Career and Education Opportunities for Welders in Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for welders. Currently, 9,100 people work as welders in North Carolina. This is expected to grow 18% to about 10,780 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for welders are expected to shrink by about 1.6%. In general, welders use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.
Income for welders is about $15 per hour or $32,990 annually on average in North Carolina. Nationally, their income is about $16 hourly or $33,560 yearly. Incomes for welders are better than in the overall category of Foundry and Metal Work in North Carolina, and better than the overall Foundry and Metal Work category nationally.
The Charlotte area is home to forty-three schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Charlotte where you can get a degree as a welder. Given that the most common education level for welders is less than a high school diploma, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a welder if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Welder
In general, welders use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.
Welders bolt components to set required configurations and positions for welding. They also remove rough spots from workpieces, using portable grinders or scrapers. Equally important, welders have to chip or grind off excess weld or spatter, using hand scrapers or power chippers, portable grinders, or arc-cutting equipment. They are often called upon to weld components in flat or overhead positions. They are expected to operate safety equipment and use safe work habits. Finally, welders recognize and operate hand and power tools common to the welding trade, such as shielded metal arc and gas metal arc welding equipment.
Every day, welders are expected to be able to control objects and devices with precise control. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they visualize how things come together and can be organized.
It is important for welders to ignite torches or start power supplies and strike arcs by touching electrodes to metals being welded, completing electrical circuits. They are often called upon to examine workpieces for defects and measure workpieces with straightedges or templates to insure conformance with specifications. They also ready all material surfaces to be welded, ensuring that there is no loose or thick scale, slag or other foreign matter. They are sometimes expected to monitor the fitting and welding processes to avoid overheating of components or warping or expansion of material. Somewhat less frequently, welders are also expected to operate manual or semi-automatic welding apparatus to fuse metal segments.
Welders sometimes are asked to operate metal shaping and bending machines, such as brakes and shears. And finally, they sometimes have to decide on and install torches, torch tips and flux, in line with welding chart specifications or types and thicknesses of metals.
Like many other jobs, welders must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Charlotte include:
- Buffing Machine Operator. Set up, operate, or tend grinding and related tools that remove excess material or burrs from surfaces, sharpen edges or corners, or buff, hone, or polish metal or plastic work pieces.
- Heat Treating Equipment Operator. Set up, operate, or tend heating equipment, such as heat-treating furnaces, flame-hardening machines, induction machines, or vacuum equipment to temper, harden, or heat-treat metal or plastic objects.
- Layout Technician. Lay out reference points and dimensions on metal or plastic stock or workpieces, such as sheets, plates, or machine parts, for further processing. Includes shipfitters.
- Machinist. Set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments. Includes precision instrument makers who fabricate, modify, or repair mechanical instruments. May also fabricate and modify parts to make or repair machine tools or maintain industrial machines, applying knowledge of mechanics, shop mathematics, and machining procedures.
- Mold Machine Operator. Set up, operate, or tend metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.
- Solderer. Braze or solder together components to assemble fabricated metal parts, using soldering iron, torch, or welding machine and flux.
- Structural and Ornamental Metalwork Metal Fabricator. Fabricate, lay out, and fit parts of structural metal products.
- Welding Operator. Set up, operate, or tend welding, soldering, or brazing machines or robots that weld, braze, or heat treat metal products, components, or assemblies.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Welder Training
Catawba Valley Community College - Hickory, NC
Catawba Valley Community College, 2550 Hwy 70 SE, Hickory, NC 28602-0699. Catawba Valley Community College is a small college located in Hickory, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,011 students. Catawba Valley Community College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated one and two students respectively in 2008.
Gaston College - Dallas, NC
Gaston College, 201 Hwy 321 S, Dallas, NC 28034. Gaston College is a medium sized college located in Dallas, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,557 students. Gaston College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated three and eight students respectively in 2008.
Central Piedmont Community College - Charlotte, NC
Central Piedmont Community College, 1201 Elizabeth Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28204. Central Piedmont Community College is a large college located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,536 students. Central Piedmont Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated seven, zero, and one students respectively in 2008.
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College - Salisbury, NC
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, 1333 Jake Alexander Blvd, Salisbury, NC 28146-1595. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is a medium sized college located in Salisbury, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,876 students. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated thirty-eight and four students respectively in 2008.
York Technical College - Rock Hill, SC
York Technical College, 452 S Anderson Rd, Rock Hill, SC 29730. York Technical College is a medium sized college located in Rock Hill, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,094 students. York Technical College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Welding Technology/Welder which graduated ten and ten students respectively in 2008.
Radiographic Interpreter: The program, based upon requirements contained within AWS B5.
For more information, see the American Welding Society website.
Certified Robotic Arc Welding: The Certification Program for Robotic Arc Welding - Operators and Technicians (CRAW) allows many welding personnel employed in various welding sectors to measure themselves against standards for their occupation.
For more information, see the American Welding Society website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is located in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 687,456, which has grown by 27.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charlotte, 86, is well below the national average.
The three big industries for women in Charlotte are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 36.4% of Charlotte residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.5%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Charlotte is 9.7%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.
The percentage of Charlotte residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.0%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. New Hampton Church, New Emmanuel Church and New East Stonewall Church are all churches located in Charlotte. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.
Charlotte is home to the Crown Point Plaza and the Providence Square as well as Kilborne District Park and Little Rock Road District Park. Shopping malls in the area include Heckinger Shopping Center, Hampshire Hills Shopping Center and Providence Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Charlotte can choose from American Motel, Extended Stay America - Charlotte/Tyvola and Drury Inn and Suites Charlotte for temporary stays in the area.