BC's Indigenous Public Post-Secondary Institute

Welder Foundation Certificate Program

Program Delivery Location: Merritt
Credential: Certificate
Format: Full-Time

Welder Foundation Certificate Program


In BC, an individual can become a certified Welder by completing an Industry Training Authority (ITA) apprenticeship program or by challenging the certification. Apprenticeship programs are for individuals who have an employer to sponsor them, and challenge programs are for individuals who have extensive experience working in the occupation and wish to challenge the certification. Foundation programs provide adults and youth who do not have work experience or employer sponsorship with an opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills needed to enter the occupation.


The Welding Foundation Certificate program was prepared with the advice and assistance of the Industry Training Authority and their associates. General areas of competency and associated learning tasks have been identified by industry and examples are provided below. Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • gain knowledge of various metals;

  • describe a variety of welding processes used in the repair and construction of metal products;

  • demonstrate a knowledge of blueprint reading, welding symbols and basic sketching; layout and assembly work; oxy-acetylene fusion welding of ferrous and nonferrous metals in all positions, braze welding of ferrous and nonferrous metals, and machine and manual cutting;

  • describe shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) of plate in all positions, carbon arc cutting and gouging;

  • describe basic metallurgy - properties of metals, metal identification, heat treatment and the effect of heat on metals; gas metal arc welding (GMAW); flux core arc welding (FCAW); and the operation of wire feed equipment.

Activities and Design

This 28-week (840 hours) program takes a student with little or no previous experience in the welding trade and supplies them with the necessary skills to seek employment as an apprentice welder. This foundation program prepares learners for entry level positions as apprentice welders in most sectors of the economy including manufacturing, construction, transportation, resource extraction, and resource development. Students engage in a variety of classroom and shop activities where they learn both theoretical principals of welding and hands-on processes to master practical welding skills.

Program Duration

The Welder Foundation program consists of 28 weeks of technical training.


Theoretical concepts may be evaluated by written exams, assignments, case studies, presentations, and/or completion of a journal. Practical performance is assessed by instructor observations of students in work experience and field situations, and is based on mid-term and/or final evaluations. All evaluations are consistent with the NVIT Grading System.

Students are assessed based on an 80% in-school percentage score and 20% Standard Level Exam percentage score. For more information, please refer to https://www.itabc.ca/sites/default/files/docs/OPSN-2018-010-Welder-Harmonized-SLE-Launch.pdf.


Graduates from this program will receive an Industry Training Authority Certificate of Completion, technical training credit for Welder Level 1 and Level 2 and 300 work-based hours once registered as a Welder apprentice. After completion of the program, it’s recommended that students gain another 2,700 hours of hands-on field experience before returning to school for Level 3 Technical Training.

Entrance Requirements

  • B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent, or 19 years of age and out of secondary school for at least one year as of the first day of classes.

  • One of: English 10, English 10 First Peoples, an equivalent Provincial Level Adult Basic Education English course, or equivalent assessment.

  • Math requirement: Students graduating from secondary school in or prior to 2012: Mathematics 11 or an equivalent Advanced Level Adult Basic Education Mathematics course, or an equivalent assessment. Students entering Grade 10 in or after 2010 and/or completing the new mathematics curriculum: One of: Apprenticeship and Workplace Mathematics 11, Foundations of Mathematics 11 or, Pre-Calculus 11, or an equivalent Advanced Level Adult Basic Education Mathematics course or an equivalent assessment.

  • As welding is a physically demanding trade, students should be physically fit and have good vision, hearing and respiration.


NVIT works with the Industry Training Authority (ITA) and Okanagan College.

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