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Welding AWS - Level 1

Welders join objects together by applying heat or pressure. Skilled welders have a thorough knowledge of welding principals and metals. They use blueprints and drawings to build anything from ships to cars to bridges. Welders are also crucial in maintaining power plants and the entire piping industry of all types and have the opportunity to travel throughout the year.

AWS Level 1: 500 class hours
(GMAW, GTAW, FCAW, SMAW, Fillet Welds, Open Butt Plate Welds)
Schedule: Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday
*Classes begin the first Tuesday in September
Time: 8:00am – 12:00pm (all days)
Tuition: $10,500
Program Length: AWS Certification (about 42 weeks)

Instructor Bios

Steven Hilliker

  • 41 years welding experience
  • Nuclear Welder
  • Chemical Industry Piping and Structural Welder
  • CWI / CWE / ASME B31.3 SG-E Member

Kathy Warren

  •  20+ years as a Journeyman Pipefitter/Welder at Dow Corning.
  • Certified in stick, mig, and tig welding.


This program provides training and AWS certification in the most common welding processes such as MIG(GMAW), TIC(GTAW), Flux-Core(FCAW), Stick(SMAW), Fillet Welds, and Open Butt Plate Welds. Participants who complete the program are certified as AWS Level-1 Welders. A graduate Level-1 Entry Welder will be able to perform minor external repairs to equipment and accessories in all processes, and setup and perform:

  • Stick(SMAW) operations making fillet and groove welds in all positions within a limited thickness range on carbon steel
  • MIG(Gas Metal Arc Welding) is short circuit transfer operations, making fillet and groove welds in all positions within a limited thickness ranged on carbon steel. Gas Metal Arc Welding (spray transfer) operations making fillet and groove welds in limited positions within a limited thickness range on carbon steel.
  • Flux-Core(FCAW-SS/GS) operations making fillet and groove welds in all positions within a limited thickness range on carbon steel.
  • Tig(GTAW) operations making fillet and groove welds in all positions within a limited thickness range on carbon steel, and in limited positions within a limited thickness range of austenitic stainless steel and aluminum.

Effective Immediately – As of July 2019, all programs/classes/certifications offered by The Greater Michigan Construction Academy, in association with welding, are credited by The American Welding Society (AWS).

Registration for Fall 2023 is closed. We are now accepting Winter 2024 applications.

To enroll, fill out the form below.


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    GMCA CRAFT TRAINING (with total clock hours): GMCA Full Course Catalog available upon request or online at www.gmcami.org


    • Tuition is due before the first of class

    • You will receive an invoice via email once GMCA processes your enrollment form

    • We accept check, credit card, and money order. You can also securely make a payment on our website.


    Note: All tuition and fees paid by the applicant shall be refunded if the applicant is rejected by the school (GMCA). Tuition refunds shall be issued within 45 days from student’s documented date of determination

    Tuition refunds will be issued for students who withdraw from the program on the following basis:

    Student drops before the first week of class – will receive a 100% refund.

    No show students – 100% refund at request.

    Placement Assistance:

    Job placement assistance is available up on request. Student must provide resume. Placement is not guaranteed.


    By signing this document you are verifying that you have read, understood and received a copy of this agreement as well as the GMCA course catalog. You are also in agreement that this is a legal and binding contract.

    Skilled Trades training has benefited me by opening up opportunities at different companies that wouldn’t even take a second look if I hadn’t had a formal, post-secondary education. It gives me a leg up on anyone who just has a high school diploma.
    Adam Emery, Pipefitter & Millwright, GMCA Alumni

    Primary Communities Served

    Bay City



    Oil City

    Saginaw Twp.

    St. Charles
    University Center