Operation Armed Forces to Welding Torches

We at the American Welding Society honor and thank our active and veteran service men and women for their courage, resilience, and commitment to our nation.  The discipline, skill-sets and training acquired through military service can translate perfectly into a career in welding.  AWS is here to help veterans maximize their unique skill sets as they transition from soldiers to welders. 

Find the perfect career after service in the military!   

Valued Military Experience

Veterans boast strong decision making skills, analytical thinking and communication.  They’re dependable, disciplined and have a solid work ethic.  Your military experience and training, combined with essential welding skills are exaclty what today's employers are looking for. 

In fact, many organizations that are in need welding professionals offer hiring preferences to Veterans. The demand for welders is at an all time high, take the next steps to start your career in!


Explaining military training in terms civilian employers can understand with "Credentialing Opportunities On-Line," or COOL.

The COOL program helps you translate your training into civilian credentials and align your experience with what employers want.

Choose your service branch below and learn more about Credentialing Opportunities On-Line.






Career Opportunities

Returning home or relocating?  Welding offers great paying job opportunities nearly everywhere in the U.S.  

Want to learn more about the types of welding careers available and find the right fit for you?  Check out these in-demand Welding Careers!

My Next Move

The Department of Labor's  My Next Move for Veterans is designed for U.S. veterans who are current job seekers.  The interactive tool helps vets learn about their career options.  The site has tasks, skills, salary information, job listings, and more for over 900 different careers.

Veterans can find careers through keyword search; by browsing industries that employ different types of workers; or by discovering civilian careers that are similar to their job in the military. 

Click the image below to learn more about the types welding  jobs that may relate to your military career. 

Getting the right training & education you need!

Funding your Education

Since 1944, the GI Bill has helped millions of Veterans pay for college, graduate school, and training programs.

Learning to weld at an educational institution is a great way start your career in welding.  If your considering attending a welding school or training program, you may be eligable to recieve money to cover all or some of the tuition costs. 

Find out more about the GI Bill

The AWS Foundation awards over $1 million annually to help students achieve their dreams through education. 

With over 100 scholarships to apply for, applicants will have the opportunity to fund their education, and get one step closer to achieving their academic goals. 

Find out more about AWS Scholarships 

Finding the Right Training

Workshops for Warriors is a nonprofit school that trains, certifies, and helps place Veterans, Wounded Warriors, and Transitioning Service Members into advanced manufacturing careers.

Find out more about  Workshops for Warriors

Looking for a welding or training school near you? Check out the AWS Weld School locator to find the right program in your area!

Start your search today with the Weld School Locator!

Apprenticeships for Veterans!

UAW- Ford

UAW-Ford and Wounded Warriors Family Support have partnered to provide a training program in welding for U.S. military veterans.

UAW-Ford is offering a six-week Welding Training Program, where selected veterans will train and test for 1G through 4G welding certification.

Find out more about the UAW-Ford Apprenticeship 

SMART Heroes

SMART Heroes provides sheet metal industry training through an accelerated seven-week program for enlisted U.S. Military men and women.

When the SMART Heroes program is completed and the military personnel is discharged, the graduate can select any one of the 148 SMART apprenticeship programs in the United States and be provided advanced placement as a second-year apprentice.

Find out more about SMART Heroes


Veterans in Piping

The UA has partnered with the U.S. military to create the Veterans In Piping (VIP) Program.

The Veterans in Piping program created by the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry offers high-quality skills training and jobs in the pipe trades to active duty military personnel preparing to leave the service. 

Find out more about Veterans In Piping

Millwrights Veterans Program

UBC Millwrights has designed the Millwrights Veterans Program (MVP) that allows an easy transition from the military to a career as a millwright.

The Millwrights Veterans Program is a free 8 week training program specially designed for veterans and a career with exceptional pay & benefits.

Find out more about Millwrights Veterans Program

Securing a job & advancing your career!

Jobs & Training

The Jobs in Welding career portal allows you to search the latest job openings in the welding industry!

Welding professionals' are needed! This demand map shows the past 12 months of job postings nationally.

 Find out more about Jobs in Welding

The Helmets to Hardhats program is designed to help military service members successfully transition back into civilian life by offering them the means to secure a quality career in the construction industry.

Find out more about Helmets to Hardhats

American Welding Society

Becoming a member of the American Welding Society offers significant benefits that can strengthen your professional career with member-only knowledge and tools, including leading welding industry publications and news; access to certification resources, educational programs and networking opportunities. 

To find out more about the AWS and membership benefits, Explore AWS Membership Here!

Advancement Opportunities

A career in welding offers many avenues for advancement!

Service men and women poise the necessary experience and skills that can take them from an entry level welder position to an engineer, inspector, supervisor, and beyond.

With the right plan in place you can obtain the career of your dreams! 

Getting Certified

By earning a welding certification you can expand your job opportunities and boost your earning power.  Becoming an AWS certified welder may be the next step for your success!

There are many pathways you can take to get certified. Find out more about AWS Certified Welder Credential