Welding Technology

Earn your diploma or degree in Welding Technology at NDSCS.

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Academic Options

Welding Technology (A.A.S. degree or diploma)

The Welding Technology program provides education and training in advanced welding and cutting processes, robotics, computer numerical control operations, inspection, print reading, fabrication, pipe and plate welding, math, communications and other aspects of general education.

  • Type: A.A.S. degree, Diploma
  • Locations: Fargo, Wahpeton
  • Cluster: Manufacturing

» View Program Information & Admission Requirements

Welding Technology (Certificate)
welding certificate

The Welding Technology certificate option provides students experience in welding as it pertains to assembly, manufacturing, energy and construction.

  • Type: Certificate
  • Locations: Fargo, Wahpeton
  • Cluster: Manufacturing

» View Program Information & Admission Requirements


​The Welding Technology program at NDSCS is designed to provide you experiences in welding as it pertains to assembly, manufacturing, energy and construction. 

The program provides education and training in common welding processes, robotics, CNC plasma cutting, CNC press break operations, inspection, print reading, fabrications, pipe and plate welding, automated manufacturing, human relations, communications and other aspects of general education. 

Career opportunities offer a wide range of employment possibilities in: 

  • Manufacturing 
  • Steel Construction 
  • Mining 
  • Energy 
  • Petroleum 
  • Other Production Areas 

NDSCS is an American Welding Society S.E.N.S.E. certified facility. AWS Level I and Level II certification is available. The NDSCS Welding program is an educational partner with Weld-Ed the National Center for Welding Education and Training. 

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Welding Technology Graduates from 2022-23 Academic Year
Graduates Registered Avg. Beginning Annual Salary Reported High Annual Salary Placement Rate
29 $57651 $96924 93%

NDSCS hosts the Annual American Welding Society Behind The Mask Competition

Student welding during contest

North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) partnered with the American Welding Society (AWS) to host the annual Behind The Mask competition for high school and college students. The competition, which took place at the NDSCS Wahpeton campus on April 20th, saw ninety high school and college students from North Dakota and Minnesota compete for the top prize.

The competition is designed to challenge each student’s welding skills and to provide them with a platform to present their skills to the welding industry. Behind The Mask is judged by industry professionals who evaluate participants on safety, quality of welds, and the ability to follow AWS welding standards. Students from high schools in Wahpeton, Mandan, Minot, Grafton, Valley City and Fargo, as well as college students from NDSCS, Alexandria Technical College, and Lynnes Welding Training, Inc. all competed in the event.

The competition’s generous sponsors donated all the prizes for the event, which consisted of awards for the top welders in the separate high school and college divisions. All the proceeds from this event go back into AWS scholarships ranging from $500-$2,500 that are available to high school and college students pursuing a welding career. These scholarships help up-and-coming welders pursue their craft and continue to build upon the skills they already have.

The results of the top welders in the high school division include:

  • GMAW (wire)
    • 1st – Ben Klemen (NDSCS-Fargo)
    • 2nd – Colton Prellwitz (Minot)
    • 3rd – Daniel Kryvenia (Minot)
  • SMAW (stick)
    • 1st – Chantz Delzer (Mandan)
    • 2nd – Caeiton Eslinger (Minot)
    • 3rd – Braeden Olavson (Sheyenne Valley Area CTE)

The results of the top welders in the college division include:

  • GMAW (wire)
    • 1st – Jarred Maleska (Alexandria Technical & Community College)
    • 2nd – Shadera Burian (NDSCS)
    • 3rd – Tyler Heida (Alexandria Technical & Community College)
  • SMAW (stick)
    • 1st – Dexter Seese (NDSCS)
    • 2nd – Parker Meyer (Alexandria Technical & Community College)
    • 3rd – Colin Lenieux (NDSCS)

“We are excited to have partnered with AWS to provide this unique opportunity for welding students,” said Lee Larson, Associate Professor of NDSCS Welding and AWS Northwest Chairman. “The competition was a great opportunity for students to get feedback from industry experts and gain valuable welding experience.”

The AWS Behind The Mask Competition is a great way to showcase the talents of welders, while also providing an opportunity for students to gain recognition and financial assistance. NDSCS is proud to be a part of this exciting competition and looks forward to hosting an amazing competition at NDSCS-Fargo next year.

