Welding, Brazing/Soldering

John Jessen, Westwood High School, Teacher “We’ve done small projects. This year we also built a tow behind trailer for a side by side. The students designed it and built it.”
Nathan M., Westwood High School, Student “This class gives us an opportunity [to] have a head start over other people. When I enlist in the Marines I hope to weld on Humvees and other equipment.”

Career Focus

Prepared for immediate employment, apprenticeship opportunities, advanced certifications, and further education.

Who Can Attend

This class is typically available to students in grades 10 - 12.


The welding program prepares students for entry level job skills in the welding field or participation in a community or technical college program. The instructional format is “self-paced,” allowing students to progress at their own speed.

Instruction is provided in:

  • Safety
  • Cutting and bending steel
  • Shielded metal arc welding (stick)
  • Gas metal arc welding (wire feed / MIG)
  • Flux Cored arc welding (wire feed)
  • Gas tungsten arc welding (TIG)
  • Oxyacetylene torch cutting
  • Project layout and construction
  • Daily maintenance of shop and equipment
  • Employability skills

Class Requirements

Students are required to complete welding and cutting operations, a required project and one project of their own choosing. Time in this class is split between lecture and hands-on activities. Students also receive an introduction to basic machining principles, including foundational work on the mill and lathe.

Michigan & National Wage and Employment Data

Bachelor's Degree or Higher

  • Architects, Except Landscape 
  • Architectural and Engineering Managers
  • Career/Technical Education Teachers
  • Commercial and Industrial Designers
  • Engineers
  • General and Operations Managers
  • Industrial Production Managers
  • Purchasing Managers

Associate's Degree, Long-Term Training & Apprenticeships

  • Architectural and Civil Drafters
  • Boilermakers
  • Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers
  • Drafters, All Other
  • Mechanical Drafters
  • Civil Engineering Technicians
  • Industrial Engineering Technicians
  • Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers
  • Machinists
  • Mechanical Engineering Technicians
  • Millwrights
  • Plumbers, Pipefitters, Steamfitters
  • Power Plant Operators
  • Sheet Metal Workers
  • Structural Iron and Steel Workers
  • Tool and Die Makers
  • Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators
  • Wind Turbine Service Technicians

Certificate or Moderate-Term Training

  • Chemical Equipment Operators 
  • Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators
  • Furnace, Kiln, Oven, Drier, and Kettle Operators
  • Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers
  • Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Workers 
  • Machine Setters
  • Maintenance Workers, Machinery
  • Mechanical Door Repairers
  • Medical Equipment Repairers
  • Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters
  • Tool Grinders, Filers, and Sharpeners
  • Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers

High School Diploma or Equivalent & Short-Term Training

  • Cutting and Slicing Machine Setters, Operators 
  • Helpers–Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Workers 
  • Helpers–Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters  
  • Helpers–Production Workers
  • Sawing Machine Setters, Operators
  • Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers and Repairers
  • Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers 
  • Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators

Students should inquire within their guidance office about high school curriculum requirements that may be satisfied through a CTE class, as this is determined individually by school district.

College credit(s) possible

  • Students can earn up to 11 college credits from NMU
  • Students must earn a grade of 90% or better and be recommended by the instructor
  • Each college reserves the right to set its own credit-granting policy
  • Contact your college(s) to find out the score it requires to grant credit, the number of credit hours granted, and the course(s) that can be bypassed with a satisfactory score

NMU courses satisfied

  • WD 140 - Intro to Welding - NMU Credits Granted 4
  • WD 180 - Multi-Positional Welding - NMU Credits Granted 4
  • IM 110 - Industrial Measurement & Fabrication - NMU Credits Granted 3

National College Credit Recommendation (Test required)

  • Students have the potential of earning college credits by scoring 70% or better on the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) assessment for Welding
  • Test is administered in the classroom during mid-spring semester
  • Over 1,500 colleges and universities accept NOCTI credit recommendations

Industry-recognized Certification

  • 10-hour OSHA General Industry Safety Certificate*
  • American Welding Society (AWS) certifications are pending availability of certified examiner*

*Credentials are nationally recognized, portable and stackable, which means students have the option of attaining more advanced credentials in the future

Welding students tour manufacturing!

MARESA CTE welding students toured BOSS Snowplow and Systems Control in Iron Mountain. Students learned they can find a good career in the UP!

More than 40 MARESA CTE welding students toured BOSS Snowplow and Systems Control manufacturing in Iron Mountain. Students learned they can find immediate employment and the beginning of a good career here in the UP.

BOSS moves 150,000 lbs of steel down their production line per day and uses 50 miles of MiG wire per day! BOSS designs and builds all kinds of snowplows, from the standard plow seen on pick-up trucks to smaller UTV and ATV plows, to the big box plows seen on front end loaders clearing large parking lots in the winter. They produce about 40 snowplows a month and they are shipped all over the world. Every BOSS plow you see was made in Iron Mountain, MI.

Systems Control designs and constructs Power Distribution houses. Systems Control produces about 25 sheds per month. The sheds range in size and cost, anywhere from $150,000 to $3 million per shed. The sheds are shipped all over world and range in weight from 16 - 30 tons each.

Both manufacturers are continually looking for quality employees for their skilled labor positions.

The tours were made possible through collaborative efforts between Marquette-Alger RESA and Michigan Works / Upward, and of course the welcoming hosts, Systems Control and BOSS Snowplow!