Getting trained in welding could be a great first step towards a high-paying and fast-growing career. But despite relatively low price tags compared to other types of education — welding programs at a community college or trade school can cost as little as $5,000 — tuition might still be a barrier for many people. So, we’ve gathered together several options that may be available to you if you’re curious about alternative methods of how to pay for welding school!
The first step you’ll want to take, once you’re admitted and have made any potential deposits to the school, is to look into scholarship options. Check your school’s website or talk to an admissions rep to learn about available opportunities. Oftentimes, schools will have scholarships open to their students, and you may even be able to find third-party ones online that can go towards tuition or living expenses — at scholarships.com, you can find lists of open scholarships by field, including welding!
Workforce development grants
Workforce development programs, such as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), are government-sponsored programs that provide grants and scholarships for certain technical training schools. You may be able to cover partial or full tuition for your welding training program through these.
To find schools that qualify for WIOA grants, click the link below!
In some cases, you may be able to cover tuition through employer reimbursement. How it works is that a future employer pays for your tuition in exchange for an employment contract. Generally, these contracts require a commitment 1-2 years of employment from you in exchange for the full tuition.
These can be a great way to cover the cost of your welding training program, but you’ll want to make sure you read the contract carefully! In some cases, if you stop working for the employer before the contract expires, you’ll be required to pay back the full amount of your tuition.
If you’re interested in taking advantage of this payment option, check with your school to see if there are any companies they partner with.
Veteran benefits — GI Bill
If you’re a veteran, or eligible for veteran benefits, you may be able to pay for welding school through the GI Bill®, an education grant available to veterans and military personnel.
If you’re eligible, the GI Bill may be able to cover your full tuition. Apply on the VA website or ask your school for more information about qualification!
“GI Bill®” is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official US government website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.
Interest-free payment plans
In some cases, there may be another avenue when it comes to how to pay for welding school: breaking up tuition into smaller payments. One such method is a payment plan. Climb Credit partners with several schools to offer payment plan options, called Interest-Free Recurring Payments, or your school might offer their own plans. This way, you can pay the total amount over a period of time. Payment plans lessen the upfront cost, and they include no credit check and no interest — so you’ll ultimately pay less than you would with a loan. However, payments are spread over a much shorter timeframe, so while you’ll pay less overall, your monthly payments will be higher. Reach out to your school to see if they have any available payment plans!
A student loan can be a good option for those who need to make the smallest monthly payments, rather than larger payments or all upfront. While not all welding schools offer federal student loans, private student loans might still be available. Depending on the loan terms available for your program, you may have the option of full deferral, interest-only deferral, or immediate full repayment.
Some things you’ll want to keep in mind, though, are that most loans come with an interest rate, which means you’ll ultimately pay more than the tuition amount. Your credit could also be pulled, so your credit score may be impacted. However, for Climb loans, a hard credit pull is only performed once the loan is funded, so you can submit an application with no impact to your credit score!* At the end of the day, when deciding between a payment plan and a student loan, you’ll need to consider what works best for your situation — smaller monthly payments while paying more overall, or higher monthly payments while paying less overall.
*Climb performs a “soft” credit pull to evaluate eligibility, but this soft credit check will not affect your credit score. A hard credit pull is only performed once the loan is accepted and funded.