Welders join pieces of metal together and fix broken objects that are made of metal.
Because many industries use metals in their manufacturing process, this profession will continue to be needed in the future.
If you are located in North Carolina and you’d like to explore a career in welding, on this page we have compiled relevant information about education requirements, employment, and salary prospects.
What Do Welders Do?
Although this profession is very complex, a broad definition is that welders use machinery that emits high heat to join pieces of metal or repair damaged parts
The biggest employer for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers are metal manufacturers, specialty trade contractors, and in the field of repair and maintenance, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
According to the same report, approximately 5 percent of all welders were self-employed.
Before being ready to venture into your own welding business you will need to gain some experience in a factory or welding shop.
Employment for these professions is projected to grow by 3 percent from 2019 to 2029, with most job openings occurring on infrastructure repair and rebuild projects, according to BLS.
Welders who have completed post-secondary training and have a certificate offered by the American Welding Society will have the best employment prospects.
How to Become a Welder
If you want to become a certified welder in North Carolina, the first step is to finish high school because most trade schools and community colleges that offer welding training programs require a high school diploma or GED for admission.
After graduating from high school the next step is to do your research and find the right training program for you.
Another thing that will help you in your career is to sit for the welding certification testing offered by the American Welding Society.
From trade schools to community colleges, there are many places where you can learn how to weld in North Carolina.
Although program duration and complexity varies, most of these post-secondary programs are designed to prepare students for a career in welding right after graduation, covering a variety of useful topics, such as:
- Arc welding
- Blueprint reading
- Equipment setup and operation
- Safety procedures
Welding programs can last between a few months and more than 2 years depending on the type of program and the curriculum.
Some offer only in-person classes while other programs combine online education with classroom training and practicum.
Costs vary between less than $5,000 and more than $15,000 depending on the duration of the program and the type of credential it offers.
Diploma programs usually are shorter and less expensive than programs that offer an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree.
In the table below we have compiled information about educational programs for welders in North Carolina.
You can use this as a starting point in your research.
34 Welding Schools in Welding Schools In North Carolina
Before choosing where to enroll there are several factors you should take into account, including the program duration, cost, and location.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industries with the highest employment level for this profession are:
- Manufacturers of fabricated metal products
- Manufacturers of machinery
- Fabricated metal products manufacturing
- Motor vehicle body and trailer manufacturing
- Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors
Welders in North Carolina
According to the National Association of Manufacturers, manufacturers in general, account for 17.17% of North Carolina’s total output and employ more than 10% of the total workforce.
Machinery manufacturers contribute approximately $5,9 Billion to this output while manufacturers of fabricated metal products made $4.3 Billion.
Manufacturers of motor vehicles and parts contribute $3.6 Billion to the state’s economy.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists these three industries as two of the sectors with the highest employment levels for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers.
The same source estimates the average salary for North Carolina at $51,010, as of May of 2020.
Salaries for welders in this state vary widely based on many factors.
Entry-level wages usually range between $33,000-$52,000 per year, depending on education, skills level, certifications, and many other factors.
According to salary.com, the median annual wage for North Carolina welders with less than 3 years of experience is $41,336 as of April 2021.
This means that half of all entry-level welders earn less than this amount while half earned more.
The same report calculates the median annual salary for welders with 3-5 years of experience at $47,741 with wages ranging between less than $38,000 and more than $59,000.
Welders with 5-7 years of experience reportedly earn $57,815 on average.
The lowest 10 percent of experienced welders reportedly made less than $44,127 while the highest 10 percent made more than $74,975.
Wages also vary depending on the city of employment and local economy, as the table below shows.Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Welders in Welding Schools In North Carolina