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Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College
Fire up your career in 9 short months with a diploma in welding technology.

Career Area: Engineering, Manufacturing & Trades
Program: Welding Technology
Campus(es): Winona

Major Details

Fire up your career in 9 short months with a diploma in welding technology.

As a skilled welder, you'll enjoy a career where every day is different -- and you'll be paid very well for your efforts! Employers in Southeast Minnesota and nearby Wisconsin are looking for people with welding skills. Statewide, the need for welders is expected to increase by 7% between 2016-2026. As of 2019, the median salary in Minnesota is about $43,480 but experienced welders can make much more.

From day one in the Welding Technology diploma at MSC Southeast in Winona, you'll be getting hands-on experience in the welding shop. The program begins with training in safety and the proper handling of tools and shop supplies. Over the course of the year, our students become skilled in several welding and cutting processes in a variety of positions, including:

  • (OFW) oxy-fuel welding and cutting
  • (SMAW) stick welding
  • (GMAW) mig welding
  • (GTAW) tig welding

Students also learn the proper set up and selection of welding equipment and how to read and perform duties from weld shop blueprints. Since quality is critical, you'll also learn how to inspect your welds to meet today's standards and specifications.

All students must complete a welding capstone, designing a project from concept on through completion. Plus, there's an option to take an elective on-the-job internship, which can help with finding future employment.

Finally, you'll gain the skill to properly set up, complete, and pass a welding bend test to AWS (American Welding Society) D1.1 standards. With your diploma and this credential, you'll have the skills needed to enter today's welding workforce.

Apply now for admission to MSC Southeast

Career Field: Engineering, Manufacturing & Technology
Cluster: Manufacturing
Pathway: Production

Download the Program Plan


1) 1000 level (minimum) General Education courses required unless specified

English/Communications requirement
Choose one 2 credit (or greater) English or Communications course.
2 cr
Math requirement
Choose one 2 credit (or greater) Math course.
2 cr
5 crs
Technical electives (see advisor for approved electives)
Choose one or more Technical electives.
6 cr
Safety, Theory, Blueprints, & Processes
Students will be introduced to theory of the welding trade. This course covers fusion, proper heat penetration, heat distortion and its effects on parent metal, how electrical currents get from filler metal to work piece, and differences in polarity used while welding. A major component will introduce students to safe practices in welding. Students will learn the importance of personal safety equipment and apparel and how to protect against short and long term injury. Students will learn to identify dangers, how to eliminate problems through examination and to make minor repair to welding equipment and tools as expected in the trade. Students will be given an overview of blueprint reading including proper nomenclature for lines and views, reading of notes and specifications as well as identification of weld symbols. An overview of welding processes will be introduced from the fast moving production shop to the iron worker in the field. (Prerequisite: None) (4 credits: 4 lecture/0 lab)

Download the Course Outline

4 cr
SMAW - Principles of Stick Welding
This course is designed to give the student the fundamentals of stick welding in an application setting. The student will learn the basics of machine set up, proper nomenclature, and rod choices as well as the art of striking an arc, controlling the arc and creating a controlled puddle. The student will perform various weld joints with different metal thicknesses and be able to identify the differences between an acceptable and unacceptable weld. (Prerequisite: None) (3 credits: 0 lecture/3 lab)

Download the Course Outline

3 cr
Oxy-fuel Weld, Cutting & Brazing
This course is designed to show the student the safety of welding tank storage and handling. The proper way to open, close, and maintain tanks, their gauges and flow meters. How to set-up and create the proper flames and demonstrate its importance in each phase. Welding, cutting, and brazing will be performed in the flat position with various joint set-ups. (Prerequisite: None) (1 credit: 0 lecture/1 lab)

Download the Course Outline

1 cr
GMAW - MIG Wire Feed I
In this course the student will learn the proper machine set-up from turning on the power switch to performing various weld joints in the flat position. The student will learn the identification of the different MIG machine parts as well as demonstrate how to set the machine for various thicknesses of metal and different types of wire (filler metal) when used during the different welding processess. The student will also examine and identify the differences between good welds and bad welds such as welds that are too cold, too hot, or have other variables or inconsistencies. (Prerequisite: None) (3 credits: 0 lecture/3 lab)

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3 cr
This course is a continuation of WELD1420 (GMAW-MIG Wire Feed I)and will expand the student's knowledge and practice to include more welding positions. All the welding will take place in the vertical up position and/or the overhead position. The student will also learn the differences in machine set-up to accommodate these other positions. (Prerequisite: WELD1420) (3 credits: 0 lecture/3 lab)

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3 cr
GTAW-Tungsten Inert Gas Weld I
This course will teach and demonstrate the differences of Tungsten Inert Gas(TIG) welding to that of the stick welding and the MIG welding. The student will learn the proper machine set-up, proper selection of gases for different processes, proper selection and types of tungsten electrodes and the proper polarity to use when welding. The student will demonstrate puddle control, bead layout and various joint welds with aluminum alloy. (Prerequisite: None) (3 credits: 0 lecture/3 lab)

Download the Course Outline

3 cr
GTAW - Tungsten Inert Gas Welding II
This course is a continuation of WELD1430 (GTAW-TIG 1) and will expand the student's knowledge and practice to include stainless steel welding. The student will learn to interpret the material specific processes for aluminum and stainless steel as well as practice the proper tungsten preparation and polarity. (Prerequisite: WELD1430) (3 credits: 0 lecture/3 lab)

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3 cr
Workplace Projects & Fabrication Capstone
The student will be introduced to fabrication practices and techniques. The student will demonstrate project fabrication from concept and drawings, through building techniques to completion. Projects will consist of smaller personal projects and/or a larger class project. All projects must be approved by the instructor and will be supervised from concept on through completion of the project. Demonstration of welding techniques learned from the other courses will be practiced so this must be taken as one of the last classes in the program. (Prerequisites: HLTH1515, MATH0520, WELD1420, WELD1430, this course may be taken concurrently with WELD1425 and WELD1435) (3 credits: 0 lecture/3 lab)

Download the Course Outline

3 cr
29 crs

Total Credits Required for this Major: 34 Credits

Estimated Costs for this Major

Approximate Tuition/Fees:$7,646
Minimum Tool Cost:$450
Estimated Total:$8,456


Career Opportunities

  • Production manufacturing welder
  • Structural design welder
  • Custom fabrication
  • Specialized welding machine operator
  • Cutter, pipe fitter
  • Construction welding
  • Heavy equipment welder
  • And much more!

Career Information


Program graduates will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate safety in the weld shop.
  2. Read weld shop blueprints.
  3. Identify the correct weld procedures.
  4. Demonstrate the proper use of machines and equipment.
  5. Properly inspect welds.
  6. Pass a certification test D1.1 AWS.
  7. Demonstrate workplace reliability and attendance.


  • Safety first! Learn correct use of personal safety equipment and apparel and how to protect against injury
  • Get hands-on experience in the welding lab from day one
  • Learn a wide range of welding processes needed by today's employers
  • Rigorous classroom standards will prepare you for employer expectations


Casey Mann
Casey Mann is a 1982 graduate of Winona Technical College (now Minnesota State College Southeast). Prior to becoming an instructor at MSC Southeast in 2003, he had 27 years of experience in family-owned shops, large scale fabrication shops, and road crews. Casey has project management experience on multi-million dollar projects that have been shipped throughout the world.




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RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987
COLLEGE PHONE | 507-453-2700 | 877-853-8324

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment based on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


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