Structural Welding

Stick WelderThe future for welding careers looks bright. Certified, skilled welders continue to be in demand in the construction industry, and in all petroleum-related and heavy equipment industries.

Graduates of AVTEC's Structural Welding  program hold good jobs in a wide variety of working settings. Alaskan employers are always looking for highly trained welders, especially for those who are willing to work under occasionally adverse conditions.

The Structural Welding program emphasizes steel welding; however, all students are expected to become proficient welders on nonferrous materials such as aluminum. Primary focus is on stick electrode welding: students train on S.M.A.W. (stick electrode), G.M.A.W. and F.C.A.W. (wire feed processes), G.T.A.W. (TIG), plasma arc and air arc cutting, oxyacetylene welding, and cutting machines. Destructive tests are performed on groove welds in both the stick and wire feed processes. The AVTEC Welding shop is equipped with state-of-the-art welding equipment and with travel torches, iron worker, shear and press brake. Earn University of Alaska Credit While Attending AVTEC Structural Welding graduates may earn up to 16 University of Alaska college credits (depending on coursework completed) while attending AVTEC.


To provide those skills necessary to successfully pass the AWS-D1.1 Structural Certification Test and become employed in the welding and fabrication industry.

Length of Course

670 (includes 45 hours for Math) clock hours, 102 training days


August & January

Training Hours

8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Certificate Level

Structural Welding

Occupational Levels

Structural Welder, Structural Welder SMAW, Structural Welder Helper


TABE tests scores for this program must be:
Reading - 552
Combined Math - 552

For specific information on entry guidelines in reading and mathematics for this program, contact the Admissions Office at (800) 478-5389.

Physical requirements of the occupation are the ability to lift 100 pounds, carry 50 pounds, stoop, kneel, crawl, walk, and stand continuously. The student must have the ability to manipulate various types of welding equipment and welding processes, which require the ability to feed filler metal and manipulate the torch head for temperature or arc length. Have the ability to manipulate welding fixtures, place material in fixtures above your head and weld in various positions for extended periods. Welding requires good hand-eye coordination and eyesight corrected to 20/20 with excellent depth perception. We strongly recommend an eye examination prior to enrollment so that corrective lenses or glasses may be obtained prior to the start of class.

Occupational Levels

Occupational levels of Structural Welder, Structural Welder SMAW, and Structural Welder Helper will be assigned upon successful completion of the training program, based on the student’s proficiency of the program’s competencies.

National Certification

National certification is available through the American Welding Society, an independent agency. This testing is an additional cost, and is performed in Anchorage. It is the student's responsibility to make transportation arrangements to the testing site. Contact the instructor for exact costs. In addition to earning the AVTEC Structural Welding certificate, students can also prepare and earn the following industry certification: Structural Certification to AWS structural steel code D1.1

Program Content

To achieve a Structural Welding certificate, students must complete the following requirements. For a detailed description of each requirement, click on the link below.

Course Hours
Related_Studies 75
O.A.W. - Oxyacetylene Welding 40
S.M.A.W. – Stick Electrode 385
G.M.A.W. – MIG 40
F.C.A.W. – Flux Core 40
G.T.A.W. – TIG 50
Introduction to NDT 40
Total Hours 670

Related Studies

Participate in school safety orientation, complete achievement tests, obtain First Aid & CPR card, participate in resume writing and job search training, participate in interview and communications training.

O.A.W. - Oxyacetylene Welding

Show knowledge of safety and operation of oxyacetylene welding and cutting equipment; describe and identify physical and mechanical properties as they relate to the weldability of metals; identify, demonstrate proper care of, and correctly use common and specific tools used in the welding trades; identify and describe various AWS weld symbols.

S.M.A.W. - Stick Electrode

Demonstrate proficiency in stick electrode welding to the American Welding Society D1.1 standard; describe and demonstrate air carbon arc cutting and gouging; identify hard surfacing electrodes and produce acceptable welds in 3 positions using proper technique.


Demonstrate basic skills in MIG welding technique.

F.C.A.W. - Flux Core

Demonstrate basic skills in flux cored arc welding technique.

G.T.A.W. - TIG

Demonstrate basic skills in TIG welding technique.

Introduction to NDT

Develop an understanding of the various processes used in the field of non-destructive testing.

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