Welding is a dynamic and highly skilled trade, with a growing demand for proficient welders in various industries. As more individuals recognize the value of this profession, they’re turning to welding schools in Montana to gain the knowledge and experience required for a successful career.
Montana boasts several esteemed welding schools that offer comprehensive training programs tailored to prepare students for a thriving career in welding. This article will guide you through the best welding schools in Montana, highlighting their programs, facilities, and resources to help you make an informed decision about your welding education.
What is a Welding School?
A welding school is an educational institution that offers training programs designed to teach students the skills and knowledge needed to become a welder. These programs typically cover topics such as welding safety, welding techniques, welding metallurgy, and welding fabrication.
Welding schools may offer programs at various levels, including certificate programs, associate degree programs, and bachelor’s degree programs.
Welding schools may be standalone institutions specializing in welding education or be part of larger technical or vocational schools. Some welding schools may also offer apprenticeship programs, which provide students with on-the-job training and experience working alongside experienced welders.
Many welding schools across the United States, including several in Montana, offer comprehensive training programs designed to prepare students for a successful career in welding. Programs may vary in length and scope, but all aim to provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in the welding industry.
How to Become a Certified Welder in Montana
Typically, the only admission requirement is having a high school diploma or your GED if you want to enroll in the welding program, with a few schools only requiring at least the tenth grade to be completed. A high school diploma combined with technical and on-the-job training is required to become a certified welder.
Related Article: How to Become a Certified Welder?
Where Can a Certified Welder Work in Montana?
Some of Montana’s top industries for welders include construction, manufacturing, and repair and maintenance. Welding companies in Montana offer services such as fabrication, welding repair, custom welding, and welding equipment rentals.
Additionally, welding schools in Montana provide training and certification for welders to work in various industries, including agriculture, construction, and transportation.
What is the Average Welder’s Salary in Montana?
According to data from Indeed, the average wage per hour for a welder in Montana is $26.14, which translates to a median salary of $54,360 annually based on a 40-hour workweek. Salary.com reports a slightly higher average annual salary of $40,428 for a Welder I in Montana.
CareerExplorer reports that the average salary for a welder in Montana is around $46,640 per year, with wages typically starting from $31,200 and going up to $62,520.
It’s important to note that median pay for welders in Montana can vary based on various factors, including experience, certifications, and location. Welders with more experience and certifications may earn higher salaries.
Questions to Ask Before Enrolling in a Welding School in Montana
When choosing a welding school, several factors must be considered to ensure that you receive quality training and education. Considering these factors, you can select a welding school that provides the education and training you need to succeed in the welding industry. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Look for accredited schools accredited by recognized organizations such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges or the American Welding Society. Accreditation ensures that the school meets certain standards for education and training.
Consider the types of welding programs the school offers, such as certificate programs, associate degree programs, or bachelor’s degree programs. Also, consider the specific welding processes and techniques covered in the program and whether they align with your career goals.
Faculty and Facilities
Research the qualifications and experience of the faculty members and the quality of the school’s facilities, including the welding equipment and technology available for student use.
Look for schools that offer career services such as job placement assistance, resume writing, and interview preparation to help you succeed in your welding career after graduation.
Cost and Financial Aid
Consider the cost of tuition and fees for the program and whether the school offers financial aid or scholarships to help offset the cost of attendance.
Do You Need a License to Be a Welder in Montana?
In Montana, welders do not need a license to practice their profession. However, many employers prefer to hire certified welders who have completed a welding program and obtained certification from a recognized organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS).
Certification from AWS is not mandatory but can increase employment opportunities and earning potential for welders.
Related Article: How Long does it take to become a welder?
A List of the Best Welding Colleges and Universities in Montana
Montana is home to several excellent welding schools that offer comprehensive training programs for students interested in pursuing a career in welding. These schools offer a range of welding programs that cover various welding techniques, safety procedures, and fabrication skills.
The top schools in the list below provide classes in welding methods such as Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (TIG), Shielded Metal Arc Welding (Stick), or Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG), ensuring that you get the training you want.
