Welding Fabrication Technology
Welding Fabrication Technology
  • Why Welding
  • Careers
  • Graduate Success
  • Student Stories
  • Why Earn a Welding Degree?

    The career outlook for employment in the welding trades is excellent, with a shortage of skilled welders in the workforce locally, regionally, and nationally. This level of demand will only increase as the current workforce ages and retires and fewer younger people choose manufacturing-related careers. The LBCC Welding and Fabrication Technology Program has been supplying trained graduates to the workforce since 1968. We work closely with local employers to ensure that program curriculum is relevant to the needs of local industry. Many of our graduates are employed in the welding trades upon graduation or before in entry-level positions such as: production welder; welder / fabricator; pipe welder; maintenance and repair welding (industrial mechanic-millwright work); and titanium / aerospace welding. The Associate of Applied Sciences degree curriculum includes training with all of the commonly-used welding and cutting processes including: Stick (SMAW); TIG; wire-feed welding; oxy-fuel cutting; and plasma arc cutting. Blueprint reading, layout, fabrication skills, structural welding, and pipe welding are included within the program curriculum along with many other welding-related subject areas. Students have the opportunity to take welder qualification tests and become certified in the spring of their first year.

  • Career Information

    All career information and statistics listed below come from the State of Oregon.

    Information on associated occupations, cost of attendance, loan debt for completers, and on-time completion rates for certificates can be found under Gainful Employment.

    Median Earnings: Annual Openings:
    Median Earnings: Annual Openings:
    Median Earnings: Annual Openings:
  • Graduate Job Success

    A major bonus of this program is our success at graduates getting jobs. These are some local companies that hire our graduates each year. Here are a few of those companies:

  • Learn What Former Students Think of Our Programs

    Barbara Coldiron student picture

    Barbara Coldiron

    Welding Graduate

    Taking a TIG welding class in high school gave Barbara a taste of what would later become her career choice. After high school, Barbara worked in the medical field for a time, but came back to learn more about what she really loved doing; welding.

    "Welding is really fun, and LBCC has one of the best welding programs in the country. It actually looks harder than it is. I like working with my hands, and find this type of work very rewarding."

    Barbara plans to work as a TIG welder for local industry, with a long-term goal to become a metallurgist, working with the different components of metal.

    Shadrack Worden student picture

    Shadrack Worden

    1st year student

    "I knew nothing about welding when I first came to LBCC's program. Now, after just one year, I'm a pretty good welder and fabricator. I like working with my hands and watching a project come together. Working with the instructors here is like having an expert tell you everything they know. They are really knowledgeable."
    Zoe Hans student picture

    Zoe Hans

    Welding Graduate

    Zoe learned her first TIG welding skills as a member of her high school robotics team. She started college with the goal of earning a biology degree, but decided it wasn't for her. Since she really liked welding in high school, Zoe changed her major to welding technology.

    "Welding has different components to it. It's challenging on several levels: artistic, physical and intellectual. LBCC's program lays down a good foundation that you can build on, and you can go multiple ways with your career."

    Zoe plans to work as a TIG welder, with a long-term goal to continue her education and become a weld inspector.

    Jesus Andrade student picture

    Jesus Andrade

    1st year student

    "I really got interested in LBCC's welding program when I competed in the high school skills competition for welders. I took second place and won my helmet and jacket. We got to work in the shop here and meet the instructors. That was when I decided to come to LBCC for the two-year welding degree."

    "Welders are in demand, and there's lots of ways you can go in the field. It's a good career choice if you don't want to work in an office all day, and don't mind getting a bit dirty. I'm already working part-time as a welder for a local company. If you work hard in the program, the instructors are happy to recommend you for work."

    Kegan Forrester student picture

    Kegan Forrester

    Welding Graduate

    After dropping out of college, Kegan Forrester finds the courage to try again - then graduates from the welding program with honors, and lands a good paying job in the aerospace manufacturing industry!

    "Everyone at LBCC encouraged me to keep going. The faculty is inspiring and really want to help their students succeed. They aren't just here to collect a paycheck."

    You would think honor roll student Kegan Forrester's road to college would be nothing but smooth.

    Though he ended up graduating from the welding program with honors, Kegan's first try at college was not so great.

    After struggling in math, he decided to drop out - with no intent of returning. Maybe college just wasn't for him. Being the first in his family to attend college, Kegan really felt he was on his own to figure things out.

    He discovered along the way that sometimes it takes trying, failing, and then trying again to succeed.

    After high school, Kegan, like many students, went to work. Although he liked his job at a farm outside of his hometown of Moro, Oregon, he knew that getting a college education would help him be more successful in life.

    "My first try at college, I actually started out pursuing a criminal justice degree - I didn't start thinking I would become a welder," said Kegan.

    Although he was doing well in most classes, college-level math was challenging - so much so that Kegan became discouraged and dropped out.

    He returned to his farm job in Moro, something he knew he could do. But his bosses saw his potential, and with their encouragement, Kegan decided to give college a second try; only this time in a different program. Since he liked welding in high school, he reasoned, the welding program seemed like a good second choice.

    As it turns out, he found that he could do the math. LBCC industrial programs offer math and writing classes that directly relate to each program, and Kegan actually got the math this time.

    "Welding has its own core classes, including both math and writing for welders, which helped me to connect and understand it better," said Kegan. "I love welding. It's a great fit for me at this point in my life."

    Connecting with people who helped along the way was key to his success.

    "There were a lot of people who helped me, including math instructor Russ Burchard who often worked with me one-on-one," said Kegan. "My welding instructors, Fred Stuewe, Dean Dowless and Dave Ketler were great as well, and helped keep me on track with my schedule."

    As a bonus, a few months before finishing the program, Kegan landed a good paying welding job at a local aerospace manufacturing company.

    "My advice for new students is to get to know as many people at the college as possible. They can help you along the way," says Kegan. "Getting involved and meeting people helped me to get grants to help pay for school, and helped me get a job. I've made some excellent friends here."

    Jose Caldera-Ibarra student picture

    Jose' Caldera-Ibarra

    Welding Graduate

    Jose serves as a great example of someone who, driven by his own passion to learn and motivation to do better, overcame many challenges and obstacles to get an education.

    He is now a certified welder. And the doors to a good paying job have opened.

    With little formal education, Jose came to college to earn the equivalent of a high school diploma, earning his GED in 2013. But he didn't stop there. Originally from Mexico, Jose obtained his US citizenship in 2015, and finished his Associate Degree in Welding in June 2016.

    "I came to school with zero knowledge, and I became a top welder in my class. My LBCC welding teachers, Dave Ketler and Dean Dowless, are so good and have so much great knowledge. They helped to open doors for me. Thanks to them, I gained skills in precision welding and got a great job. Now, I have a skill that no one can take away from me."

    With no formal high school, Jose read a lot of books to teach himself.

    "I'm the first in my family to finish my high school diploma and get a college degree. I didn't even miss one day of school."

    Once his youngest son was born, Jose looked at his life and decided to make a change.

    "I was working on a small farm at the time, and one of my bosses, who was a welder, said to me that I should continue my education and learn to weld. So I took my placement tests, and signed up for the welding program."

    With some key help along the way from faculty and Learning Center staff, Jose was able to finish his degree.

    "English was a big obstacle for me. But I just kept asking my instructors to repeat things. They worked with me one-on-one. Learning with a second language, you have to process and reprocess the information to learn it. It can be really challenging. Learning Center staff helped me with my math. The people at LBCC are why I was able to succeed."

Look What the Welding Students Have Done