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Welding and Fabrication

Welding and Fabrication - AAS - 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.

Student Chapter of the American Welding Society (AWS)

To learn more about Bellingham Technical College programs you’re interested in, join us for a Virtual Program Info Session. Prior sign up is required. If you do not see an Info Session for the program you’re interested in, email outreach@btc.edu for more information.

Employment Information

83% BTC graduate placement rate

$39,042 starting annual wage
$48,422 average annual wage
$60,195 potential annual wage
  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    BTC graduate employment rates:
    The graduate employment rate reflects placement rates of students who graduated from BTC in 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17. The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Data Linking for Outcomes Assessment database pulls from Unemployment Insurance (UI) data across Washington and Oregon. UI data do not reflect BTC graduates who (a) are employed in states beyond those listed above or outside of the United States, (b) are self-employed, (c) are active duty members of the armed forces, (d) continued on to another educational institution, and/or (e) did not provide a social security number while enrolled at BTC.

    Wages:
    Washington State Employment Security Department 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates ( esd.wa.gov) reflect 2014-2017 employment

    Starting annual wage = 25th percentile
    Average annual wage = 50th percentile
    Potential annual wage = 75th percentile

Estimated Program Costs

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.

Pre-Program Course Requirements

It is highly recommended that students take these courses prior to program entry:

  • CMST& 210 Interpersonal Communications.
  • AENGL 100 Applied English
  • AMATH 100 Applied Occupational Math

What are My Next Steps?

Classes

Total Program Credits: 109

  • General Education Core Courses

  • AMATH 100Applied Occupational Math5 CR
  • AENGL 100Applied English5 CR
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communications5 CR

  • TOTAL General Education Course Credits
    15 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
  • 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 Specialty

  • WLD 205Print Reading II - Pipe3 CR
  • WLD 210SMAW II6 CR
  • WLD 211SMAW III6 CR
  • WLD 213Print Reading III3 CR
  • WLD 215SMAW Pipe6 CR
  • WLD 256Pipe Fabrication I6 CR
  • WLD 230FCAW II3 CR
  • WLD 257Pipe Fabrication II5 CR
  • WLD 262 GTAW Pipe Welding4 CR
  • WLD 271Welder Testing6 CR

  • TOTAL Specialty Course Credits
    48 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 79% of BTC students in the Welding Technology Program are employed within nine months of graduation. The average annual wage in this field is $48,737, with an earning potential of about $58,105 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

Photo of Russell Jones
Russell Jones

Test

  • 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)

Photo of Coly Rush
Coly Rush

Photo of Rachael Wright
Rachael Wright

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Kyle Miller

Photo of Sam Schmidt
Sam Schmidt