One of the best decisions you can make is to become a welder in California. For one thing, the welding job employment outlook is great in California. Also, welding jobs pay higher in this neck of the United States. So, if you’re looking for a good technical trade school, The 52 Top Welding Schools For Certification In California is for you. 

How to Get Your AWS Welding Certification in California

First, you need certification from the American Welding Society (AWS). To do this, you’ll need training at a welding school with accreditation from the AWS. At school, you’ll learn through classroom instruction and hands-on learning.

After completing a welding program, it’s time to take your welding certification test. Although the locations vary, they are often right at the school itself. During the test, a board of examiners will ask you to demonstrate proficiency in standard skills.

For information about the AWS’s standards, visit their Standards page.

How long does it take to get a welding certification?

Understandably, most students are eager to know how long it will take to obtain a welding certification. Simply put, there isn’t an exact length of time. Each welding school’s program is slightly different. However, it’s usually less than 2 years.

Video: Why You Should Become a Welder

The following video is a quick inspiration for getting your welding certification:

Top Welding Schools for Certification in California:
Welding Certification Programs 

In the following sections, we’ve included all 52 welding programs in California. Currently, each one has approval from the American Welding Society’s SENSE Accreditation Program.

Common Types of Welding Certification Classes

The school’s programs in the list below provide classes in:

Welding School Requirements

Generally, the only admission requirement is having a high school diploma or your GED.

However, some schools only require students to have completed the tenth grade. In this case, high school students may attend vocational classes at the same time they’re finishing high school.

Best Welding Schools in California
Here, a worker welds a steel beam on a California home.

Best Welding Schools in Northern California

Since many residents are looking specifically for the top welding schools in Northern California, we’ve compiled a brief list to help you on your search.

Here are 5 pipe welding schools for certification in Northern California:

  1. First, there’s the Cal-Trade Welding School in Modesto, California.
  2. Another welding school in Northern California is the Allied Welding School in Richmond.
  3. The third pipe welding school in Northern California, GK Welding School, is also located in Richmond.
  4. To attend the welding school in Freemont, try Cal Weld.
  5. Additionally, Sierra College has an excellent Welding Technology program in Northern California.

For more welding classes in Northern California, keep scrolling for the list of 52 Top Welding Schools for Certification in California: Contact Info & Locations.

Best Welding Schools in Southern California

On the other side, many potential students are looking for welding courses in Southern California. Therefore, we’ve started a short list.

Here are 4 welding schools in Southern California:

  1. To get your welding certification in Bakersfield, try the John Lopez Welding School.
  2. Alternatively, you may wish to attend the Welding Skills Test and Training Center in Rancho Cucamonga.
  3. Another good welding school in Southern California is the Elite Welding Academy.
  4. Fourth on the list is Precision Welding & Fabrication, Inc.

Now, these are just 4 starting points. In the section below, you’ll find a full list of the 52 Top Welding Schools for Certification in California.

The 52 Top Welding Schools for Certification in California: 
Contact Info & Locations

Below, you’ll find a complete directory to welding schools in California.

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Underwater Welding Schools in California

In sum, there are two underwater welding schools for certification in California.

  1. First, there’s Santa Barbara City College. This underwater welding school offers an Associate in Science Degree and/or a Certificate in Marine Technology. Both will equip you for careers in commercial diving.
  2. Another option is the National University Polytechnic Institute. Here, you can take the Diving Medical Technician or Non-Destructive Testing programs.

To learn more about underwater welding classes near you, see The Best Underwater Welding Schools Near Me in the United States.

Underwater Welding Schools in California

Welding Employment Outlook in California

Overall, the employment outlook for welders in California is incredible. In fact, welding jobs and salaries keep getting better.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, welding careers should grow by about 6% between 2016 and 2026. In other words, there’ll be about 22,500 more welding jobs by 2026.

How Much do Welders Make in California?

Simply put, Californian welders make more. On average, welders in California earn a median salary of $43,840 per year. In other words, this is $21.08 per hour. Comparatively, the national median average is $39,390 per year. (Or $18.94 per hour).

Nationally, welders in the top 10% of median pay make more than $62,100 annually. In contrast, welders in the top 10% of median pay in California make more than $65,490. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2016.)

As you can see, it pays to attend one of the Top Welding Schools for Certification in California.

The Best Welding Supplies Online for Students

Since welding involves working with extreme heat, it’s important to have quality welding equipment.

Below, you’ll find links to product reviews for the best welding supplies online. Because it’s better to do your research and spend your hard earned cash on worthwhile equipment!

Reviews of 8 Essential Welding Supplies for Students

  1. Steel Toed Welding Work Boots
  2. Welding Caps
  3. Best Welding Gloves
  4. Auto Darkening Welding Helmet
  5. Best Welding Shirts
  6. Top-Rated Welding Sleeves

Welding Schools in Southern California

Important Welding Safety Tips

As always, safety comes first in welding. As a matter of fact, “The Best Welding Schools for Certification in Utah” wouldn’t be complete without safety tips! After all, welding can be extremely dangerous if things go awry.

    1. First, make sure to read everything. Because equipment manuals have important warnings, reading them carefully is a great way to prevent accidents.
    1. Second, invest in the best welding gear. This includes the best auto-darkening welding helmet, gloves, glasses, jacket, and shoes. And of course, make sure your skin is covered up to protect yourself from the heat.
  1. The third most crucial welding safety tip is to be mindful of the environment. In other words, make sure the area is clean, tidy, and well-ventilated.

Looking For Welding Information On States Bordering California?

In addition to California, we suggest looking at welding classes in nearby states.


Now that you’ve finished learning about the best welding schools in California, it’s time to enroll.

If you’re interested in other technical vocations, make sure to look around the rest of Trades for Careers for inspiration.