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Credentials You Can Earn

Student weldingNorth Georgia Technical College’s Welding diploma and degree programs provide students an academic path from entry-level positions to management.  Students train in NGTC’s new state-of-the-art welding facility equipped with the latest welding technology, and graduates leave fully prepared to take qualification tests.

The instructors work directly with employers and refer qualified graduates for employment. 


Applied Technical Management Degree

The AAS in Applied Technical Management allows a student to complete a diploma in Welding and continue on to earn an AAS degree. In addition to the skills and knowledge obtained in the diploma program, the student will obtain degree-level general education knowledge and business-related skills and knowledge. Graduates of the program receive an Applied Technical Management Associate of Applied Science Degree.


Welding Technology Diploma

The Welding Technology diploma is designed to prepare students for careers in the welding industry. Program learning opportunities develop academic, technical, and professional knowledge and skills required for job acquisition, retention, and advancement. The program emphasizes welding theory and practical application necessary for successful employment.  Program graduates receive a Welding Technology diploma, have the qualifications of a welding and joining technician, and are prepared to take qualification tests.


NGTC‘s Welding program offers 5 certificates for those who want to specialize in a particular area or to refresh the skills they may already have:

  • Gas Metal Arc Welding Certificate:   For students preparing for welding careers in the MIG process.  Topics include welding and cutting fundamentals, oxyfuel cutting techniques, and MIG welding techniques and processes.
  • Gas Tungsten Arc Welding Certificate:  For students interested in TIG welding techniques.  Topics include understanding the nature and culture of the welding industry, oxyfuel cutting techniques, and TIG welding processes.
  • Industrial Pipefitting Certificate:  This program teaches students how to install, maintain, and repair pipe systems according to specifications and codes.  Pipe systems are used to transport water, steam, gas, waste, and other material, and pipefitters are responsible for keeping these systems in working order. Pipefitters work with the high pressure and low pressure pipe systems used in manufacturing, the generation of electricity, and the heating and cooling of buildings.
  • Pipe Welding Certificate:  This program is an introduction into the pipe welding field through an advanced welding program which prepares the student to enter the work force in the construction and pipe welding industry leading to nuclear and/or fossil fuel power application.
  • Shielded Metal Arc Welding Certificate:  For students preparing for welding careers in the welding industry.  This certificate provides instruction in shielded metal arc welding in the overhead, horizontal, and vertical positions.

Overhead view of welding stations in the NGTC Welding LabClass curriculum includes:

  • Core: basic safety, intro to: construction math, hand tools, power tools,construction drawings, basic rigging, communication skills, employability skills, and intro to material handling.
  • Level 1: welding safety, cutting: oxy-fuel, plasma, air carbon arc cutting and gouging, base metal preparation, weld quality, SMAW – equipment and setup, electrodes, beads and fillet welds, joint fit-up and alignment, open v-groove welds, and SMAW – groove welds with backing.
  • Level 2: welding symbols, reading welding detail drawings, physical characteristics and mechanical properties of metals, preheating and post heating of metals, GTAW plate, GTAW – equipment and filler materials, GMAW and FCAW – equipment and filler metals, and GMAW and FCAW – plate.
  • Level 3: SMAW – open root pipe welds, GMAW and FCAW – pipe, GTAW carbon steel pipe, GTAW – low alloy and stainless steel pipe, and SMAW – stainless steel groove welds
  • Advanced Topics: aluminum, GMAW and GTAW

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Learn more about our Welding programs.

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Career Opportunities

Individuals who graduate from NGTC’s Welding program can hit the shop floor running if they choose to become:

  • Pipe Welder
  • Gas Tungsten Arc Welder
  • Shielded Metal Arc Welder

Graduates of the Welding Technology program may work in a variety of fields including:

  • Aerospace
  • Aviation
  • Construction
  • Fabrication
  • Fossil Fuels
  • Nuclear Power generation
  • Shipyards
  • Transportation

There are many employment fields that require skills similar to those required to be a welder, such as:

  • Assemblers and Fabricators
  • Boilermakers
  • Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers
  • Machinists and Tool and Die Makers
  • Metal and Plastic Machine Workers
  • Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters
  • Sheet Metal Workers

Additional career options can be researched on the following site(s):

Meet the Faculty

Ronnie Ayers in a blue shirt standing in the welding lab

Ronnie Ayers

Mr. Ayers has been teaching Welding Technology for North Georgia Technical College since 1996 and currently also serves as the Department Chair for Industrial Technology and Transportation.  Prior to joining the faculty at NGTC, he had 12 years of occupational experience.  He is a graduate of the NGTC Welding and Joining Program as well as the Machine Tool Technology Program.  He received an Associate of Applied Science in Machine Tool Technology from Truett-McConnell College, and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Technology Management from Gainesville State College.  His professional credentials included AWS Certified Welding Inspector, AWS Certified Welding Educator, and NCCER Master Trainer Certification.  Contact:  

Dusty Bolman wearing a black shirt with collar

Dusty Bolman

With a background of more than three years as an adjunct instructor, Dusty Bolman joined the full-time faculty of the North Georgia Technical College Welding and Joining Program for the Fall 2014 semester. As a student, Bolman excelled at the SkillsUSA competitions both in high school as well as college, placing second in the state while at NGTC. Bolman, who graduated from NGTC in 2007, spent several years in the Sheet Metal Union Local #399 out of Charleston, South Carolina, and worked steadily in nuclear power plants throughout the southeast.  Dusty holds the credentials of AWS Certified Welding Inspector and AWS Certified Welding Educator. Contact:

Fernando Arenas wearing a brown polo while standing in front of a blue background

Fernando Arenas

Fernando Arenas joined the NGTC faculty in 2016 with more than 18 years of occupational experience.  He holds an Associate Degree in Welding Technology from Tri-County Technical College and has a NCCEER Instructor Certification and is a certified Welding Educator. Contact:

Kevin Cyr

Kevin is a graduate of the Welding and Joining Technology program as well as the Marine Engine Technology program. He also served as a former adjunct instructor.  As a student, he placed 3rd in the SkillsUSA welding/fabrication competition He was also an NGTC semi-finalist for the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership. After graduation, he worked for the last 7 years in the nuclear industry across the Southeast, natural gas pipelines in the Northeast, and across the Midwestern United States. Kevin has been with the college since January 2021.