Welding Classes in California (Top Schools)

Californians who like working with their hands might find welding an ideal occupation.

Welders have many employment options in California and get paid well too.

We prepared a list of the best welding schools in California if this is something you see yourself doing but don’t really know where to start.

Becoming a Certified Welder in California

To become a welder you need to attend a training school what was approved by the American Welding Society (AWS) and obtain their diploma.

The training has 2 parts: theoretical notions and practice.

When the training ends you must pass a test that is usually organized at the school you attended.

The official AWS website has more information about these tests in which you must prove your proficiency in welding.

How Long Is The Training?

Nobody really wants to start a class without knowing for how long it lasts.

There’s no standard period of time for a welder’s training, though it’s sure to last less than 24 months.

California’s Welding Schools

In this section, you’ll find all the locations approved to offer training for welders along with some additional information.

Common Classes

You should know that it’s possible for the programs to have slight differences.

However, these classes are the most common:

  • MIG
  • TIG


Most welding schools expect their future students to have a high school or a GED diploma.

Rarely, those who finished just 10th grade are also accepted, and these pupils have the possibility of finishing high school at the same time.

Best Schools in Northern California

Our list of Californian welding schools is pretty long, so if you want a list of schools found in the Northen part of the state, we have that too.

Top 5 welding schools in Northern California:

  1. Cal-Trade Welding School in Modesto, California.
  2. Allied Welding School in Richmond.
  3. GK Welding School, in Richmond.
  4. Cal Weld in Freemont.
  5. Sierra College.

Best Schools in Southern California

We also prepared a list of the best schools in Southern California, if you prefer this region.

Top 4 schools in Southern California:

  1. John Lopez Welding School in Bakersfield.
  2. Welding Skills Test and Training Center in Rancho Cucamonga.
  3. Elite Welding Academy in Southern California.
  4. Precision Welding & Fabrication, Inc.

Here is the complete list of welding schools across the state:

52 Welding Schools in California

School NameAddress
American River College4700 College Oak Dr, Sacramento, CA 95841, USA
Bakersfield College Bookstore1801 Panorama Dr. bakersfield, CA 93305 United States
Brawley Union High School480 N. Imperial Ave. Brawley, CA 92227 United States
Butte Glenn Community College3536 Butte Campus Dr. Oroville, CA 95965 United States
Camp PendletonPO Box 55226 BLDG 2411 Camp Pendleton, CA 92055 United States
Center For Employment Training294 S. 3rd St. El Centro, CA 92243 United States
Center For Employment Training (Cet)4153 Market Street Suite C San Diego, CA 92102 United States
Central Santa Clara Regional Occupation Agency760 Hillsdale Ave. San Jose, CA 95136 United States
Cerro Coso Community College-Indian Wells Valley3000 College Heights BLVD Ridgecrest, CA 95650 United States
Chaffey High School1245 N Euclid Ave. Ontario, CA 91762 United States
Clovis West High School1070 E. Teague Fresno, CA 93720 United States
College Of The Canyons26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd. Santa Clarita, CA 91355 United States
College Of The Sequoias4999 E. Bardsley Ave. Tulare, CA 93274 United States
College Of The Siskiyous800 College Ave. Weed, Ca 90506 United States
Columbia College11600 Columbia College Drive Sonora, CA 95370 United States
El Camino College - Compton Center1111 East Artesia Blvd Compton, CA 90221 United States
ETMS Educational Technical14376 Torrey Pine Dr. Auburn, CA 95602 United States
Fcc Lompoc3901 Klein BLVD Lompoc, CA 93436 United States
FCI Herlong741-925 Herlong Access Road A-25 Herlong CA 96113 United States
FCI Herlong Vt Welding741-925 Herlong Access Road A-25 Herlong, CA 96113 United States
Five Keys Charter School23900 The Old Road, Building A Castaic, CA 91384 United States
Fontana High School9453 Citrus Ave. Fontana, CA 92335 United States
Fullerton College321 East Chapman Ave. Fullerton, CA 92632 United States
Grossmont Union High School Dist924 E. Main St. El Cajon, CA 92021 United States
Hanford West High School1150 W Lacey Blvd Hanford, CA 93230 United States
Harbor Occupational Center740 N. Pacific Ave. San Pedro, CA 90731 United States
Hartnell College - Welding Technology156 Homestead Ave. Salinas, CA 93901 United States
Imperial Valley College380 E. Aten Rd. Imperial, CA 92251 United States
Inland Empire Job Corps Center3173 Kerry St. San Bernardino, CA 92407 United States
Las Positas College3000 Campas Hill Drive Livermore, CA 94551 United States
Lassen Community College478-200 HWY 139 Susanville, CA 96130 United States
Long Beach City College-Pacific Coast Campus1305 E. Pacific Coast HWY Long Beach, CA 90806 United States
Los Angeles Trade Tech College400 W. Washington BLVD Los Angeles, CA 90015 United States
Madera Community College Center30277 Ave 12 Madera, CA 93638 United States
Maxine Waters Employment Ctr. #410925 S. Central Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90059 United States
Mendocino College Via Ukiah High School1000 Hensley Creek Rd. Ukiah, CA 95482 United States
Merced Community College3600 M St. Merced, CA 95348 United States
North Orange County R.O.P385 N. Muller St. Anaheim, CA 92801 United States
Palomar College1140 West Mission Rd. San Marcos, CA 92069 United States
Riverside Community College4800 Magnolia Ave. Riverside, CA 92506-1299 United States
Salinas Valley Welding School1520-A Meridian Road Salinas, CA 93907 United States
San Bernardino Valley College701 South Mount Vernon San Bernardino, CA 92410 United States
San Diego Job Corps1325 Iris Ave. Imperial Beach, CA 91932 United States
Shasta Tehama Trinity Community College11555 Old Oregan Trail Redding, CA 96049 United States
Southcoast Welding Institute2591 Faivre St. Chula Vista, CA 91911 United States
Summit College965 South Mt. Vernon Colton, CA 92324 United States
Temescal Canyon High School Welding Program28755 El Toro Rd. Lake Elsinore, CA 92592 United States
The Fab School9571 Pittsburgh Ave. Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730 United States
Universal Technical Institute9494 Haven Ave. Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730 United States
Ventura College Library4667 Telegraph Road Ventura, CA 93002 United States
Victor Valley Community College18422 Bear Valley Rd, Victorville, CA 92392 United States
Welding Skills Test and Training Center, Inc.9216 Center Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730 United States