These Montana welding schools offer high-quality welding certificates and associate of applied science degrees. Here are some of the best welding schools for certification in Montana approved by the American Welding Society’s SENSE Accreditation Program.
The University of Montana (UM) is a public research university in Missoula, Montana. Its welding program takes two years to complete and leads to an associate’s degree in welding technology. The program also offers certifications in welding processes such as MIG, TIG, and Stick welding.
One of the strengths of the welding program at UM is its focus on research and innovation. The university has a strong research program focuses on developing new welding techniques and technologies. This research is integrated into the welding program, allowing students to learn about the latest advancements in the field of welding.
Another strength of the welding program at UM is its interdisciplinary approach. The program is designed to integrate welding with other fields, such as engineering, physics, and materials science. This interdisciplinary approach gives students a broader understanding of welding and its applications.
Dawson Community College (DCC) is a public community college in Glendive, Montana, offering a welding technology program to prepare students for entry-level welding jobs in the construction, manufacturing, and repair industries. The college stands out as being the first school in the state of Montana to offer aluminum welding classes.
The program offers a certificate in welding and covers various welding processes, including MIG, TIG, stick, and flux-cored welding. Students in the program receive hands-on training in welding techniques and instruction in welding safety, pipe welding, blueprint reading, and welding symbols.
A strength of the welding program at DCC is its affordability. The college offers a range of financial aid options to help students pay for their education. This makes the welding program at DCC accessible to students who may be unable to afford the cost of other welding programs.
The welding program at DCC also offers a range of support services to help students succeed. These services include academic advising, tutoring, and career services. The college has a strong network of industry partners who provide students with internship and job opportunities.
FVCC is a public community college located in Kalispell. Flathead Valley Community College’s Fabrication and Welding Program provides students with hands-on training in welding and metal fabrication techniques.
The program offers a certificate and an associate degree in fabrication and welding and covers various welding processes, including MIG, TIG, and stick welding. The college has modern welding facilities, including welding booths, machines, and tools.
MSUN is a public university located in Havre. The university offers a welding technology program that covers topics such as welding safety, welding processes, welding metallurgy, and welding fabrication. The program takes 9 months to complete and leads to an associate degree in welding technology.
The program also offers certifications in welding processes such as MIG, TIG, and Stick welding. The instructors at MSUN are experienced welders who have worked in the industry for many years. The university has modern welding facilities, including welding booths, machines, and tools.
Gallatin College is a public community college in Bozeman, Montana that offers a welding technology program for students interested in pursuing a career in welding and metal fabrication.
Gallatin College’s Welding Technology Program offers an associate degree in welding technology and covers various welding processes, including MIG, TIG, and stick welding.
The welding program at Gallatin College also offers a range of support services including academic advising, tutoring, and career services. The college has a strong network of industry partners who provide students with internship and job opportunities.
Helena College University of Montana (HCUM) is a public community college in Helena, Montana that offers a welding technology program for students interested in pursuing a career in welding and metal fabrication. The program takes two years to complete and leads to an associate degree in welding technology. The program also offers certifications in welding processes such as MIG, TIG, and Stick welding.
One of the strengths of the welding program at HCUM is its focus on practical training. Students can work in the welding lab and gain hands-on experience in welding and metal fabrication. This practical training is essential for students who want to succeed in the welding industry.
Another strength of the welding program at HCUM is its flexibility. The program is designed to accommodate the needs of students working or having other commitments. Students can attend classes full-time or part-time, depending on their schedule.
GFC MSU is a public community college located in Great Falls. The college offers a welding technology program that takes two years to complete and leads to an associate degree in welding technology. The program also offers certifications in welding processes such as MIG, TIG, and Stick welding.
The instructors at GFC MSU are experienced welders who have worked in the industry for many years. The college has modern welding facilities, including welding booths, machines, and tools.
Choosing the right welding school is crucial for anyone looking to pursue a career in welding. Accreditation, program offerings, faculty, facilities, career services, and cost are some of the key factors to consider when selecting a welding school.
By carefully considering these factors, aspiring welders can find a welding school that provides the education, training, and career opportunities they need to succeed in the welding industry.