The current job market shows that the centuries-long tradition of welding is as strong as ever. Through the year 2026, there will be a projected need for 336,000 new welding professionals in the industry. There are various reasons for this--expected industry growth as a whole, as well as anticipated attrition. This means that there will be a large number of professionals retiring from the welding profession, or leaving for other industries - there are more than 150,000 welders approaching retirement as of 2021.
Despite this impressive job outlook and an average salary of $45,400, welding is one of the trades that is faced with stigma suggesting that welders are unskilled, uneducated workers. However, all those in a trade must undergo high-skill training of some kind, and come out ready for an entry-level job, usually within two years or less. In fact, one niche known as underwater welding is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the world and requires highly technical education through an accredited trade school.
Students who pursue this trade clearly have a bright future. However, not only are academic institutions raising tuition prices, but the cost of welding supplies alone can be incredibly burdensome. In other words, the financial burden of studying for a welding certification or degree is higher than ever.
To support this critical industry, donors at Bold.org are eager to offer financial assistance. Whether you are a full-time undergraduate student, a high school senior, or are pursuing any other kind of educational program, there is a scholarship available to you.
When comparing the cost of trade school to that of a four-year undergraduate degree, the difference is clear. On average, a trade school will cost $33,000, while a bachelor's degree is closer to $132,000. So, while choosing to attend an accelerated educational program for welding is often a better financial decision, circumstances may still not allow these students to pursue their chosen trade at face value.
BIPOC and low-income students tend to attend technical and trade schools more often than other demographics. And, these students are often disproportionately drawn to for-profit trade schools, which have been shown to put students into more debt and give them fewer job prospects than their non-profit counterparts.
Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities for students who are pursuing the trades to be awarded financial assistance. Many of these scholarships are awarded in honor of former tradesmen who were passionate about hands-on, high-skill training alongside personal growth through technical education.
These scholarships are grants of money, paid directly towards tuition and fees for students pursuing the trade of welding. This assistance can apply to education for a four-year undergraduate degree, an accelerated community college degree, or a trade school certification.
Regardless of background, education level, or academic achievement, students pursuing welding can absolutely get a scholarship for it. Because there are so many unique opportunities available for financial support, there is a benefit to finding a niche for each applicant.
Besides working towards a technical welding program, the requirements for these financial awards can range from exhibiting personal courage and fortitude, to being involved in your community. Many tradesmen are skilled in more than one aspect of their lives, so donors wish to support the whole student, not just based on grades and academic merit.
These scholarships can go toward welding engineering, welder training, and any number of other welding-related disciplines. Whatever the case, you are sure to find a scholarship program to fund your welder training.
The first step to applying for a scholarship is finding one that fits your unique background. Besides the opportunities listed below, Bold.org has a Categories page that makes it easy to find more opportunities that you are eligible for, based on your location, major, education level, age, race, or financial status.
For instance, you may have to be from a specific AWS district (American Welding Society district) or be enrolled in an accredited community college. By contrast, you may have to be in a four-year program or another type of academic institution. Criteria can vary greatly, and finding your niche will fit you into smaller applicant pools, thus increasing your chances of being rewarded.
Welding, and other skilled trades, are increasingly considered to be included in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). So, if you're interested in welding, you should also be sure to check out scholarships for STEM students. Just be sure to apply to those that allow any type of engineering- or science-based degrees, instead of only biology or chemistry, for example.
After finding a scholarship that fits your background, applicants should spend ample time preparing any required materials like essays, art, or other creative projects. Scholarship descriptions will outline what kinds of questions or prompts to follow, which will often ask about your interest in the trade, any extracurricular achievement, and difficulties you've overcome.
In your application process, it's critical to balance quality and quantity. Applying to many scholarships with materials finished haphazardly won't put your best foot forward to donors.
Students should also be sure to submit materials by the deadline that is listed in the scholarship description. After this date passes, a scholarship is put into review, and no more submissions can be accepted.
Most of all, don't be discouraged if you do not win a scholarship that you applied for. Finding others that are a better fit for you, as well as continuing to submit strong applications over time, will increase your chance of earning scholarship funds.
With all of the options for financial support on the internet, it's easy to become overwhelmed. Great scholarships for welding are those that support a student's unique background, and see their potential in the trades. Welding education consists of more than learning how to weld - chemistry, science, critical thinking, and safety all make a student complex and multi-faceted!
Below are some scholarships that are exclusive to Bold.org, and will fit your niche of welding education in some way.
Your junior and senior years of high school are a great time for students to begin applying for scholarships. Below are some opportunities that high schoolers can apply for now if they're interested in pursuing welder training. For more scholarships that you can apply to as a high schooler, check here.
For some, attending an accelerated technical school is the first step of education to become a welder. This will earn you a welding certificate, and students can finish these programs in 6-18 months. Other welding students can study at a four-year college or university, earning a welding engineering technology degree. This can allow them to enter into more detailed technical roles in the industry.
Below are scholarships that can be applied to tuition at any higher-education institution.
Only 5% of welders are women, and 20% are people of color. Historically, these groups have been pushed out of education and the trades, and donors are looking to give these students help in leveling the playing field through financial aid.
First, it's especially helpful to begin your scholarship search through contact with the school or program that you'll be attending. This will offer the most localized financial aid opportunities, often with a higher chance of being rewarded.
The American Welding Society is also an invaluable resource to those pursuing a welding program at any academic institution. The American Welding Society (AWS) Foundation is a nonprofit organization to support future welders through career training and job prospects.
Next, it's a great time to find an online scholarship platform that fits your needs and to start searching outside of local groups. Bold.org has something for everyone, with a wide variety of scholarships exclusive to the platform. A great way to start is by applying to the list of scholarships above.
Applying to scholarships sooner rather than later will work in your favor. With earlier submissions, you have more time to apply to other scholarships. Keep in mind that some scholarships have set deadlines, while others work on a rolling basis - in which case, it's best to get your materials in for consideration as soon as you have them ready.
You don't need to be a high school graduate to apply for scholarships - at Bold.org, students as young as fourteen can start applying. Starting to apply during your junior and senior years of high school will give you plenty of time to earn the funding necessary for education expenses. Applying regularly throughout college will give you new financial aid opportunities, as new scholarships are posted every week.