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The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Welding provides the training for entry-level employment and offers the technical knowledge necessary for career advancement. Coupled with experience, the program prepares students for manufacturing employment opportunities in industry, private enterprise, supervision, and/or advanced welding technologies. The program will guide the students in developing basic pipe welding and fitting skills and introduces advanced techniques aligned with industry standards. These opportunities include welding, fabrication, inspection, estimating, and technical sales.

Several Career Pathway Certificates can lead to this degree, click here to view the roadmap.

According to the American Welding Society, by the year 2020 there will be a skills shortage of 291,000 jobs in the welding and fabrication and related fields.

Entry Requirements

Students are required to complete the College's placement process to determine skill level and readiness in math, reading and writing. As part of their training program, students must begin with the courses within their skill level as determined by the placement process.

Because a variety of working conditions exist in the welding field, a person generally should be in good physical condition and able to stand, stoop, kneel and bend without difficulty and be able to lift and carry at least 50 pounds. Good eyesight, especially depth perception, is necessary for a welder.

By the second week of the term, students will need to purchase the proper PPE (personal protective equipment) required for the term. Required PPE includes: Welding hood, leathers or welding jacket, gauntlet gloves, safety glasses (clear and shade 5), and leather boots (steel toe is preferred).

The AAS Welding is an American Welding Society (AWS) entry-level welding certified program. Successfully completing the AWS portion of each welding course also qualifies the student for a Certificate of Completion from the AWS as an entry-level welder – a nationally recognized certificate.

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 90 credit hours with a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or better. All courses in this program must be completed with a grade of ‘C’ or better. Twenty-four (24) credits must be completed at Southwestern before the AAS Welding degree is awarded.

Complete the graduation application process one term prior to the term of completion (e.g., spring term graduates must apply during winter term).

Pre-Program Courses

Students are required to take the following courses prior to the program courses, depending on students' college placement information. See advisor for details:

CIS90Computer Basics (or demonstrate proficiency)2
WR90RAcademic Literacy (or placement in higher writing course)4
MTH55Introductory Technical Mathematics4

Program Guide

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
DRFT105 Blueprint Reading 3
WLD100 Welding Process I 3
WLD101 Shielded Metal Arc Welding 6
WR115 Introduction to Expository Writing 1 3
MTH80 Technical Mathematics I 4
WLD102 Welding Lab A 3
WLD103 Gas Metal Arc Welding 3
WLD104 Flux Forded Arc Welding 3
WLD110 Welding Cert for 1st Year 3
BA110 Group Dynamics for Teams 2 3
WLD105 Pipe Fitting and Welding I 3
WLD106 Welding Lab B 3
WLD107 Gas Tungsten Arc Welding 3
WLD150 Welding & Joining Processes 3
WLD202 Forklift Operator Training and Cert 1
Second Year
CIS120 Concepts of Computing 4
MT101 Machine Tool Processes I 3
WLD201 Pipe Fitting and Welding II 3
WLD4155 Fitting & Fabrication 3
MFG4102 Mechanical Systems 3
MT102 Machine Tool Processes II 3
PE231 Wellness for Life 3 3
WLD203 Advanced Individual Welding 3
WLD4152 Advanced Pipe Fitting and Fab 3
WLD205 The Welding Business 3
WLD210 Welding Cert for 2nd Year 3
WLD4153 Pipe Fitting Workshop: Certification 3
Specific Elective 4 3
Required Program Course - Speech 5 3
 Total Credits90

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • Set up and operate manual and semi-automatic welding and cutting equipment used in the metal fabrication industry.
  • Perform basic layout and fabrication skills to produce welded metal parts and projects.
  • Read and interpret blueprints and American Welding Society standard welding symbols.
  • Perform as a team member and practice skills that reflect professional and ethical behavior in the workplace.
  • Demonstrate ability to fit, layout, and weld pipe in accordance to industry AWS and API standards.