires that students successfully complete a series of written exams to gain the certificates. These written exams cover a wide breath of welding theory ranging from welding safety, welding process fundamentals, and even welding inspection. 

 Number of Tests

To become a Certified Welder a student must only complete a practical welding test to a specific Welding Procedure Specification (WPS)

In order to complete a SENSE Certificate Program, a student must complete all required module written examinations and practical welding assessments. The total minimum number of assessments needed to gain a single SENSE Certificate is then. Students can gain additional certificates with additional assessments.


 Every 6 months

 No renewals

Prerequisites for Certification/Certificate

In order to become a Certified Welder the student must complete a welder performance qualification test and submit an application to AWS.

In order to gain a SENSE certificate a student must complete all required module written examinations and all practical assessments.


  1. Over 50 percent of all man-made products were created by welding. Everything from automotive to the homes we live in were touched by welding.
  1. Welding is one career that is always in high demand.
  1. The concept of welding has been around for centuries. Its evidence is present in the tombs built by the Egyptians.
  1. Welders do not need college degrees to practice their trade. The do, however, need to be certified and licensed, but that is a shorter process and less expensive than a four-year program.
  1. A welder that is highly skilled and trained can earn a salary similar to what doctors and lawyers make.
  1. Traveling is a fun part of the welder’s job. They can even find themselves working on a space station or deep in the ocean!
  1. If two pieces of metal without any coating touch in space, they are joined permanently. This is called “cold welding,” and it only happens in space.
  1. The most jobs for welders can be found in manufacturing.
  1. The median age for welders is mid-fifties. Which means, in the next ten years, they will be retiring, and more welders will be needed to fill that void.
  1. Every year before NASCAR, at least 950 hours are spent working on each individual car.
  1. In 1961, GM installed the first robotic welding arm called the Unimate. It weighed two tons and was created to spot weld.
  1. During WWII, there had been such an advancement in welding that it allowed for ships to be made in hyperdrive. The quickest ship made only took four days, 15 hours, and 27 minutes. This was in 1942, and that record still holds strong today!  *www.weldingcareernow.com