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Career Studies Certificate

Person welding a ship

Forge your future in an in-demand career field

You will be prepared to pass employer-specific certification after graduation.

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Employers across Hampton Roads are seeking skilled welders with an understanding of fabrication, welding and repair techniques. Tidewater Community College’s Career Studies Certificate in Welding provides you with the knowledge and skills you need to gain an in-demand career in the field.

Focusing solely on practical classes that range from oxyfuel welding and cutting to pipe and tube welding, this one-year program provides you with a quick way of learning the fundamentals of welding. Students learn oxyacetylene (gas) welding, arc welding and inert gas-shielded techniques from instructors who average 30 years of experience in the field. The program’s structure allows busy students to pursue these courses on a part-time basis.

Whether you’re a high school graduate with no experience, an entry-level welder who wants to increase your skills or experienced craftsmen interested in a raise, this certificate will prepare you for success in the field. Graduates are ready for immediate entry-level positions in the welding trade. 

Certify your skills

Earn valuable industry credentials! Course work qualifies students to sit for one or more exams administered by the American Welding Society.

View program curriculum
What does this program cost?

TCC's Career Studies Certificate in Welding consists of 3 semesters of part-time study, with classes offered on the Portsmouth Campus.

Estimated Program Cost*:
26 credits x $185.35 per credit = $4,819.10 (not including textbooks and supplies)
*Based on Fall 2018 in-state tuition. Your actual cost may differ.

Students are responsible for purchasing their own personal protection equipment, including safety shoes. 

Where can you go?

Graduates are prepared for immediate entry into the workforce. All credits earned in this program are applicable toward the TCC Certificate in Welding.

Is this program for you?

Yes, if you:

  • work well in groups
  • are detail-oriented
  • enjoy working with your hands
  • have good hand-eye coordination 
TCC Certified Welder Program

The TCC Certified Welder program is a performance-based program with no prerequisite courses or certifications required. Final certification will provide "transferrable" credentials that you may take with you wherever you go.

The TCC Certified Welder program tests welders to procedures used in the structural steel, petroleum pipelines, sheet metal, and chemical refinery welding industries. There is a provision to test to a company-supplied or non-code welding specification. Tests for Certified Welder are performed at AWS Accredited Testing Facilities located throughout the world.

Accredited Test Facilities play an integral part in the operation of the AWS Certified Welding program and have proven that they have the necessary resources to test welders to this nationally recognized and accepted program. Accredited Test Facilities receive valuable recognition: they are listed on the AWS website for those who need to certify welders and are also advertised in the award-winning Welding Journal magazine.

The growing choice for many contractors and fabricators; entrusting welder certification to ATF specialist makes good business sense for contractors and fabricators. Companies are increasingly realizing the shortcomings of self-qualification and switching to AWS Accredited Test Facilities to test and qualify their welders. ATFs help them to save money, improve productivity, and reduce liability by entrusting their welder certification to the experts.

The AWS TCC Certified Welder program allows for welders to obtain multiple certifications to expand their credentials. Every certification that a welder earns increases the number of skills needed to perform a wide range of welding jobs. Welding Students at Tidewater Community College are encouraged to earn certifications during their time at school. Certifications that a welder can obtain through the TCC Certified Welder program include:

  • Steel SMAW 6G Pipe Certification – AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code
  • Steel SMAW All Position Plate Certification Limited – AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code
  • Steel FCAW All Position Plate Certification, Limited – AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code
  • Steel GTAW 6G Pipe Certification – AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code
  • Steel GTAW All Position Plate Certification, Limited – AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code


Welders that want to attain AWS Certified Welder certification must make an appointment with Tidewater Community College AWS-Accredited Testing Facility. This testing facility adheres to strict standards for welder testing and can test welders to AWS Standard Welding Procedures (SWPSs), industry standard specifications and company-supplied or non-code welding specifications.

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Veterans, transitioning military, spouses and dependents: TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education provides academic guidance and help in maximizing your GI Bill® and other educational benefits.

Learn more about the CMVE

Fanned-out money

Tuition assistance such as financial aid, scholarships, work-study, grants and loans can help you save money and reduce college debt.

Learn more about paying for college

You will have access to a comprehensive welding laboratory, designed to industry standards

Only half of the 600,000 welding jobs in the U.S. are filled, according to the American Welding Society

10 percent of the students in the TCC program are women

Median annual salary

Jobs related to this field pay a median annual salary of $41,246*

Program spotlight

Welding is a fertile field for jobs, particularly in Hampton Roads


It's midnight and these students are welding

* Salary estimate is provided for comparison purposes only and doesn’t constitute a promise of employment or earnings. Salaries were calculated based on related job codes and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.