How Long Does It Take To Become A Professional Welder?

Deciding to jump into a new career, whether as a fresh-faced student or skilled professional seeking a change, always comes with multiple questions. Among the most common ones is: “How long will it take?” 


If you’re eyeing a career in welding, we are looking into just how long it typically takes to become a professional welder.

What To Expect From Welding Training

Here’s what to expect when learning how to become a welder.

Length of Training Programs

Welding is a skilled occupation that requires proper training. While some community colleges offer welding courses, there are also institutions like ETI School of Skilled Trades that specifically specialize in training students for careers in occupations like professional welding.


Welding training programs can vary in length, but you can generally expect to dedicate anywhere from 6 to 18 months. In ETI’s welding program, for example, you can complete training in as little as seven months.

Curriculum Content

What will you learn during this time? Training covers welding fundamentals with information on different welding processes like shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), gas metal arc welding (GMAW), and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW).


Additionally, you’ll learn about safety precautions, how to read blueprints, and the different approaches required by different types of metals.

Post-Training: Certification and Job Placement

Welding Certification

Once you have completed your training program, the next step is usually certification. Various bodies, such as the American Welding Society (AWS), offer certifications to welders, but the type of certification you’ll need can depend on the job you want.


To become a certified welder, you’ll have to pass a welding test. Keep in mind that the certification process can take several weeks to a few months, depending on the specific certification.

Landing Your First Welding Job

After obtaining your training and certification, it’s time for job hunting — an exciting yet challenging process.


ETI offers a unique employer-graduate match program that assists students in finding positions with local companies.

Experience and Progression

Gaining Experience

Like any profession, welding becomes easier and more fulfilling as you gain more experience.


Over time, you will sharpen your skills, understand different welding equipment better, and learn how to solve welding-related problems more efficiently.


A period of 1-3 years is often needed to reach the point where you feel truly efficient and confident as a welder.

Career Advancement Opportunities

With additional years of experience, top-notch welders find themselves in roles such as welding inspectors or supervisors.


It’s a journey, but if you’re committed, the climb up the ladder can be incredibly rewarding.

Ready to Ignite Your Welding Career?

If you’re ready to spark up your career as a welder, remember that it all starts with quality education.


ETI School of Skilled Trades offers a comprehensive welding program that teaches you the necessary techniques, safety procedures, and the ins and outs of the profession. Local employers know and trust our welding school in Chicago and keep coming back to hire ETI graduates.


Ready to get started? Join our welding program today.