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Earn Welding Certificate in 600 Hours

SDCE Top School for Career Technical Training


Welding instructor working with welding student

SDCE Faculty (Left) Bob Pyle and Student (Right) Mackenzie Crommett Review Shielded Metal Arc Welding Techniques

By Allura Garis


SAN DIEGO, CA –The San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE), an adult education institution within the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) serves as a launch pad for General Dynamics NAASCO’s newest recruits and other prestigious manufacturers. Upon completion of 600 hours students may receive a welding certificate from the American Welding Society (AWS) and SDCE.


The highly acclaimed technical program is offered at no cost and additional equipment fees may be waived. “Very infrequently do you get free education that is such high quality. There are so many schools that expect lots of money in return for [an] education on this level,” says Mackenzie Crommett, SDCE student.


SDCE is an integral part of the District alongside San Diego City, San Diego Mesa, and San Diego Miramar colleges. SDCE has been helping adults transition into the workforce for decades by offering free career training. With certified Master Welders as instructors, students are equipped with industry standard practices that are essential for successful employment.



welder welding

SDCE Student Demonstrates Steel Pipe Welding

Learn a Trade and Earn Better Wages

Increasing participation in the certificate programs is a central part of the SDCE’s strategic plan to transition students into a rewarding career or two-year and four-year colleges.  Various Arc Welding certificates include Shielded Metal, Pipe, Gas Tungsten, Gas Metal and Flux Cored. Prospective students can expect to commit 600 hours for 24 weeks to learn a series of welding practices as well as math, communications, and business.


Welding is an everyday art form that makes up just about everything from cars to ships. It’s not an easy job but one that is hands-on, rewarding and absolutely necessary to the economy. According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, welding technicians make a median salary of $55,000 and sheet-metal workers make $67,500.


“As the workforce ages there are a lot of welders out there that will be retiring within the next ten years,” states Bob Pyle, Master Welder and SDCE faculty member. He refers to the substantial gap between young apprentices entering the workforce and older more experienced generations on their way out. A hopeful Pyle says, “There will be a high attrition rate making a lot of room for new welders.”


Free welding classes take place in the Mountain View community of San Diego at the Education Cultural Complex, one of six SDCE campuses. Located just a few miles away from General Dynamics NASSCO, the world leader in shipbuilding and largest full service shipyard on the West Coast is often sought after by successful graduates. “There are so many career pathways available to students. It's truly an endless opportunity for them,” says Brad Dorschel, Master Welder and SDCE faculty member.


Faculty are actively seeking current welding practices to meet the needs of a high-demand industry. “We have an advisory committee meeting every six months,” explains Dorschel. “They shape our curriculum as well as inform us of trends and requirements that they are hoping to get from our students.”


Every Student Matters

SDCE offers thousands of low cost classes and more than 40 certificate programs. The adult institution in collaboration with SDCCD is the region's largest provider of workforce training and education. Toward efforts that bridge their students from the classroom to employment SDCE targets all California residents 18+, especially nontraditional students, offering them accessible and quality education.


Additional support and resources beyond the classrooms are also available. Recently, SDCE opened a new Housing Stability Equity Resource Center at ECC to accommodate the social and emotional needs facing this population of students. The resource center is open on Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


The demographic of SDCE’s student body is anything but traditional. Students are resilient. Dorschel often oversees classrooms that encompass lawyers, doctors, formerly incarcerated and homeless students. He says, “I feel like a lot of people don’t ever find that spark in life. Welding is my passion and I hope that I can inspire somebody else to find that and to go out in the world and love what they do every day.”


SDCE will host more than 3,700 incoming students at six campuses for the spring 2017 semester. Welding classes are some of the most popular. Students can learn more at a free orientation. Visit, SDCE.EDU