Article written by NDSCS and submitted to external news outlets. 

Career and technical education continue offering coed chances

Female students in CTE programs

For the longest time, Aleigha Lyons thought she would not go to college.

Lyons is from Lisbon, North Dakota, where her family owns an auto body shop. She began working in the shop as a high school sophomore. A year later, during a day off from school, Lyons toured North Dakota State College of Science’s campus in Wahpeton. The tour started Lyons on her current path as a first year auto body repair and refinishing technology student.

Lyons is one of the 2,942 females making up more than 43% of NDSCS’ total enrollment. The career and technical education program includes 1,334 females representing nearly 35% of the enrollment. Career and technical education is recognized each February, calling attention to high demand fields like the auto industry, construction, electrical technology, HVAC/R technology, plumbing, welding and more.

“If you’re even thinking about it, look into it,” Lyons said. “Don’t be scared. I was terrified. I know it sounds stupid. Yes, people are going to look at you. They might not think you’re doing to do a good job because you’re a woman. And that’s when you prove them wrong.”

Lianna Jepson is a second year electrical technology student. A fateful experience at Kennedy Secondary School, Fergus Falls, Minnesota, redirected her priorities.

“I was peer pressured into joining a robotics club meeting after school,” Jepson said, smiling at the memory. “It really inspired a new aspect of me. Before, I was very book smart, intent on being a math teacher. Now, I was working with my hands, critically thinking, looking at designs. I looked into NDSCS to (pursue being) an electrician. It felt like a natural path to there.”

The most enjoyable, and constant, experience for Jepson has been retraining her brain.

“I’ve taken so many different classes. When I started this, I was so certain, ‘I’m going to be an electrician.’ Now, I see that there’s really so many opportunities, as an electrician, or a programmer, or an estimator,” she said.

Ivan Maas is chair of NDSCS’ building systems technology department, including electrical, HVAC/R and plumbing. A student may arrive without real world experience, but he or she won’t leave without it.

“Most of our programs, or at least the three I work with, heavily involve lab work,” Maas said. “The bulk of the equipment they work on is literally the same equipment they will work on and service when they get out in the industry. It’s not trainers, it’s not just virtual kinds of stuff. This is the same equipment.”

Peer-to-peer interaction is greatly important for career and technical students, Maas said. Sexism would be a hindrance, especially when capability is the driving criteria.

“Don’t worry about what other people think,” said Carissa Gozdal, a first year Komatsu diesel student from Fargo, North Dakota. “In diesel, no one cares if you’re a woman or not. I haven’t had a teacher or guy treat me differently. If you’re doing your work right, good, on time and efficiently, no one cares.”

Gozdal is a sponsored student, whose education will be followed by time with the company that helped pay for it. Students continue to look for and pursue opportunities to either assist with or redefine education choices.

Brooke Glynn is a third year construction management student from Fullerton, North Dakota. She has already graduated from architectural drafting and estimating, as well as being a member of the North Dakota National Guard. It was through the latter organization that Glynn began her work as a carpentry specialist.

“I really loved it. It was hands-on work that I decided to ultimately pursue,” Glynn said. “After experiencing construction through the military, I went to look for a college that would provide me more opportunities.”

Glynn will graduate this year with a degree in construction management. She seeks to find a full-time job as an architectural drafter or assistant construction manager, working her way up to being a construction manager.

“Don’t care about what other people think of you,” Glynn said to young women. “Focus on your trade and doing what you can.”

Terry Marohl is head of NDSCS’ transportation department. He is also impressed at the amount of camaraderie and interest in shared success among career and technical education students.

“We’re all about getting individuals ready for the workforce, with hands-on career experience. When we recruit, we’re recruiting students for our programs. There’s so much demand from the industries. The opportunities are there, but the demand is greater than the supply,” Marohl said.

Lily Reed, a first year welding technology student from Willmar, Minnesota, is another student whose mind was broadened when she got to try something new. It was thanks to a high school all-girl’s welding class.

