Welder Training and Testing Institute (WTTI), was founded in 1968 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and was originally called Breeden's School of Welding. The school's original owner, Ernie Breeden, was a Texas born pipeline welder and engineer, and a man of vision committed to training welders for the industry that served him all his life.
During his career, oil rigs were being built in the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea, pipelines were being laid across the country, construction was booming and manufactures of ships, aircrafts, automobiles and equipment were all striving to meet stringent quality and safety requirements. He recognized the need to train welders to fulfill these strong demands in the industry. Thus he founded the school.
In 1973, the school was renamed Welder Training and Testing Institute. At that time Mr. Breeden retired and ownership of the company shifted to a small welding and management group headed by Robert Wiswesser, who had been an instructor, assistant director and eventually director of the school under the Breeden ownership.
WTTI maintains a freestanding campus with a 10,000 square foot building located at 729 East Highland Street in Allentown, PA. The school is equipped for the specialized training of welding with sixty work stations available in the shop area for the training of gas welding/cutting, electric arc welding, and the semi-automatic processes. Fully equipped classrooms support in-shop training with lessons in theory. Theory is enhanced by the use of visual aids such as slides, videos and instructional handouts. Student/teacher ratio for the shop is 15:1. Student teacher ratio for the classroom is 25:1. The maximum number of students for the shop is 45 and for the classroom is 25.
In addition to our student training programs, WTTI offers industrial services to corporate clients through our Industrial Services Division. WTTI provides its clients with highly qualified staff technicians who are capable of delivering efficient, thorough, and customized services– tailored to match an organization's individual needs. Through our Nondestructive Testing Institute (NDTI), we train inspectors in NDT and prepare them for the AWS Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) exam.
Welder Fitter (900 hours) is our primary career-level program, and the one most frequently chosen by incoming students. This program is specifically designed for incoming students who have little or no welding experience and is eligible for financial aid to those who qualify.
The program consists of metal cutting utilizing the Oxyacetylene torch and employing four common processes to make sound welds on carbon steel plate and pipe. The shop projects include various joint designs in all positions on plate and pipe. In Shielded Metal Arc Welding, several electrode types and sizes are employed with both AC and DC electrical arc welding machines. Two semi-automatic processes are taught: Gas Metal and Flux Cored Arc Welding. Structured theory classes cover welding safety, proper machinery set ups and adjustments, basic metallurgy, weld wire selection, welding joint design, and shop math. Instruction in blueprint reading includes additional shop math, welding symbols, and the basics required to read, understand, and follow welding blueprints.
Specialized training includes extra hands-on time in Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (TIG) working with a variety of other metals (carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminum plate or pipe). It also covers Combination Processes, where students are instructed in the additional considerations that come into play when more than one process is needed in the joining procedure. The Welder Fitter program also includes basic instruction in both pipe fitting and structural layout.
Combination Welding (740 hours) is our second career-level program and is also eligible for financial aid to those who qualify. It is 160 hours shorter in length than the Welder Fitter Program because it does not include: blueprint reading, combination processes, pipe fitting, structural layout, extra TIG, or working with a variety of metals.
The program consists of metal cutting utilizing the Oxyacetylene torch and employing four common processes to make sound welds on carbon steel plate and pipe. The shop projects include various joint designs in all positions on plate and pipe. In Shielded Metal Arc Welding, several electrode types and sizes are employed with both AC and DC electrical arc welding machines. Two semi-automatic processes are taught, Gas Metal and Flux Cored Arc Welding. Structured theory classes cover welding safety, proper machinery set ups and adjustments, basic metallurgy, weld wire selection, welding joint design, and shop math.
If you are not sure which program is right for you, contact our school administrator to discuss the advantages of each.
All enrolling students should possess the fundamental welding skills in the major processes before they choose to enroll in a Process Specific/Advanced Technique Course. These courses are specifically designed for experienced/professional welders who are seeking training in the advanced techniques required to upgrade skill level and qualify themselves for additional career opportunities.
Standard Welding (180 hours) is designed to improve the welder's skills in Shielded Metal Arc Welding in all four positions on carbon steel plates.
Advanced Welder Qualification–Pipe (120 hours) is designed to develop or improve pipe welding skills utilizing the Shielded Metal Arc or Gas Tungsten Arc Welding processes and prepare the welder to pass a Pipe Welding Qualification Test.
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding - GTAW or TIG (60 hours) is for professional welders seeking specialized training in Gas Tungsten Arc Welding on materials of varying thickness and joint designs in all positions.
Gas Metal Arc Welding - GMAW or MIG (60 hours) is for professional welders seeking instruction in Gas Metal Arc Welding on materials of varying thickness and joint designs in all positions.
Flux Cored Arc Welding - FCAW (60 hours) includes instruction in Flux Cored Arc Welding on materials of varying thickness and joint designs in all positions.
If you are not sure which course is right for you, contact our school administrator to discuss the advantages of each.
Our school operates throughout the year and enrollments will be accepted at any time on a space available basis. Classes begin each Monday of every month. Many incoming students have said that their visit to the school helped make their final decision to enroll. It's a great way to preview our facilities, talk with instructors, and see other welders "in training."
|How do I enroll?
||Select the program that interests you.
|Step #2:||Call our school at 800-223-WTTI to set up an appointment for your personal tour of our school and interview.|
||Complete the two-page student application.|
||Speak with our Financial Aid Office to determine your eligibility for various sources of financial assistance that are available to qualified applicants under our ACCSC accreditation.|
Morning Sessions 8:00AM to 2:30PM -or- 10:00AM to 4:30PM
Afternoon Sessions 12:30PM to 7:00PM -or- 2:30PM to 9:00PM
Morning and Afternoon Sessions Consult with our school administrator for schedules and availability.
Evening Sessions 4:00PM to 9:00PM -or- 6:00PM to 9:00PM**Flexible scheduling is available for courses of 180 hours or less.
A call or a visit to WTTI's Financial Aid Office will help determine eligibility for the various sources of financial assistance that are available to qualified applicants under our ACCSC accreditation. Contact our financial aid advisor.
WTTI offers tuition assistance under the following student financial aid programs:
- Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and Parent Plus)
- Federal Pell Grant Program
- Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant Program (SEOG)
Financial Aid is based on an academic year of 900 hours and/or 30 weeks. Programs less than 900 hours are prorated.
FAFSA is the abbreviated name for the form that students use to apply for federal student financial aid. To receive student financial aid, you need to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every school year. The Department of Education processes these applications and determines your eligibility for federal funds. Our financial aid advisor will be glad to help you complete and submit your application, or you may complete and submit your application for student financial aid online at FAFSA on the web.
Other sources of financial assistance:
- Veterans Educational Assistance Benefits (VA)
- Work force Investment Act (WIA)
- Trade Act of 1974 and Pursuant Amendment of 2002 (TAA)
- Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR)
Career Placement Assistance
While the school cannot, and does not, promise or guarantee employment to any student or graduate, our objective at WTTI is to see graduates working in their chosen field. Students are prepared for the job search through career awareness, resume preparation, job search methods, and interviewing techniques. The staff at WTTI has a strong interest in seeing each student become gainfully employed after graduation.
Career opportunities include: working in welding shops, manufacturing metal goods, the petroleum and natural fuel extraction industry, construction, plumbing, and pipe welding, in-plant maintenance, automobile manufacturing and repair, shipbuilding and other transportation industries such as railroads, aircraft, and aerospace applications.
Job prospects are promising for qualified welders with the right skills. In Pennsylvania, welders are listed on the Lehigh Valley High Priority Occupations List published yearly by the PA Center for Workforce Information and Analysis (CWIA).
Students are responsible for finding their own housing. We do not maintain dormitories, however, we will give guidance to students who are looking for housing. WTTI has not inspected the facilities on this list and does not assume any responsibility with regard to housing conditions, rents and fees, landlord policies, availability, or public transportation. The student has full responsibility at all times of making the individual arrangements with the landlord concerning rental terms and occupancy.
Begin your search for housing in Allentown and surrounding area by visiting The Morning Call's online rental search. You may also want to follow this link for more information on Allentown and places to live: City Data.
Below is list of rentals communities that are local to the school. Click on the link below each listing to see the distance from the welding school.
Mickley Run Apartments
Valley Park Apartments
Fountain Terrace Apartments
Whispering Hills Apartments
Hidden Village Apartments
Willowcrest & Parkview Apartments
Below is a list of resources that students may use to find consumer information and answer questions related to such topics.