BC currently supports two streams for welder training, Modular and Apprenticeship. The Modular stream is for welders who do not have an employee sponsor and consists of the Welder Foundation program (28-weeks, formerly Welder Level C ), the Welder Level B program (16 weeks) and Welder Level A (8 weeks). The Apprenticeship stream is for those who have an employer sponsor and are registered with the Industry Training Authority (ITA). The Apprenticeship consists of Levels 1, 2 and 3 (8 weeks each) and an optional special Specialty Metals Endorsement (SME, 5 weeks).
Welder Foundation (28 weeks)
(formerly Level C Welding)
Students in the Welder Foundation program can choose to continue on with the Modular format (Welder Level B, Welder Level A) or upon completion of the Foundation program, and acquiring an industry sponsor, and registering with the ITA (students will receive credit for Levels 1 and 2, and 300 work-based hours), students can choose to transition into the Apprenticeship stream for Levels 3 and optional SME.
Welder Apprenticeship (5-8 weeks)
The Apprenticeship program consists of Levels 1, 2, 3 (8-weeks each) and optional SME (5-weeks). Entrance into this program is for those students who already have an industry sponsored employer and are registered with the ITA. Students who have successfully completed the Foundation program can also enter into Level 3 of the Apprenticeship program upon acquiring an industry sponsored employer and registering with the ITA.
Specialty training also available at Vancouver Island University
Welder Fitter (12-weeks) - learn to lay out and fit structural steel, plate and sheet fabrication, working from blueprints or shop drawings. Welder Fitter is also offered as a Welder Foundation/Welder Fitter combination of 40 weeks.
Welding Upgrading - is offered for currently employed or recently employed welders who wish to improve their techniques or become more proficient in special processes. To schedule your upgrading needs contact 250-740-6118 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welder Testing - VIU is a provincially accredited licensed testing agency and tests welders. To upgrade existing qualifications under A.S.M.E or C.S.A. (C.W.B.) codes please contact the Welding Tool Room to schedule your testing needs at 250-740-6118 or email@example.com. View the welder testing fees.
Prior Learning Assessment
Welder Foundation, Welder Level B and Welder Level A programs, as well as Levels 1, 2, 3 and optional SME transfer to all colleges in BC that offer the Provincial Welding program. The department will provide a prior learning assessment for potential students who have gained skills through other institutions.
Locally jobs are very competitive and a willingness to travel is an asset. Also jobs vary depending upon the level you achieve. Upon completion of the Welder Foundation program, you could find work in a shipyard, fabrication shop, or with the Department of Highways. Welders with a Level B/Level 3 certification are eligible for work in a sawmill or anywhere that requires a welder who is qualified to do run-off pressure procedures. Upon completion of Welder Level A or optional SME you will be highly qualified to work in almost any location. After passing your Inter-Provincial assessment you will be eligible to work in most provinces in Canada, and many countries around the world.
See Program Costs for details regarding current fees.
- Welder Foundation ($300 price approximate)
- Welder Level B ($70 price approximate)
- Welder Level A ($30 price approximate)
- Required tools and safety gear
Text books are available at the VIU Campus Store. All fees are subject to change without prior notice.
See Admission Requirements for details.
Some of our past students are now working at:
- Macon Welding, Nanaimo
- Victoria Shipyards
- Harmac Pulp MIll
- Lifetime Aluminum Boats
- Boilermaker Local 359
- Le Mar Industries, Parksville
To become a student in the Welding Program, apply to VIU.