Welding Classes in the San Francisco Bay Area with School Options

There are roughly 9 schools within the San Francisco Bay Area that have welding classes. Read an overview of these schools' programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Essential Information

In the San Francisco Bay Area, most welding courses are offered as part of undergraduate certificate and associate degree programs in welding technology. Additionally, welding can be studied as part of a program in manufacturing and metal fabrication, industrial maintenance or mechanical engineering. Welding classes also exist in sculpture and art degree programs. Many welding technology programs prepare graduates to take certification exams from the American Welding Society (AWS). Read below about 9 programs in the San Francisco Bay Area with classes in welding.


California College of the Arts

California College of the Arts (CCA) is a private fine arts school in Oakland. CCA has a Bachelor of Fine Arts program in sculpture with welding coursework that educates students in the skills used in creating bronze casting, as well as other types of sculpture. During the sculpture metal techniques class, program participants are trained in forging and blacksmithing, gas and electric welding, metal fabricating, metal cutting, forming, bending and fastening, as well as to how to work with ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

Students in the program complete workshop and studio classes, as well as perform a senior sculpture project. CCA also has a welding studio that students can use to learn welding, torch cutting and hot bending.

  • Program Offered: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $38,798*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city

Chabot College

Chabot College is located in Hayward, on the east side of the San Francisco Bay, and has associate's and certificate programs in welding. The Associate of Science (A.S.) program in welding technology helps students get ready to earn AWS certification through classes that teach skills such as welding layout and fitting, arc welding, blueprint reading and pipe installation. Students who want to achieve basic welding skills can complete a 6-course certificate program in welding, which includes many of the same classes, minus the general education requirements. Students can learn about gas tungsten arc welding, flux core arc welding and metal inert gas welding.

Those interested in inspection and pipe welding careers can earn a certificate of proficiency. The 6 courses in this program involve advanced training in welding types and methods, as well as pipe installation, pipe welding and inspection.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Science in Welding Technology,
    Certificate in Welding,
    Certificate in Inspection and Pipe Welding
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,138, in-state; $6,562, out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; midsize city

City College of San Francisco

This college, located a few miles from downtown San Francisco, offers welding coursework through programs in the school's engineering technology department. The college has an A.S. program in mechanical engineering technology that includes several electives in welding. These include manufacturing and welding processes, manufacturing blueprint reading and welding inspection technology. Students only wanting to gain an education in welding might consider the 12-credit certificate program in manufacturing and metal fabrication. This program includes the same welding courses offered in the associate's degree program and prepares students for careers in welding, fabrication and machining, as well as for possible entry into an apprentice program.

A non-credit certificate program in combination welding is also available and can be completed in 1-4 semesters. Participants learn to weld pipes, plates and sheet metal. Some of the studies include metal and tungsten inert gas, electric arc and oxyacetylene welding.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology,
    Certificate in Manufacturing and Metal Fabrication,
    Certificate in Combination Welding (non-credit)
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,238, in-state; $6,270, out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large city

Laney College

Oakland is across the bay from San Francisco and is home to Laney College, which offers several programs with courses in welding. The college's A.S. and certificate programs in welding technology include classes in engineering drawing for welders, gas tungsten arc welding, wire feed welding and acetylene welding. The 24-credit certificate and A.S. programs offer the same welding classes, with the A.S. degree program requiring the addition of general education coursework.

Laney also has a 4-month program in gas transmission pipe welding that is intended for professional welders and experienced welding students. Additionally, a 9-month interdisciplinary certificate program in industrial maintenance trains students for entry-level roles in various industrial careers that include welding. Some of the studies in this program include welding, blueprint reading and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) procedures.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Science in Welding Technology,
    Certificate in Welding Technology,
    Gas Transmission Pipe Welding Program,
    Certificate in Industrial Maintenance
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,144, in-state; $5,704, out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large city

Las Positas College

Situated in rural Livermore, Las Positas College features associate's and certificate programs in welding technology. Students in the welding technology program are trained for careers as flux core, shielded arc and research lab welders. The programs prepare students to take AWS certification exams. Some of the courses in the A.S. program teach skills such as welding layout and fitting, measurements and calculations, blueprint reading, pipe system installation and welding inspection. Students planning to pursue the 23-credit welding technology certificate program must take most of the same welding technology courses as offered in the school's A.S. program but without the general education requirements.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Science in Welding Technology,
    Certificate in Welding Technology
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,138, in-state; $6,562, out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; rural

