6 Welding Trade Schools, Free Welding Classes in San Antonio & Houston

One of the joys of welding is creating something from scratch whether it’s as simple as crafting coat hooks, pot racks, smokers, mailbox stands, gates, fences, or sophisticated crafts like motorcycle frames, machine parts, custom brackets, etc. Or even more advanced things like custom gates, pressure vessels, pipelines, bridges, ship-building repairs, heavy machinery components, etc.

And, Texas is one of the best places to ignite your passion, whether as a beginner, or you just want to build on your skills. In fact, highly skilled and trained welders are needed across Texas, and the demand for welders continues in industries like aerospace, construction, power, oil, and more.

In case you’re looking for free welding classes in San Antonio or Houston, unfortunately, there is no single free class. But some classes provide financial aid and are affordable to enroll in which we’ll be listing in this blog post.

Moreover, there are still a handful of welding schools in the Lone Star State, and even some other similar free welding schools in Georgia, California, Philly, North Carolina, etc.

Let’s get started with these schools.

Free Welding classes in San Antonio

Free Welding Classes in San Antonio

As we said earlier, there are no free welding classes available in San Antonio, what you will find are schools that are affordable and provide financial aid (that doesn’t need to be repaid) to help reduce the cost of enrolling.

1. Alamo Colleges – Welding

  • Location: 2222 N. ALAMO ST. SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS 78215
  • Tuition: 
    • Welding Fundamentals – $1,654
    • Basic Shielded Metal ARC Welding (SMAW) – $1,713 (Financial Aid Available)

Alamo Colleges provides Continuing Education (CE) Welding programs that are open to the public, regardless of your undergraduate status. So if you want to gain a welding skill from a reputable institution without pursuing a full degree, then you should consider this class.

In the class, you will begin with basic welding where you will learn the theory and introduction to the shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) processes. After that, you will move a little bit further to Introduction to Welding then later advance to Advanced Shielded Metal ARC Welding and Advanced MIG Welding. Towards the final class, you will be focusing on Pipe Welding and Layout & Fabrication.

Compared to other welding schools, this program is relatively affordable. They still provide financial aid. You might even be eligible to receive free tuition and job placement services that will enable you to secure an in-demand career, making it one of the free welding classes in San Antonio

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2. North East Independent School District (NEISD) Community Education

  • Location: San Antonio, TX 78217
  • Fee: $30

This introductory course will not certainly lead to a nice career in welding, but it did the work of helping those just starting in welding and wanting to learn the basics before advancing to a more expensive program. In the course, you’ll be learning the basics of Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), otherwise known as stick welding.

The classes are done in the evenings or weekends to accommodate working adults, and the class will last for 10 weeks. Also, the course won’t be issuing any industry-recognized certificate because it’s an introductory course.

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These are the only two affordable or almost free welding courses in San Antonio, but you can still do some research to locate some better options. First of all, you can look for job training programs offered by several community organizations in which free welding classes might be involved. It’s best to contact your local United Way or workforce development agency to see if they provide any free welding classes.

Another way to go about it is by taking advantage of some free online welding classes offered by platforms like Alison. But you should know that in welding, online learning is not always the best option due to the hands-on experience needed.

Now we have established these facts, let’s look into some of the welding trade schools in San Antonio.

Welding Trade Schools in San Antonio TX

3. Southern Careers Institute – San Antonio North

  • Location: 6963 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78238
  • Duration: 7 months

This 7 months welding training in Texas will equip you with the skills needed to perform modern welding tasks in a variety of industries like the aerospace, construction, power, oil industry, etc, through theoretical knowledge and practical lab-based work. SCI is undeniably one of the best welding trade schools in San Antonio TX – perhaps the best – and they will prepare you for some welding and OSHA-10 professional exams.

I love Kayla’s story about how the training helped her secure a new job after COVID-19 made her lose her former job.

SCI doesn’t just provide excellent welding education, but they will also help you to pay for the classes whether through scholarships & grants, Federal Grants & Loans, Military Assistance Programs, etc.

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4. South Texas Vocational Technical Institute

  • Location: 734 SE Military Dr. San Antonio, TX 78214
  • Duration: 10 months

Alongside the classroom education, you will also develop hands-on training on these welding skills: Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), Gas metal arc welding (GMAW) and Flux core arc welding (FCAW), Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), GMAW pipe welding techniques, Open V grooves, Proper plate positioning and welding, etc.

As a combination welding program, it means you will learn two or more different welding processes and learn how to apply them to various projects.

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5. St. Philip’s College – Southwest Campus

This is among the welding trade schools in San Antonio TX that give you an option of either choosing an Associate Degree in Welder/Welding Technologist or a level 1 certificate program in Inert Gas GTAW/GMAW Welder (MSGW). You can also choose a Level 1 Certificate in Structural/Pipe Layout or a Level 1 Certificate in Entry-Level Welder.

One of the interesting things is that one or more of these programs may be approved as “Ready to Work” programs. This means it gives you the privilege to be eligible to receive free tuition and job placement services that will enable you to secure an in-demand career.

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Affordable Welding Classes in Houston

Just like in San Antonio, there are also no free welding classes in Houston, but there are very affordable ones that go all the way to still provide financial assistance and scholarships to help offset their fees further.

6. Houston Community College – Welding Technology

  • Location: 3100 Main Street, Houston TX 77002

Though this program is not free, at tuition of $107.50 per credit hour, it makes it very affordable. Also, HCC provides several scholarships and need-based financial aid to help reduce their fees further.

This Welding Technology program is designed to offer students the necessary skills for entry-level positions in the welding industry. At the end of the program, you’ll be able to demonstrate knowledge of Safety Rules and Regulations as they apply to a welding environment. Also, you’ll be able to interpret and Decode Information Found in Blueprints, Specifications, and Applicable Documents Related to Welding Projects, and other lessons.

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HCC – Welding Technology is the only affordable welding class in Houston.

The Best Welding School in San Antonio

Deciding the most prolific welding school in San Antonio, another county, or a State is subjective and depends on your needs and priorities. So far, the only school that has always come out to be the best when asked by several students and workers is the Southern Careers Institute.

This school provides various welding programs on both of their campuses in San Antonio North and South. Their instructors are well-experienced and they provide top-notch hands-on training. The only serious downside is their cost, as a private for-profit institution it charges a lot more than community college.

Key Takeaway

Just like we mentioned in the introduction of this blog and as you have seen there are no free welding classes in San Antonio and a few trade schools. But, you shouldn’t forget that welding is a journey of self-discovery, and it’s a rewarding career.

The affordable or finance-sponsored classes will help you kickstart your welding journey but don’t hesitate to explore more advanced classes in trade schools or community colleges if you can.

Author’s Recommendations

1 thought on “6 Welding Trade Schools, Free Welding Classes in San Antonio & Houston”

  1. I haven’t checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are great quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

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