Welding Processes

Welding is a HOT career that takes time to learn and master. There are different processes and methods of welding, several techniques/joints, all which use a variety of metals.

Learning how to choose the correct process, weld type, and metal for the job takes time. We are going to break down the welding processes you will learn in this class.

welding student at Central Tech in Drumright


Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)

  • Stick welding will be the first process you tackle.  
  • Why? This process is unlike the others, so it’s good to learn it first. It is a highly skilled process with a long learning curve the requires lots of practice.  
  • The “stick” serves as the filler metal. This means you manually add more metal as you need it. 
  • It doesn’t require shielding, so it’s an environmentally friendly process that can be used on anything even rusty dirty surfaces. 
  • If you want to go off the grid, this is the welding process for you. 

Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)

  • Similar to MIG – wire metal filler is fed through a cable gun system. 
  • FCAW wire has a core of flux inside the wire. 
  • Good for thicker and heavier metals. 
  • Welders enjoy this type of welding since it can be done faster and gets hotter that the others. 
  • The concepts you manually used in stick welding are handled automatically through the machine. 
  • This type of welding is increasingly becoming in high-demand with high-wages. 


Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)

  • Good for new welders. 
  • Filler metal is delivered a spool is continuously fed through the MIG gun at a set speed. 
  • Shielding gas is expelled around the weld puddle which helps form and protect the weld.  
  • Versatile to weld many different metal types and thicknesses.


Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)

  • Uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode, so it is possible to fuse metals together without filler materials.  
  • One of the few processes that can be done using only the two metals being welded together. 
  • A nonflammable shielding gas is necessary for weld protection. 
  • Performs better indoors as you weld on clean machines. It’s the cleanest welding process. If you want to weld and stay clean, this is the job for you. 
  • Difficult type of weld – best for experienced welders.




This program will teach you to do quality welding for a variety of construction and manufacturing jobs using multiple structural welding techniques. Instruction will cover:

  • Welding Theory & Safety
  • Fabrication
  • Layout
  • Print Reading
  • Symbols
  • Math
  • Welding Codes
  • Metal Characteristics/Properties
  • Oxy-Fuel Cutting

You will learn to perform high quality welds in accordance with welding procedure specifications used in a variety of welding occupations. You will also gain an introduction to pipe welding skills, using SMAW, FCAW GMAW, and GTAW techniques.

Areas of Study

  • Fundamentals of Welding & Cutting Processes
  • SMAW Welding Processes
  • GMAW & GTAW Welding Processes
  • FCAW & Welding Specialties
  • Workforce Transitions

Potential Career Path

Source: Zippia.com Zippia Logo

Do you like it hot?

For those of you who enjoy physics – or sharing random bits of knowledge not many people know.

Who’s The Hottest?

Who’s the HOTTEST?Degrees in Fahrenheit
Average Body Temperature98.6
Bonfire Wood1,112
Sun’s Surface9,941
Welding Temperatures10,000+
Lightning Bolt50,000
Sun’s Core27,000,032


Here are examples of student projects.  

  • Remanufactured light poles for schools,  
  • handrails for a house,  
  • trailers,  
  • the handle on the gas tank for the car museum in Sapulpa,  
  • campus projects with maintenance staff 
  • community action projects benefitting St. Jude’s  
  • built smokers, and  
  • firepits.


Through the years advanced technology has been incorporated into the welding machines that aids in hand-eye coordination. 


Have you sat through a math class wondering why you need to learn fractions or formulas? If you are interested in welding, it’s important to know the melting point of metals, and with that – a little more math. Don’t let it scare you, the great thing is, everything becomes relevant. As you learn the math formulas you understand how they are used, why, and when to use them.  


The American Welding Society (AWS) welding program allows you to test your skills based on the structural steel, sheet metal, chemical refinery, and petroleum pipeline welding industries. However, even with an AWS certification, shops will require you to take and pass their welding test before employment is offered. 

Welding isn’t done exactly the same in every shop. Each company has a specific way they want to see a weld. At the end of the day, yes…it’s the same weld – but there are many ways to get there.  

Evan Retherford

State champion welder graduates high school with honors – AND a job offer.

More Information

Job Demand & Pay

Welders & Fabricators

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Most companies require two to three years of welding experience even for entry-level positions. Central Tech’s full-time program is 1,050 clock hours and is usually accepted as two-years of experience.  

  • Assemblers and Fabricators 
  • Boilermakers 
  • Certified Welding Inspectors 
  • Jeweler or Metal Art 
  • Machinist, Tool, and Die Makers 
  • Metal and Plastic Machine Workers 
  • Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters 
  • Sheet Metal Workers 

More than 50% of the products in the United States require welding and welding jobs are on the rise.  

Available Certifications/License

May require additional fees.

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  • American Welding Society – AWS Certification (Optional)
  • OSHA 10
  • Forklift & Fire Extinguisher Certifications

Quick Facts

Students, Campus, Times

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  • Students: Adult & High School
  • Campus: Drumright, Sapulpa
  • Times: Morning, Afternoon, Full Day

female welding student at Central Tech

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