How Long Does it Take to Become a Welder?

How Long Does it Take to Become a Welder in Missouri?

Welders play an important role in the mechanical trades, fusing the metal joints necessary for everything from skyscrapers to scooters. It’s skilled work that can have safety consequences if not done right, which is why some employers require welding certification for particular jobs, and many employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed technical training. 

The time it takes to earn these credentials depends on the type of welder training program and certification you’re looking for. Typically, welding training ranges between 7 months and 2 years of hands-on instruction, depending on the program you choose. 

If you’re considering different welding schools in Missouri, this article will provide more information to help you find the right welding training program for you.

Welder Definition

Welding professionals use over 100 different processes; many of them involve the application of heat to permanently join metal parts. They primarily work in the manufacturing industry, for specialty trade contractors, in repair and maintenance shops, or for merchant wholesalers. 

Read more: “What is a Welder?

How Much Do Welders Make In Missouri?

While the welding salary in Missouri is subject to change with economic conditions, the annual mean wage of welders in Missouri was $45,700 in May 2021. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the median annual salary for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers in the U.S. was $47,010 in May 2021. 

In 2022, Stacker consulted the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook to compile a list of the highest paying jobs in Springfield, MO for high school graduates that don’t require a college degreeand welding was on the list. If you’re a high schooler interested in welding as a career path, check out MTI’s Career Nights throughout the school year. It’s an opportunity for local high school seniors to get hands-on experience in the weld shop and explore what it would be like to be a welding student at MTI. MTI also hosts an annual High School Welding Competition in Springfield, MO for high school juniors and seniors to compete for MTI scholarship opportunities. 

Growing populations have historically created a need for additional infrastructure, meaning career opportunities are anticipated to grow long term. Specifically, welding is projected to grow by 8% from 2020 to 2030, equating to about 49,200 openings on average in the U.S. for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers projected each year over the decade.

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How to Become a Welder in Missouri

The path to becoming a welder can vary; however, due to employer preferences and requirements, attending welding school in Missouri and earning industry certifications are two common steps. 

Entry-level career opportunities can widely vary in the welding industry. For example, some welders start out as laborers, and the on-the-job training they earn allows them to advance in the field without ever attending a welding training program at a vocational or trade school. However, starting as a laborer and becoming a welder through on-the-job training can take years. 

Also, although some employers may be willing to hire inexperienced entry-level workers and train them on the job, many prefer to hire workers who already have training, credentials, and certifications. Employers usually want someone with training, because even welders with formal training still often have to receive several additional months of on-the-job training and in some cases certifications, depending on their employer. By attending a welding school in Missouri like MTI, students receive the hands-on skills training needed to pursue entry-level welding jobs in Springfield, Missouri.

How to Become a Certified Welder

  • Step 1 (Required): Earn your high school diploma or GED. Courses in blueprint reading, shop mathematics, and mechanical drawing are recommended. If your high school offers a welding course, you can get hands-on experience that will help build your skills and prepare you for additional training.

  • Step 2 (Required or Preferred by Most Employers): Complete a post-secondary welding training program in Missouri. MTI’s Welding Program is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools & Colleges (ACCSC) and includes hands-on training in several welding processes, including Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), Gas Tungsten Arc Gas Welding (GTAW/TIG), Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW/MIG), and Flux Core Arc Welding (FCAW).

  • Step 3 (Required in Some States & Preferred by Employers): You can earn general certifications from professional organizations, such as the American Welding Society. At MTI, welding students will earn MTI welding certifications in several welding processes, including SMAW, GTAW, and FCAW.

  • Step 4 (Varies by Employer): There are some employers who are willing to hire inexperienced welders and train them on the job, but most employers prefer to hire welders who have completed a welding training program. MTI prepares students to enter the welding industry at the entry-level, and most entry-level welders will also receive several months of on-the-job training.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Welding Certification in Missouri?

It’s important to note that becoming a certified welder can take anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on the training path a welder chooses. For example, different Missouri welding schools have different program lengths. MTI offers two welding training programs, a 7- month Welding Program and a 10-month Welding & Pipefitting Program, which includes an additional 10-weeks of pipefitter training. 

MTI’s welding school in Missouri certifies students in specific welding processes, including Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), Gas Tungsten Arc Gas Welding (GTAW/TIG), Flux Core Arc Welding (FCAW) and Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW/MIG).

There are several types of welder certification available to welders across the country. Although certification is not required to become a welder in Missouri or anywhere else in the United States, it can be beneficial to welders as they enter the job market. 

Once in the field, welding job applicants typically test and certify with their employer, which helps employers determine a welder’s skill level. Employers may also prefer to hire candidates with welder certifications from independent organizations, such as the American Welding Society (AWS), the American Petroleum Institute (API), or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

While the test or inspection typically necessary for these certifications may take a number of hours, the process of meeting eligibility requirements, applying for, and receiving the certification can vary in the length of time it takes.

According to the American Welding Society, earning an AWS Certification can help further your career in a variety of ways. Perhaps most significantly, earning an AWS Certification has historically been tied to greater earning potential and provides welders with opportunities to leverage their knowledge and expertise across professional roles they serve in the future. The AWS encourages prospective welding students to contact a Missouri testing facility (such as Hart/Mexico Training & Testing Facility) to register for testing. 

Finding Welding Schools in Missouri: How to Choose the Right School For You 

Have you been considering a welding career? If so, you may have started researching welding schools in Missouri as a path to earn your training and certification. 

While there is a lot to take into account as a prospective welder, here’s a few of the things that make MTI’s welding training programs different:

  • Get hands-on training in a real weld shop environment
  • Earn the MTI welding certifications you need in just 7-10 months (depending on which program you choose)
  • All MTI welding instructors have real-world experience
  • No general education courses required
  • Career placement assistance is available to all qualified graduates
  • Financial aid and scholarship opportunities available to students who qualify
  • Flexible class schedules are available

MTI offers welding training and certification at the Springfield, MO campus

To learn more about MTI’s welding school Springfield, MO and everything it has to offer, schedule a tour!

Are you pursuing welding jobs in Springfield, Missouri? It’s worth noting that Missouri does not require welders to be licensed, but certification will allow welders to demonstrate their skills and competence. By enrolling at MTI’s welding school in Missouri, you can earn your welding certifications from MTI in as little as 7 months.

Start Your Welding Career at MTI’s Springfield, MO Welding School!

MTI is here to help you choose the right path for your welding education and certification.

Get the hands-on training you need to earn your welding certification and start your entry-level career as a welder. MTI also offers welding training in Illinois!

Fill out the form below to get more info on MTI’s welding training in Missouri – classes are now enrolling! 



U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: 

American Welding Society:

American Petroleum Institute:

American Society of Mechanical Engineers: