James Turner Institute of Welding Technology

The James Turner Institute of Welding Technology at Central Piedmont is focused on being the leader in workforce development for the Charlotte area and region. Our skilled faculty work closely with local and regional industry to provide highly customizable training programs to enhance the employee's skills and create a pipeline of talent for future growth. The opportunities are endless: if you are looking for a job that is ever-changing and challenging, welding is for you.

What You Will Learn

The welding technology program teaches both the theoretical and practical principles of the profession, develops proficiency in technical skills, and provides opportunities for the application of both theoretical and practical knowledge. Successful graduates of the program may be employed as entry-level technicians in welding and metalworking industries. Upon completion of the program, you will be able to:

  • safely and efficiently utilize cutting and welding equipment that complies with accepted industry standards
  • read/interpret mechanical drawings and apply communicated information to build fabricated assemblies that comply with industry standards
  • demonstrate acquired skills and a knowledge base that meets or exceeds established industry benchmarks

Career opportunities exist in construction, manufacturing, fabrication, sales, quality control, supervision and welding-related self-employment.

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Why Choose Central Piedmont

After completing the associate degree, you will have the opportunity to take the Corporate and Continuing Education American Welding Society (AWS) plate or pipe certification test before graduation for a discounted rate. Our welding program is approved for workplace learning opportunities while you are in school — Central Piedmont has an entire department dedicated to connecting students with applicable work based learning opportunities such as cooperative education (co-op), internships, and/or apprenticeships. Our welding program also offers extracurricular opportunities via student clubs, such as participation in the annual American Welding Society competition. Past students have won first place in the American Welding Society competition.

Real World Education

At Central Piedmont, your education goes beyond what you learn in class. We offer numerous opportunities for you to enhance your learning — and to make friends, network, and pursue your passions — through clubs and organizations, sports, events and activities, leadership opportunities, job experience, volunteer experiences, visual and performing arts, and even international experiences.

Welding Careers and Average Salary

There are multiple industries that use welders on a regular basis. Manufacturing areas such as architectural and structural metal manufacturing, mining and agricultural manufacturing, and motor vehicle manufacturing. Other major areas include aerospace and shipbuilding industries. Demands in these areas continue to grow as the workforce is aging and employees are retiring faster than younger employees enter the field. Successful program graduates may be employed as entry-level technicians in welding and metalworking industries. Career opportunities also exist in construction, manufacturing, fabrication, sales, quality control, supervision, and welding-related self employment. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers may work outdoors, often in inclement weather, or indoors, sometimes in a confined area. They may work on a scaffold, high off the ground, and they occasionally must lift heavy objects and work in awkward positions. Although most work full time, overtime is common. Depending on your job, you may work in a closed environment (such as a factory or manufacturing plant) that is very clean, or you may be working outside on a construction site. You may be required to carry up to 50 pounds of equipment. The environment may be cold or hot, you may be working in confined spaces, on scaffolding, or in dirty, noisy environments. Welding positions typically start at $15 per hour, and can go as high as $25 to start with little experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers is projected to grow four percent from 2014 to 2024, higher than the average for all occupations. In 2014, there were almost 400,000 available welding jobs.  If you are looking to move up within a company, a degree will be typically be required for higher level management positions. The hands on knowledge gained from the associate degree is invaluable when applying for a position. Visit Central Piedmont’s Career Coach for detailed welding career opportunities, salary information, and job openings.

Career Coach

A Current Student's Perspective

Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont, talks with Welding Technology student Marco Gallardo Cuervo about the struggles and opportunities he's experienced as a student both on- and off-campus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Details