The welding program trains students in manual, and semiautomatic welding processes used in a variety of fabrication and construction industries. Students develop skill proficiency through practice in over 19 welding processes, in all positions, and with a variety of metals. In addition, welding students learn to identify base and filler materials and their properties, operate equipment properly, practice correct procedures, test for strength and appearance, work safely and productively, be responsible for quality control, read blueprints for necessary information, measure and use math, and practice good interpersonal relations.

  • Overview
  • Is This Program for You?

    Do you enjoy building things? Are you mechanically inclined, with strong math skills? Does a job working independently appeal to you? Welding may be a great career choice.

    Students entering the Welding program should:

    • Enjoy building things.
    • Have good math skills.
    • Have manual dexterity.
    • Be able to work with little direction or supervision.
    • Have good vision (glasses are acceptable).
    • Have good hand-eye coordination.
    • Be able to concentrate with patience on detailed work.

    Program Basics

    • Technical diploma, requiring a minimum of nine months to complete.
    • High school articulation courses accepted.
    • Financial aid available.
  • Curriculum & Costs
  • Cost of Attendance (COA) 24-25

    Cost of Attendance (COA) is a total of all the usual expenses of being a student. The COA sets the maximum amount of financial aid a student can receive.

    Category Amount
    Tuition and Fees $4,820
    Living Expenses (Housing and Food) $9,148
    Books and Supplies $1,466
    Personal Expenses $3,608
    Transportation $4,018
    Charger Tech 360 Fee $600
    Loan Fees $84
    Yearly Total (Living Away from Home) $23,744
    1 Semester Total (Living Away from Home) $11,872

    Based on Wisconsin Residents.

    Approximate school costs are for a full-time (12 credit) student over a semester span of 17 weeks.

    Fees are legislated by the Wisconsin Technical College System Board.

    These costs are estimates and are subject to change without notice.

  • Requirements
  • Admission and Program Requirements

    • Submit Application
    • To make sure your classes are the right fit, we consider any previous college credit you've earned, Accuplacer or ACT scores, high school GPA, or an assessment at your registration session. Submit High School Transcripts, College Transcripts, and Test Scores to: Southwest Tech, Attn: Admissions, 1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, WI 53809
    • Admissions Preference Policy

      Priority for program acceptance will be given in this order until May 1, 2024:

      1. Southwest Wisconsin Technical College District Residents (permanent address is in one of Southwest Tech’s 30 school districts the College serves) Southwest Tech District Information
      2. Non-District State Residents
      3. Out-of-State Residents

    Helpful Academic Background

    • Math
    • Communication
    • Technical education courses
    • Youth Apprenticeship

    Program Fees

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Estimated cost for each semester can be found under the Curriculum tab. Please note that costs are approximate and are based on the current academic year.
    • Please discuss additional fee questions with the program advisor or instructor.

    Additional requirements

    Students must have eye wear protection (safety glasses with side shields or wrap around safety glasses over prescription glasses) and must meet OSHA Z87.1 or greater while they are conducting operations that are deemed hazardous in nature. These glasses can be purchased at the College Bookstore.

  • Outcomes
  • Program Outcomes

    At the completion of the program, students are expected to be able to:

    • Demonstrate industry-recognized safety practices
    • Interpret welding drawings
    • Produce shielded metal arc welds (SMAW)
    • Produce gas metal arc welds (GMAW)
    • Produce flux core welds
    • Produce gas tungsten arc welds (GTAW)
    • Perform cutting operations
    • Produce Oxyfuel welds

    Technical Skill Attainment (TSA)

    This TSA scoring guide will be used to document your attainment of technical program outcomes for the Welding Degree. To meet the requirements on the scoring guide, you will be asked to draw upon the skills and concepts that have been developed throughout the program and are necessary for successful employment in your field. Results will be used to inspire continual improvement of teaching and learning in Wisconsin Technical College System. In addition, this assessment will provide feedback to you about your performance.

    If you are unable to access documents here, please contact Technical Skill Attainment Team (, 608.822.2464)
  • Career Opportunities
  • Welding is the most common way of permanently joining metal parts, so welders are employed in a wide variety of manufacturing and construction jobs, including automotive and equipment manufacturing, structural building, maintenance, and repair. Welders may work on land or underwater, inside and outside.

    • Welding Technicians, Supervisors, Inspectors, Instructors, Repair Shop Owners
    • Pipe Layers, Plumbers, Pipe Fitters and Steam Fitters
    • Aircraft Body and Bonded Structure Repairers
    • Aircraft Structure Assemblers
    • Welder-Fitters
    • Weld Fabricators
    • Iron Workers
    • Ship Building Workers
    • Bridge Construction Workers

    Southwest Tech's Career Connections Center offers Services to assist students looking for job placement.

  • Transfers
  • Prior Learning
  • Credit for Prior Learning

    Experience Pays! You've Been There... You've Done That... Let's See If You Can Get Credit For It!

    Credit for prior learning gives you opportunities to earn credit for college-level knowledge that you have already acquired. This may be the result of work or volunteer experiences, certifications, apprenticeships, military training, extensive self-instruction, or professional development. Credit for Prior Learning affords you the opportunity to accelerate the completion of your educational goals.

    For more information on Credit for Prior Learning see our Credit for Prior Learning page.

    At any time, you may Request Credit for Prior Learning.

    Welding Courses that may have Credit for Prior Learning options:

    Course # Course Title
    Challenge Exam
    Challenge Exam
    31-442-311Oxyfuel Gas Cutting & GougingYes
    31-442-312Arc Cutting & GougingYes
    31-442-313Plasma Cutting & GougingYes
    31-442-314Oxyfuel EquipmentYes
    31-442-315Oxyfuel Brazing & Welding-Carbon SteelYes
    31-442-316Oxyfuel Brazing & Welding-Stainless SteelYes
    31-442-320SMAW - EquipmentYes
    31-442-323GTAW - EquipmentYes
    31-442-324GTAW - Carbon SteelYes
    31-442-325GTAW - AluminumYes
    31-442-326GTAW - Stainless SteelYes
    31-442-327GMAW - EquipmentYes
    31-442-328GMAW - Carbon Steel (S Process)Yes
    31-442-329GMAW - AluminumYes
    31-442-330GMAW - Stainless SteelYes
    31-442-331GMAW - Carbon Steel (Spray Transfer)Yes
    31-442-332FCAW - EquipmentYes
    31-442-333FCAW - Carbon Steel (Gas Shielded)Yes
    31-457-317Forming & Folding MetalYes
    31-457-334Fabrication Planning & DrawingYes
    31-804-305Applied MathematicsYes
    College Mathematics CLEP Test would also be accepted.
    32-442-308Blueprint Reading-Welding 1Yes
    32-442-309Blueprint Reading-Welding 2Yes
  • Accreditation