Although a degree is not required for one to be employed as a welder, employment opportunities are most favorable for those with some kind of formal training. Employers tend to seek out graduates of programs that include coursework in blueprints, mechanical drawing, metallurgy, mathematics, and chemistry.
Welding programs offer associate degrees, such as the associate in applied science degree in welding offered by Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Short-term courses are also available. Cal Trade Welding School in Modesto, California, for example, offers several welding programs that range from 10 to 22 weeks in length.
Many welders seek out optional certification from the American Welding Society (AWS). Certifications are available for certified welder, certified welding inspector, certified associate welding inspector, senior certified welding inspector, certified welding educator, radiographic interpreter, certified welding supervisor, certified welding engineer, certified robotic arc welder and certified welding fabricator. Certification helps demonstrate that a welder meets uniform, national standards set by the AWS.