Welding and Fabricating Technology

Welding and Fabricating Technology - AAS-T - Pipe Specialization

Any industry that creates goods and structures from metal will rely on skilled welders to create strong products, whether in aerospace, automotive, or construction fields. Turning ideas and materials into valuable products takes highly skilled employees who are trained in such specialized areas as welding technology. BTC’s degrees and certificates in the Welding Technology Program are ideal for students with mechanical aptitude or a strong foundation in math, science, and technology.

Prepare for your welding career through BTC’s Welding Technology Program. You will get premier job training for skills in high demand by the metal and construction trades for work as a welder, cutter, or welding machine operator. Students choose to specialize in one of two areas: structural steel fabrication or pipe welding.

In our state-of-the-art welding and fabrication facility, you’ll learn valuable skills that high-wage employers are looking for. From safety practices and blueprint reading to technical skills like metallurgy, MIG, and TIG welding, BTC’s hands-on job training will prepare you for a career in boat manufacturing, steel manufacturing, refining, and transportation, or with federal, state, or local governments.

Employment Information

Data are provided on a program (not credential) level

94% BTC graduate placement rate1

$51,971 starting annual wage2
$66,970 average annual wage2
$86,396 potential annual wage2

Tuition Fees and Rates

  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    1Employment data come from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and reflect WA/OR employment for students enrolled at BTC between 2017-18 and 2019-20. Students are included in the employment rate if they left with a credential. Rates are not shown for programs with fewer than 10 students meeting the above criteria.

    2Whatcom County and WA State wage data come from Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) 2021 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates and reflect 2018-21 employment. Wage data represent occupations that BTC faculty have identified as the most relevant career paths for program graduates. Note that these wages reflect employees with varying educational levels/credentials. For cases in which multiple occupations have been identified by faculty, a weighted percentile is calculated using each occupation’s percentile wage and employment size estimate. Wages are not shown for programs for which occupations do not meet the ESD’s minimum thresholds for publishing. If the program has wage data from the Washington SBCTC that involves shift work, these ESD wages reflect the same number of hours used in the annual wage calculation. Starting wage = 25th percentile, median wage = 50th percentile, wage potential = 75th percentile.

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

This program typically starts in Fall Quarter.

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

Admissions application and assessment testing in Reading, Math and Writing is required. Your score on the test and/or your previous transcripts will determine where you begin your course sequence. Contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at admissions@btc.edu for assistance with academic planning.

What are My Next Steps?


Total Program Credits: 114

  • Current Students: Learn how to use this page to register for classes

  • General Education Core Courses

  • MATH& 107Math in Society5 CR
  • OR higher
  • ENGL& 101English Composition I5 CR
  • PSYC& 100General Psychology5 CR
  • Humanities, Social Science, or Natural Science5 CR

  • TOTAL General Education Course Credits
    20 CR
  • Program Core

  • WLD 101Welding Safety2 CR
  • WLD 105Thermal Cutting Processes4 CR
  • WLD 106Print Reading I2 CR
  • WLD 110SMAW I4 CR
  • WLD 116SMAW Practice2 CR
  • WLD 120GMAW I4 CR
  • WLD 121GMAW Aluminum I4 CR
  • WLD 130FCAW I4 CR
  • WLD 131FCAW Practice2 CR
  • WLD 140GTAW I4 CR
  • WLD 141GTAW Aluminum I4 CR
  • WLD 150Introduction to Metal Fabricating4 CR

  • TOTAL Core Course Credits
    40 CR
  • Program Specialty

  • WLD 205Print Reading II - Pipe3 CR
  • WLD 210SMAW II6 CR
  • WLD 213Print Reading III3 CR
  • WLD 215SMAW Pipe6 CR
  • WLD 230FCAW II3 CR
  • WLD 256Pipe Fabrication I6 CR
  • WLD 257Pipe Fabrication II5 CR
  • WLD 262 GTAW Pipe Welding4 CR
  • WLD 271Welder Testing6 CR

  • TOTAL Specialty Course Credits
    48 CR
  • Electives

  • WLD 291Capstone Project I3 CR
  • WLD 292Capstone Project II3 CR
  • WLD 293Welding Internship I3 CR
  • WLD 294Welding Internship II6 CR

  • TOTAL Elective Course Credits
    6 CR

Program Outcomes

When you successfully complete BTC’s Welding Technology Program, you will be fully prepared to:

  • Exhibit & maintain essential employability behaviors.
  • Observe and practice industry safety guidelines.
  • Analyze and interpret prints, drawings, and symbols for welding and fabrication of parts and structures.
  • Achieve competency in a variety of major manual and semi-automatic welding processes in all positions.
  • Demonstrate proper set-up and use of welding and fabricating equipment.
  • Troubleshoot and solve basic welding, fabricating and equipment problems.
  • Pass at least one WABO certification or industry-accepted certification welding test (ASME, AWS, ABS, etc.).
  • Exhibit knowledge of occupational environments, metallurgy, materials, tools, fabrication, layout, and mechanical and thermal cutting processes and techniques.
  • Demonstrate appropriate oral and written communication with customers, co-workers, and supervisors.
  • Analyze and interpret prints and drawings for welding and fabricating.
  • Employ efficient organizational skills.
  • Stay current with new and emerging technologies.

Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities for welders are expected to increase. Employment opportunities for welders, cutters, and welding machine operators differ by occupational specialty. But up-to-date job training will lead to good employment opportunities, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

About 84% of BTC students in the Welding Technology Program are employed within nine months of graduation. The average annual wage in this field is $41,461, with an earning potential of about $53,978 per year.

While at BTC, you can be active in the Student Chapter of the American Welding Society (AWS) to begin networking and interacting with professionals in the welding and fabricating fields.

Welders are employed in various areas of business and industry that require working with different types of metal for either manufacturing, repair, or cutting. Nationally, nine out of ten welders and cutters are employed in manufacturing, services, construction, or wholesale trade.

Typical places of employment include sheet metal fabrication companies, energy service companies, steel manufacturing companies, refineries, fence and iron companies, transportation, heating and plumbing companies, various unions, federal, state and municipal government, and self-employment. Potential positions include welder, cutter, welding machine tender, welding machine operator, foreman, and leadman.

Faculty & Support


  • Degrees and Credentials

    AWS-Certified Welding Inspector (CWI)

    WA Professional Technical Certification

    AWS-Certified Welding Educator (CWE)

    Ironworkers Local #509

    U.S. Navy HT-Hull Maintenance Technician

    ICC-Structural Steel and Welding Inspector

    WABO-Weld Examiner

    WABO-Structural steel and Welding Inspector

    WABO-Certified Welder

    AWS-Certified Radiographic Interpreter (CRI)