“I wanted to pursue my passion and do what I enjoy. I love what I do. If I didn’t go to a bigger (high school), I would never have gone to the program I’m in right now,” Reed said.

Like her peers, Reed sees making a career from a career and technical education program as of matter of doing what she enjoys and can see herself continuing to do.

“It doesn’t matter what field it’s in or if it’s men-dominated. Go and prove yourself to them,” Reed said.

“Sometimes you’re put on a pedestal and sometimes you’re put down,” Jepson said. “In either case, you have to stay true to what you believe. You have to know what you want to do, know your job and do it right. And at the end of the day, you’ll make a lot of money.”

Article written by Frank Stanko for Wahpeton Daily News on February 1, 2023. 

American Welding Society certifies NDSCS as an Accredited Test Facility

ATF Logo

The American Welding Society (AWS) has certified the North Dakota State College of Science as an Accredited Test Facility. This enables designated NDSCS Welding Technology faculty to test and certify qualified welders to the nationally recognized AWS standards.

“This designation as an AWS Accredited Test Facility is a tremendous advantage for our students,” said NDSCS Welding Technology Associate Professor Joel Johnson. “Our Welding Technology graduates will now have an AWS certification, which is recognized nationally and even worldwide.”

To become an AWS Accredited Test Facility, the NDSCS Welding Technology department completed a two-year process to develop a Quality Manual, verify that lab equipment meets requirements and obtain Certified Welding Inspector certification for faculty. The final step in the process was an on-site audit by a third party.

In May 2017, NDSCS was awarded a $740,000 National Science Foundation grant to support the North Dakota Welds (NDWelds) program. That grant helped to make the AWS Accredited Test Facility designation possible by supporting the investment of time and money to complete the application process.

“One of the goals of NDWelds is to unify welding standards across the state,” said NDSCS Welding Technology Associate Professor Clint Gilbertson. “Through the Accredited Test Facility, we will be able to provide certification for the current workforce, and partner with high schools to offer certification for their instructors and students.”

The NDSCS Welding Technology program will celebrate its 90th anniversary in 2020. Additional information about the program can be found online at ndscs.edu/welding.

NDSCS students place first in Behind the Mask Welding Contest

Welding Student

Two students from the NDSCS Welding Technology program took top honors in the American Welding Society Northern Plains Section’s 2019 Behind the Mask Welding Competition.

The students, both from Fargo, are:
Tyler Mehrer – first place, wire feed welding competition
Dillon Cardwell – first place, stick welding competition

Nearly 100 contestants from five post-secondary institutions and five high schools competed in welding tests throughout the day. Prizes were awarded to the top welders in each category.

Old Main

NDSCS Students Excel at North Dakota SkillsUSA Contest

Students from NDSCS received a number of awards at the North Dakota SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference.


Old Main at night

NDSCS students earn awards at National SkillsUSA Championships

Three students from the North Dakota State College of Science earned medals at the national SkillsUSA Championships this summer.


NDSCS Students Excel at North Dakota SkillsUSA Contest

Old Main steeple

Students from the North Dakota State College of Science received a number of awards at the North Dakota SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference, which was held at NDSCS earlier this month. By achieving gold medals at the state level, 14 of these students qualified to compete in their respective categories at the national SkillsUSA Championships, which will be held in Louisville, Ky. in June.

The NDSCS students who received gold, silver or bronze medals at the state competition include:

Keegan Chapin, Automotive Service Technology, Bronze

Battle Lake: 
Caleb Bellig, Welding Fabrication, Gold
Cyrus: Eric Larson, Electrical Construction Wiring, Gold
Frazee: Ryan Bade, Collision Repair Technology, Gold
Moorhead: John Baumgardner, CNC Technician, Bronze
Sartell: Cole Mortiz, Welding, Gold
Spicer: Trey Johnson, Plumbing, Silver
Spring Grove: Mitch Anderson, Welding Fabrication, Gold

