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Students observe a professor welding material.

Department: Welding

Program Type: Manufacturing

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Elgin Community College offers a welding degree and several welding certifications. In ECC’s welding programs, you will learn oxygen-acetylene welding, cutting and brazing, shield metal arc or “stick” welding (SMAW), gas metal arc welding—also known as metal inert gas welding (GMAW/MIG), and gas tungsten arc welding—also known as tungsten inert gas welding (GTAW).

ECC offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Welding Fabrication Technology, three basic welding certificates, and one vocational welding certificate. Our certified welding instructors bring substantial real-world experience to the classroom in our modern welding lab. Morning, afternoon, and evening classes are available to accommodate your busy schedule.

Prepare for Immediate Employment

The demand for welding fabricators continues to rise while the skill needs are diverse, including cutting and fitting parts, track and production welding, blueprint reading, and material handling.

The job outlook for Welding Fabrication Technology is positive. This growth is expected due to an increase in demand for welded products, such as bridges and buildings, and the need to repair and maintain existing infrastructure. An estimated 47,600 job openings for careers in this line of work are projected each year on average over the next decade.

Additionally, the use of new technologies, such as robotics and automation, is expected to lead to an increase in the demand for skilled welders. Refer to Career Coach to learn more about related professions and compensation.

Plan of Study and Course Descriptions

In addition to the Associate of Applied Science, Elgin Community College also offers several basic certificates and a vocational certificate in welding. All certificates can be completed in 4-16 months. Review the ECC catalog for details about the welding plan of study and course descriptions.

Associates of Applied Science

Basic Vocational Certificates

Vocational Certificates

What is Welding Fabrication Technology?

Welding Fabrication Technology focuses on covering areas of sheet metal, repairing and maintaining metal products, structural steelwork, and surfacing machine and engineering parts. While Welding is the joining of metals, fabrication is the formation of objects using metals. This program prepares the student to interpret simple sketches to the most complex drawings as applied in the welding trade and to become familiar with welding symbols and their significance. Emphasis will be on developing the ability to transfer the two-dimensional print to the actual three-dimensional object. The student will gain experience in related fabrication mathematical calculations.

Course topics include sketching, orthographic projection, descriptive geometry, dimensioning, section views, auxiliary views, primary and secondary views, threads, fasteners, and production drawings. All projects are solved using CAD software. This program provides both practical lab experience and extensive theoretical concepts related to all major welding processes, including shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, flux core arc welding, submerged arc welding, plasma arc welding, oxyacetylene welding, and others. Additional instruction is designed to help the student produce quality welds on cast iron, cast aluminum, stainless steel, aluminum, carbon steel, and other metals requiring special weld treatment. Other weld troubleshooting techniques will be covered, starting with precise metal identification, locating and eliminating cracks, visual inspection, and proper pre- and post-weld treatment. Refer to the Welding for learning outcomes.

Associate of Applied Science Degree

The Associate of Applied Science in Welding Fabrication Technology degree is a four-semester program with 60 credit hours.

Get additional information, including course listings and course descriptions.

Careers in Welding

As our nation’s infrastructure decays from natural wear and tear, experienced welders will be called upon to regain and renew it. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 6 percent employment growth of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers from 2016 to 2026.

Skilled welders can also take their knowledge international—welding is employed all over the world! You can join graduates of our welding degree and certificate programs as you work around the globe in a variety of jobs in diverse industries, including, but not limited to:

  • Manufacturing
  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Robotics
  • Underwater welding
  • Automotive

Learn more about our welding programs at ECC!

Elgin Community College welding degree and certificate programs can help you to craft your career.

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American Welding Society

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Travis shares how the quality of education he is receiving at ECC is above and beyond his expectation and now he continues to want to reach for more.

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