Put yourself on the fast track to a career in welding in College of Western Idaho's (CWI) Welding and Metals Fabrication program. This skill-centric program focuses on specialized career preparation, giving you the education and training you need to begin your career quickly. You will receive hands-on instruction to master the practical skills needed to prepare for certification with the American Welding Society (AWS). From theory to practice, you will harness the latest technology and advanced industry-specific tools in our newly equipped facilities to apply learned skills, methods, and techniques.
Complete the following steps to get started in the Welding and Metals Fabrication program:
- Apply to CWI selecting Welding and Metals Fabrication as your planned major.
- Attend a Program Exploration event to learn about the program, register for classes, and prepare for success.
- Contact Mike Wheeler at email@example.com for upcoming event dates and times.
The Welding & Metals Fabrication program puts students on the fast track to a new career in an in-demand field. Throughout the course of this program, you will learn:
- Basic & advanced welding training
- Welding Theory
- Blueprint creation, reading, comprehension
- Shop safety & leadership
- Project planning
- Hands-on tool training: shears, ironworkers, CNC plasma, press brake, rolls, mill, lathe
- AWS Certification Test prep and exam scheduling
Skills & Techniques
After completion of this program, students will have comprehensive knowledge of the following:
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding - SMAW (Stick)
- Gas Metal Arc Welding - GMAW (MIG)
- Gas Tungsten Arc Welding - GTAW (TIG)
- Flux Cored Arc Welding - FCAW
- Layout and basic fabrication
- Print reading
- Metallurgy for welding
- Basic manual and computer aided drafting (CAD)
- Common fabrication shop tools and machinery operation
Welding graduates are in demand locally, nationally, and internationally. Our students often find positions fabricating new products such as industrial machinery, steel structures, oil industry, transportation equipment, railroad engines/cars, farm equipment, and more. Many graduates also find excellent self-employment opportunities in both urban and rural areas. Our mission is to provide this opportunity to train in a field so widely sought after… and to enable our students to achieve their aspirations, by equipping them with the skill set needed to gain local, regional, national employment in our industry.
Why This Program
Welders are in high demand in shops and various construction locations, and College of Western Idaho (CWI) has programs that can be completed in one year to get you out of the lab and into your new career. This program prepares you for certification with the American Welding Society (AWS). Students learn MIG, TIG, stick arc, plasma, flux core, shielded metal arc, and other welding processes in our newly equipped facilities.
What You Will Learn to Do
- Perform many welding processes
- Shielded Metal ARC Welding (SMAW) (STICK)
- Gas Metal ARC Welding (GMAW) (MIG)
- Flux Cored ARC Welding (FCAW)
- Gas Tungsten ARC Welding (GTAW) (TIG)
- Perform manual, semi-automatic, and automatic oxygen-acetylene burning
- Perform air carbon ARC and plasma cutting and gouging
- Operate fabrication tools and equipment
- Read blueprints
- Utilize appropriate fabrication techniques
- Maintain quality control
- Identify properties of materials
- Understand basic metallurgy
Our welding department is very active in Skills USA, and competes at a local, regional and at times national level in our trade. Our students have requirements within Skills activities for community service projects. Group visits to local industrial partners are also included in the course.
Requirements and Costs
Degrees and Certificates
Skills, Traits, and Prep Classes
- Sound math and spatial skills
- Mechanical aptitude
- Good hand-eye coordination
- Solid reading skills
- Ability to work well on a team
- Precise attention to detail
Connecting With Ideas
Connecting With Ideas (CWI 101) is designed to prepare students with the skills to succeed in college, a career, and life. Completion of CWI 101 is a general education requirement of students seeking to earn an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree from CWI. Students are encouraged to take CWI 101 during their first semester.Explore CWI 101 Pathways
Individuals admitted to CWI as a degree-seeking student who have earned college credit from another institution may transfer their credits to CWI. Visit Transferring to CWI to learn more.
Plan ahead for your transition to a four-year college or university. Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisor and representatives from the intended transfer school to ensure a smooth transition beyond CWI. Visit Transferring From CWI to explore our transfer partnerships.
Cost & Aid
As a student in this program, you may be eligible for financial aid and scholarships. Visit Cost & Aid to view tuition and fees, explore types of aid, apply for federal financial aid, and more.
Are you a 2024 Idaho high school graduate? Learn how to get up to $8,000 of your tuition and fees covered at CWI through Idaho LAUNCH.
Welding graduates are in demand locally, nationally, and internationally. Our students often find positions fabricating new products such as industrial machinery, steel structures, transportation equipment, railroad engines/cars, farm equipment, and more. Many graduates also find excellent self-employment opportunities in both urban and rural areas.
Program Department Chair
- Administrative Specialist
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- Automotive Technology
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- Occupational Therapy Assistant
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- Powersports and Small Engine Repair Technology
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- Welding and Metals Fabrication
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