What's the difference between Credit vs. Workforce?



Credit classes

... apply toward earning a college certificate or degree. Once completed, you can transfer to a four-year school and continue your education or begin employment.


Workforce classes

... do not offer college credit but may apply toward earning a workplace certificate or industry credential. Because of this, workforce classes are also called “continuing education” or “noncredit” classes.

The main differences between credit and continuing education/workforce classes lie in the registration process, tuition costs and class start dates.

To register for credit classes,

... you must complete the new credit student applicationorientationassessment/testing and the advisement process.

To register for continuing education/workforce classes,

... you sign up through Continuing Education at the college of your choice. No orientation, assessment/testing or advising is required.

For credit classes, the amount of tuition you pay

... is based on where you live and the number of credit hours you are taking. View the tuition calculator.

Note: Most credit classes in welding are 3-4 credit hours.

For workforce classes, the amount of tuition you pay

... has nothing to do with where you live. It is simply based on how many hours of instruction you receive. We call those “contact hours.” For welding the cost is $10 per contact hour.

Note: Most continuing education/workforce classes in welding are 80-120 contact hours.

Credit classes

...generally begin three times a year: fall, spring and summer semesters.

The typical class length is 16 weeks.

Workforce classes

... tend to have more flexible start dates. They are offered throughout the year so you can begin immediate work in the field.

Class length varies – some continuing education/workforce classes are offered as one-day workshops whereas another class might take place over a few months.


Whatever you choose – credit or continuing education/workforce – many of the welding classes are combined. This means credit and continuing education/workforce students often train together in the same classroom. Credit students, however, take tests and earn grades that go on their official college transcript.