Los Medanos College

Los Medanos College is in Pittsburg, about 30 miles from the San Francisco Bay. The college has welding technology associate's degree and certificate programs that prepare students to work in production welding. Those in the A.S. program in welding technology take 24 credits of welding coursework, in addition to general education studies. Some of those welding classes include arc welding, oxyacetylene welding and pipe welding. Students who complete the 24 credits of required welding technology coursework, but who don't complete general education courses, are eligible to earn a certificate of achievement.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Science in Welding Technology,
    Certificate in Welding Technology
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,298, in-state; $6,758, out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; midsize suburb

Napa Valley College

Napa Valley College is located north of the Bay Area in Napa and has an A.S. program, as well as a certificate program, in welding technology. The A.S. program has required classes in machine shop, technical math, physics and technical drawing, as well as general education coursework. Some of the welding classes offered teach participants about material identification and preparation, metal fabrication, layout symbols, metallurgy and finishing. The 40-credit certificate program includes many of these same classes, minus the general education requirements.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Science in Welding Technology,
    Certificate in Welding Technology
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,142, in-state; $5,942, out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; small city

Santa Rosa Junior College

This junior college, located in Santa Rosa, offers a 17.5-credit certificate program in welding technology through the school's department for industrial and trade technology. Students who complete this program could be equipped to work in ship and airline building, bridge construction, pipeline construction and automobile trades. Classes might include industrial math, machine tool technology, fundamentals of welding and welding technology. Completion of this certificate program can be accomplished in 9 months and prepares students to earn AWS certification.

  • Program Offered: Certificate in Welding Technology
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $2,759, in-state; $2,759 plus additional $199 per credit, out-of-state**
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; midsize city

Solano Community College

Fairfield is home to Solano Community College (SCC), which offers several associate's degree and certificate programs with studies in welding. The welding technician program educates learners for roles as welders and assistant welders in the metal trades. Those who complete 48 credits in the welding technician program can earn the certificate, while students who complete those credits plus general education requirements are eligible for the A.S. The required welding in this program's classes include 4 semesters of welding technology, blueprint reading, industrial processes and industrial materials. This program also offers electives that involve welding fabrication, shielded arc metal certification and wire welding certification, as well as work experience opportunities. In addition, a 9-credit career certificate program for welding equipment operators involves classes in welding equipment operation, welding fabrication, shielded metal arc certification and wire welding certification, as well as 80 hours of cooperative work experience.

SCC also offers an industrial technician welding program, which is intended for working welders who want to increase professional skills. The 23-credit certificate program has requirements in blueprint reading and industrial materials, as well as courses that can include beginning and advanced pipe welding, beginning and advanced plate welding, gas tungsten arc welding, gas metal arc welding and ornamental iron welding. An A.S. can be earned by taking the same coursework options as offered in the certificate program, along with general education classes.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Science in Welding Technician,
    Certificate in Welding Technician,
    Certificate in Welding Equipment Operation,
    Associate of Science in Industrial Technician Welding,
    Certificate in Industrial Technician Welding
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,416, in-state; $7,326, out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; rural

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Welding Classes and Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2012-2013)
California College of the Arts 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture $38,798*
Chabot College 2-year, public; midsize city Associate of Science in Welding Technology,
Certificate in Welding,
Certificate in Inspection and Pipe Welding
$1,138, in-state; $6,562, out-of-state*
City College of San Francisco 2-year, public; large city Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology,
Certificate in Manufacturing and Metal Fabrication,
Certificate in Combination Welding (non-credit)
$1,238, in-state; $6,270, out-of-state*
Laney College 2-year, public; large city Associate of Science in Welding Technology,
Certificate in Welding Technology,
Gas Transmission Pipe Welding Program,
Certificate in Industrial Maintenance
$1,144, in-state; $5,704, out-of-state*
Las Positas College 2-year, public; rural Associate of Science in Welding Technology,
Certificate in Welding Technology
$1,138, in-state; $6,562, out-of-state*
Los Medanos College 2-year, public; midsize suburb Associate of Science in Welding Technology,
Certificate in Welding Technology
$1,298, in-state; $6,758, out-of-state*
Napa Valley College 2-year, public; small city Associate of Science in Welding Technology,
Certificate in Welding Technology
$1,142, in-state; $5,942, out-of-state*
Santa Rosa Junior College 2-year, public; midsize city Certificate in Welding Technology $2,759, in-state; $2,759 plus additional $199 per credit, out-of-state**
Solano Community College 2-year, public; rural Associate of Science in Welding Technician,
Certificate in Welding Technician,
Certificate in Welding Equipment Operation,
Associate of Science in Industrial Technician Welding,
Certificate in Industrial Technician Welding
$1,416, in-state; $7,326, out-of-state*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Santa Rosa Junior College.

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