Welding and Metals Fabrication

You are here

CWI Welding and Metals Fabrication Program

“I am pleased to have this opportunity to comment on the important contribution the College of Western Idaho’s Welding and Metals Fabrication program has made in providing candidates with welding and Lois Melander, MotivePower

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.

Program Highlights

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
  • Metallurgy
  • 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

Additional Opportunities

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.

Respectful Community

College of Western Idaho is committed to maintaining a Respectful Community by providing equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate in services, benefits, or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, or any other legally protected status.  More on Title IX

News and Blogs

Idaho Job Corps welding student, Ben Still

CWI's partnership with Idaho Job Corps serves students by connecting them to skills training and employment.

John F. Nagel Foundation check presentation to CWI Foundation

The Nagel Foundation scholarship empowers second-year career and technical education students to complete their education.

Bradley Dougal, a 2019-2020 Nagel Foundation scholarship recipient.

Congratulations to Bradley Dougal, a 2019-2020 Nagel Foundation scholarship recipient.

Harvey Kenworthy, March 2019 Staff of the Month

Congratulations to Harvey Kenworthy, College of Western Idaho’s Staff of the Month for March 2019.

Career Pioneer: Emily Kominek in welding lab

Emily Kominek is thriving as a Career Pioneer in the College's Welding program. 

Student standing holding a Emerging Professionals certificate and standing next to instructor

Career and Technical Education students nominated by instructors as Emerging Professionals for 2018/19 academic year.