Are you considering a career in the skilled trades? Perhaps you have a gift for understanding how to build structures, or maybe you enjoy working in a hands-on occupation. Welding is one trade that is in high demand. Learn more with our guide to welding schools in Kentucky.
What Does a Welder Do?
Welders are skilled professionals who work with metal. Due to the potentially hazardous conditions of their jobs, they first must undergo extensive training in working with these materials to learn safe ways to join them together (usually using heat sources). Welders learn to use a variety of tools and they typically gain knowledge in using heavy machinery to complete their tasks.
Welders are not confined to one specific job or industry. They can be found working in automotive production, such as at the Toyota plant in Georgetown, KY, as well as on numerous residential and commercial construction projects that occur statewide.
Welding Schools Near Me in Kentucky
Due to the highly skilled nature of welders’ duties, it is important to become trained and certified as a professional before looking for work.
Bluegrass Community & Technical College
This school, as well as the other fifteen community and technical colleges in the state, has a two-year welding program. In-state tuition rates are highly competitive, and there are many scholarships available.
- Location: Lexington, KY
- Phone number: 859-246-6777
- Programs available: AAS, Diploma, and Certificate in Welding Technology
- Program duration: A few months to two years (for the AAS degree).
- Average cost: $4,568 (in-state tuition)
Kentucky Welding Institute
Students work with mentors in this highly specialized training program. KWI offers lifetime job placement assistance, safety training, and small class sizes.
- Location: Flemingsburg, KY
- Phone number: 606-849-9593
- Programs available: Certified combo pipe welder, structural welder, fabricator, and custom welder programs
- Program duration: It depends on the program. The shortest program is 12 weeks while the longest is 24 weeks.
- Average cost: $15,000
Knight School of Welding
At this family-owned welding school, students can enroll on a monthly basis. Classes are available in the daytime and in the evening.
- Location: Louisville, KY
- Phone number: 502-778-9767
- Programs available: Various specializations such as MIG, STICK, TIG, and pipe welding that lead to certification.
- Program duration: Eight weeks
- Average cost: $3,600 with grants available to residents of Kentucky and Indiana
Welding Career Opportunities in Kentucky
Welding careers in Kentucky are plentiful. Depending on the additional certifications you hold, you may choose to work to assemble commercial goods, as machinists who work with planes, trains, or cars, or alongside plumbers to create elaborate systems of piping to be used in residential or commercial construction.
How Much Do Welders Make in Kentucky?
According to Indeed.com, a welder in Kentucky may make around $21.12 an hour. Full-time welders who are working in an entry-level position may make around $43,000 per year in this state. This wage is slightly below the national average, but as Kentucky tends to have a lower cost of living overall, you shouldn’t let this statistic worry you.
Major Employers of Welders in Kentucky
Kentucky is a great state to study and find employment in the trade of welding as there are many opportunities to grow in the field. Consider the following places you may seek employment:
- Toyota: Work at one of the most well-known car manufacturing plants in the world to ensure the safety and reliability of vehicles.
- Edwards Moving & Rigging: Join an apprenticeship program or get started working with boats, barges, cranes, and more.
- DGI Industries: Work with engineers to automate products and create ergonomic solutions for the workplace.
How To Become a Certified Welder in Kentucky
For those wondering how to become a welder in Kentucky, you first must have proper training in your field and hold certification from the American Welding Society. You should consider undergoing an apprenticeship before you apply for this certification.
In Kentucky, attaining certification from the AWS earns you many advantages, and it can set you apart when applying for jobs. It designates you as someone committed to the standards of the craft and it shows that you have put in the necessary work to become a master at your job. If you are not certified in Kentucky, you may not have access to as many job opportunities, and employers may be more reluctant to hire you.
Do You Need a License To Be a Welder in Kentucky?
No, in Kentucky you do not need a special license to be a welder. You do, however, need a certification from AWS. The schools listed above should either provide a path to certification or hold certification courses as part of their curriculum. Speak with your desired school for further details.
Kentucky Welding FAQs
Starting a new career can lead to many questions. At the very least, you should have a good understanding of what type of school to attend, what starting salary to expect, and whether you need any special certifications or types of insurance to become a welder in Kentucky.
1. How Long Does it Take To Become a Welder?
Depending on which program you select — and whether you are going to pursue extra certifications — you can expect to spend as little as eight weeks in training or up to two years if you pursue an associate’s degree. Having the right training and good connections can lead to steady employment, while having a degree may open up more doors and earn you a higher starting salary.
2. Does a Welder Need Insurance in Kentucky?
You do not need specialized welding insurance in Kentucky, but you should consider welding contractor insurance to protect you against lawsuits. As you will be working with tools, heat, and metal, liability insurance is always a good idea.
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3. Who Can I Contact if I Have Questions?
You should contact the welding school you’re considering attending if you have questions about their coursework or requirements. If you have questions about becoming a certified welder in Kentucky, contact AWS to learn more about your options.
Being a certified welder and attending welding schools in Kentucky can open many doors to lucrative career opportunities in Kentucky. Browse through our information on General Contractor License Guide if you need additional help locating a school, program, or certification requirement!
For More License and Career Guides
To find out how to become a Welder in another state, start here.
For information on other trades in Kentucky , click on a link below to learn more about the licensing requirements: