Montana Tech's Highlands College Expands Welding Technology Program


Beginning this fall, an expanded Welding Technology program will assist Highlands College in providing training that continues to meet industry needs with graduates ready to make an immediate impact.

At the May Board of Regents meeting in Havre, the expansion of the Welding Technology program from a one-year Certificate of Applied Science to a two-year Associate of Applied Science was approved. Students who have completed the previous Welding Technology Certificate of Applied Science are eligible to enroll in the second-year courses to work towards the Associate of Applied Science degree.

The Welding Technology curriculum will introduce and provide students with experience in welding fabrication and pipe and structural welding during the second year of the program. Expanding the program to include pipe and structural welding in the second year provides students with additional career opportunities across the welding industry. 

"This is a great deal as students will learn more advanced techniques in the welding field preparing them for jobs in whichever industry they choose to go into,” Welding Instructor Jim LeProwse said. 

Welding trades, including large-scale, infrastructure, and commercial and industrial projects, are essential and in high demand. In addition, a smaller but rapidly growing industry involves custom welding. The AAS in Welding Technology will help fill area demands in pipe, aluminum, structural, and fabrication industries.

Like the other two-year trades’ programs at Highlands College, the Welding Technology program provides students the ability to obtain an education that meets their personal and career goals. 

"The addition of a two-year associate of applied science in Welding Technology provides entry and exit points ranging from an associate's degree to a bachelor's degree and promotes lifelong learning,” Interim Highlands College Dean Karen VanDaveer said. “The new curriculum ensures students are receiving the best education possible. The goal is to provide a steady supply of skilled workers at various levels to fill welding positions and positively impact our community, state, and beyond."

For more information about the Welding Technology program, please visit