Questions and Answers about getting trained to be a professional welder

Do I need prior welding experience?

No, our welding program was developed to provide a solid foundation and all the necessary skills to have a successful welding career.

What if I have prior welding experience?

This welding program will build on your skill level and provide additional welding training to ensure your success.

Do you offer job placement?

We offer all graduates employment assistance. We have close working relationships throughout the welding industries including but not limited to: Shipyards, Manufacturing, Construction, Energy, Defense Companies, as well as several oil and gas companies. Since CDA has a full-time Placement Officer, our placement rates are among the best in the industry.

What certifications will I receive?

This 26 week accredited welding program will fully prepare you for a welding career in both the maritime industry as well as general welding. CDA’s Maritime Welding Program is the only welding program in the United States to certify students in the following areas:

  • American Welding Society (AWS) Certificate of Completion - Certified AWS Entry Level Welder
  • AWS Entry Level Welder Certification Card
  • Name added to Nationally Searchable AWS Database
  • AWS S.E.N.S.E. Welder Qualification in Shielded Metal Arc Welding (Stick), Flux Core Arc Welding (Wire), Gas Metal Arc Welding (MIG), and Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (TIG)
  • National Center for Construction, Education and Research (NCCER) Certifications:
    • Core Curriculum Certification (includes Basic Safety, Construction Math, Hand & Power Tools, Blueprints, Employability Skills & Resume Writing)
    • Rigging
    • Weld Levels I & II
  • Offshore Survival
  • First Aid/CPR, AED, & O2 Provider
  • Hazardous Material Handling (HAZMAT / HAZWOPPER)
  • CDA Maritime Welding Diploma

Where can I work?

Welding careers are available anywhere. Our graduates have gone to work in the following industries: automotive, railroads, aerospace, shipyards, construction, fabrication, manufacturing, overseas contractor work, and for the government as well. 

What is a typical day like in school?

CDA's Maritime Welding Program prides itself on creating a training environment that reflects the real world of welding. The training is comprised of both the academic and practical aspects of welding. Our students’ welding skills are perfected in a river front real world environment.  They work on industrial projects ranging from repair and maintenance.  Monday thru Thursday each day is full-time from 8 am and until 5 pm.  A typical day in the welding program includes safety meetings, classroom training, and practical welding applications. Learn like you are going to work! 

What income should I expect to earn in a welding career?

The range for entry level welding careers depends on where you choose to work. There are many opportunities available. A welder starting in a shipyard can expect to start at $13-$19 an hour, while offshore welders earn anywhere from $15-25 an hour. Click here for the information from U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Welders with 3-5 years of experience can expect to earn $50,000 to $60,000 a year.

Do you offer campus tours?

Yes, we encourage all prospective students and families to attend an informational session and tour CDA's campus. We offer tours Monday through Friday, and please contact Admissions to make an appointment.

Is financial aid available?

Yes, we are authorized to accept federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant, Stafford loans, and the Parent Plus loan (for dependent students). Private, credit-based loans are also available. Please visit the Financial Aid  page for more information.

Can I use the GI Bill®?

Yes, Both Montgomery and Post 9/11 GI Bill® can be utilized by qualified Veterans, Spouse, and Family members. 

Is housing available?

Yes, barracks-style on-campus housing is available, with a full meal plan. You can also contact Admissions for independent, off-campus housing options.