Popular Program: Underwater Welding in California

Those who want to work as underwater welders have few training options across the country.

California has only 2 such schools:

Santa Barbara City College

There are 2 degrees available at this college, and you can get both if you really want to:

  • Associate in Science Degree
  • Certificate in Marine Technology

Both of these programs are perfect for those who like diving and want a career in welding

National University Polytechnic Institute

Here, there are 2 programs you can get enrolled in:

  • Diving medical technician
  • Non-destructive tester

Salary for a Welder in California

There are many employment opportunities for welders in California and their salary is good too.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects there will be an increased demand for welders at least until 2026.

It’s predicted there will be some 22,500 new job offers for these professionals, by that year.

The median salary for a welder in California is $44,159 per year.

This is higher than the $39,533 median national salary for a welder, per year.

Additionally, the top 10% welders earn around $45,418 per year, whereas the same segment of welders in California can earn around $50,731 annually.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Certified Welders in California

City NameSalary
Los Angeles$44,711
San Diego$42,505
San Jose$48,231
San Francisco$49,812
Long Beach$44,080
Santa Ana$44,119
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Bakersfield, CA910$56,470$27.15$84,060$36,300
Chico, CA220$50,470$24.27$60,680$36,340
El Centro, CA120$50,700$24.37$65,090$31,360
Fresno, CA880$48,020$23.09$60,040$36,510
Hanford-Corcoran, CA60$47,840$23$62,840$35,910
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA9,890$53,660$25.8$74,880$37,050
Madera, CA110$49,740$23.91$64,740$34,900
Merced, CA250$49,090$23.6$60,980$34,840
Modesto, CA550$53,070$25.51$72,480$38,700
Napa, CA100$56,870$27.34$75,280$36,660
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA670$51,840$24.92$71,240$37,950
Redding, CA130$52,580$25.28$67,770$36,720
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA4,030$50,290$24.18$64,050$36,760
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA1,800$56,070$26.96$73,990$39,450
Salinas, CA200$54,490$26.2$72,800$39,220
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA3,330$57,290$27.55$73,560$38,890
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA2,760$63,000$30.29$80,900$44,820
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA1,470$64,880$31.19$90,400$45,190
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA220$55,210$26.54$73,520$38,440
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA120$58,300$28.03$104,720$38,370
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA260$54,170$26.04$73,880$37,550
Santa Rosa, CA350$58,620$28.18$77,060$39,310
Stockton-Lodi, CA710$50,020$24.05$63,430$37,330
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA350$65,060$31.28$101,020$40,380
Visalia-Porterville, CA420$47,380$22.78$60,230$35,670
Yuba City, CA150$50,720$24.39$65,920$38,590
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers, OCC 51-4121, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Safety Tips

Being a welder can be dangerous, therefore it’s important to pay attention to your safety and that of those around.

Here are some tips:

  • Learn how each tool works by reading its instructions booklet.
  • Buy quality equipment if you want it to last and do its job properly, no matter it’s gloves, helmet, shoes or face protecting gear.
  • Make sure your eyes and skin are well protected.
  • To avoid accidents, make sure the space you work in or store your tools, is always clean and tidy.

Final Thoughts

Welding is a rewarding career with many employment possibilities and very easy to get into in California, thanks to the many schools offering such training.

It’s time you decide if you want to become a welder and enroll!

Good luck!

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