 Tanner Klein, Power Equipment Technology, Gold
Dickinson: John Heidt, CNC Turning Specialist, Gold; Shelby Kilwein, Diesel Equipment Technology, Silver; Caleb Krebs, Diesel Equipment Technology, Gold
Fargo: Chandler Rheault, Welding Sculpture, Gold; Rebecca Roberts, Welding Sculpture, Silver
Jamestown: Kyle Schumacher, Automotive Service Technology, Gold; Dylan Staloch, Automotive Refinishing Technology, Gold
Lisbon: Cassie Witte, Culinary Arts, Gold
Milnor: Taylor Busche, Plumbing, Gold
Minot: Mason Bahl, Welding, Silver; Henry Lemar, Automotive Service Technology, Silver
Napoleon: Jake Bakken, Plumbing, Bronze
Oakes: Brittney Harty, Culinary Arts, Silver
Rugby: Ethan Clements, Welding Fabrication, Gold
West Fargo: Joe Shook, CNC Milling Specialist, Bronze
Wahpeton: Austin Berger, Automotive Refinishing Technology, Silver
Walcott: Jordan Mead, Diesel Equipment Technology, Bronze
Williston: Steven Fixen, Electrical Construction Wiring, Silver

Schyler Kumpf, Collision Repair Technology, Bronze

NDSCS Students Excel at North Dakota SkillsUSA Contest

Old Main

Students from the North Dakota State College of Science received a number of awards at the North Dakota SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference, which was held in Bismarck this spring. By achieving gold medals at the state level, 14 of these students qualified to compete in their respective categories at the national SkillsUSA Championships, which will be held in Louisville, Ky. in June.

The NDSCS students who received gold, silver or bronze medals at the state competition include:

 Jessica Starkey, Motorcycle Service Technology, Silver

Cottage Grove:
 Alex Johnson, Welding, Silver
Fergus Falls: Jared Christenson, Electrical Construction Wiring, Silver; Richard Grimm, Welding Fabrication, Gold; Mason Tell, Automotive Service Technology, Bronze; Jared Wick, Culinary Arts, Bronze
Frazee: Ryan Bade, Collision Repair Technology, Gold
Moorhead: Chantel Hamann, Power Equipment Technology, Gold
Sartell: Cole Moritz, Welding Fabrication, Silver
Spring Grove: Mitchell Anderson, Welding Fabrication, Gold
Wheaton: Brayden Lampe, Welding Fabrication, Gold

Sean Lofthus, Welding Sculpture, Silver

Argusville: Noah Trangsrud, Welding Fabrication, Silver
Bismarck: Tony DaSilva, Welding Sculpture, Bronze
Cando: Larry MacDonald, Automotive Service Technology, Silver
Des Lacs: Jonathan Fritel, CNC Technician, Gold
Dickinson: Shelby Kilwein, Diesel Equipment Technology, Bronze
Fargo: Joe Brunner, Culinary Arts, Gold; Chandler Rheault, Welding Sculpture, Gold
Grafton: Justin Simon, Welding, Gold
Jamestown: Kyle Schumacher, Automotive Service Technology, Gold
Lisbon: Cassie Witte, Culinary Arts, Silver
Marion: Greg Lahlum, Diesel Equipment Technology, Gold
New Rockford: Colten Schafer, Welding Fabrication, Silver
Rugby: Kurt Pfau, Diesel Equipment Technology, Silver
Strasburg: Trent Mattern, Motorcycle Service Technology, Gold
Valley City: Brandon Compson, CNC Turning Specialist, Gold
Williston: Ryan Hellen, Electrical Construction Wiring, Gold; Cullen Weigel, Electrical Construction Wiring, Bronze

 Josh Orth, Motorcycle Service Technology, Bronze

NDSCS receives $742,567 grant from National Science Foundation

Welding Student

North Dakota State College of Science has been awarded a $742,567 grant from the National Science Foundation to support the North Dakota Welds (NDWelds) Program: Advancing Welding Technician Skills for Students and Training for Educators.

NDWelds has a goal of enhancing welding technician skills for secondary school students, two-year college students, secondary school teachers and two-year college faculty members. Through this project, NDSCS will increase the number of trained and certified welders possessing essential and advanced skills to meet the workforce needs of the region.

The NDWelds project will increase awareness among students from under-represented groups of the opportunity for careers in welding. NDWelds significantly impacts the regional economic environment by filling a critical employment training need.

The grant award started on May 15, 2017, and will end on April 30, 2020.