Student at laser welding machine with instructor over shoulder

November 13, 2019

New Robotic and Laser Welding certificate offered at Anoka Technical College in spring 2020

Anoka Technical College will offer a Robotic and Laser Welding certificate starting spring semester 2020. The program is designed for students with a basic welding background who want to advance their career.

After completing an introductory welding course, the Robotic and Laser Welding certificate will teach robotic and laser welding on three different types of industry-standard robots: ABB, FANUC and OTC. The Welding Department hopes to add three more equipment types in the future. After learning the program language for each robot, students will then gain hands-on learning experience.

“There’s been such a demand for robotic welders in manufacturing,” said Jay Gerdin, Anoka Technical College Welding instructor. “Sometimes companies hire individuals who may not have a welding background and it’s hurt them in some ways. That’s where I think this program is going to be a valuable service to the industry. Not only will we be able to give them qualified students who know the ins and outs of robotics, they’ll also have an understanding of welding.”

Gerdin went on to note that the laser welding aspect makes this program unique.

“Laser welding is not new technology to the industry, but it is to the education world, and there’s a need for education to offer some training in this area so that it is not left up to individual companies to train their employees or learning by trial and error,” said Gerdin. “You’d have to look far to find institutions that are teaching laser welding.”

Not only is Anoka Tech one of the first schools to offer the program, instructors are dedicated to teaching students real-world practices in robotic and laser welding that can be applied widely across the industry. 

“I’ve visited with several medical device manufacturing companies with laser welders in the last two weeks to learn what they are doing and to demonstrate what we are trying to do with this program. Laser welding is heavily used in the medical device manufacturing industry because it requires small precision work that cannot be done by hand,” said Gerdin.

Students coming out of the Robotic and Laser certificate are well-suited to work in the manufacturing industry, which has a large presence in Anoka County and the metro area. Graduates with robotics experience have gone on to service robots across the Midwest as well as work for the automotive and energy company, Tesla.

Registration for the certificate is now open. Anyone with prior welding experience is encouraged to apply.

For more information about the Anoka Technical College Welding program, visit

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