Do Welders Make Good Money?

• Post By: Brandon M. Fox  • Updated: 10/21/21
• Welding » Info

Most people are known to ask themselves, do welders make good money? Before they get into the welding career. Most people consider welding as the most profitable blue-collar career currently available in the market. There are welders especially those from Western Pennsylvania and Ohio who have revealed some of them do make over $100,000 on a yearly basis.

Although this might be the case for the few welders, it is of great importance to keep the bigger picture in mind whenever you are looking at the actual salary of an ordinary welder.

According to recent salary data for welders which were released by the US Department of labor report on welding back in 2013, although welding is capable of pulling a good hourly wage as a blue-collar job, there are ways welders can use it to make some serious money. With welding, you will have to work hard regardless of how much you are being paid per hour.

What Welders Make The Most Money?

There are different types of welding with each having its own range when it comes to income. For instance, TIG welding is a very popular type of welding that makes a good amount of money. However, one will have to work under different conditions to join or cut the metal pieces. In most cases, the TIG welders use semi-automatic and manual welding machines to help them do the work.

Most TIG welders are said to earn around $19 per hour with most TIG welder’s hourly rate being $14 to $126 per hour.  You can earn from $30,000 to $90,000 annually when working as a TIG welder.

Another popular welding type is stick welding. It pays more than TIG and MIG welding.  Stick welding hourly rate ranges from $13 to $27 and more. The Average stick welding rate is $18.40 every hour.

Why Do Welders Make So Much Money?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the salary of an average welder is $42,000 every year. The findings revealed up to 50% of the welders in the US earned more than that amount while 50% earned less the amount.

A Fabricators and Manufacturers Association survey revealed the majority of the entry-level welders earn from $17 per hour.  All these depend on the equipment price you are using together with the welder’s knowledge that will help him or her know the welding rod type to use. It will take lots of years for the welder to gain knowledge that will ensure he or she does the welding job well.

Most of the highly skilled welders who are ready to travel or work in hard conditions do earn over $100,000 annually.  A good number of the traveling industrial pipe welders do earn between $50,000 and $185,000 annually. Welders who work underwater do earn $100,000 to $200,000 every year.

Where Do Welders Make the Most Money?    

In this section, we will be looking at some of the areas where welders make the most money.

1. Underwater welding

Underwater welding is an adventurous and unique career especially when it comes to the welding industry. When under the water, you will be spending your time checking, installing and fixing rigs and pipelines.  Most of the underwater welders get into the oil or gas industry.

Getting a job as a commercial underwater welder can be very rewarding financially. For instance, back in 2018, the average salary of an underwater welder was $59,470 while the mean hourly wage was $28.59. Just like the other jobs in the market, the more experience an underwater welder has, the higher his or her salary will be.

2. Pipeline Welding

Welders working in the pipeline are among the most paid welders in the welding industry. The job can be quite demanding due to the numerous responsibilities that come with it. High chances you will be spending most of your time away from home for weeks or months.

It is estimated that pipeline welders earn an average of $64,000 and $70,000. However, one will need as much schooling as possible.

3. Welding Supervising

A welding supervisor will be responsible for overlooking the welding performance on any project.  For sure, the high responsibilities lead to a high salary.  It is estimated that welding supervisors have an average hourly rate of $30 with the average salary being around $83,000.

4. Welding Engineer

Welding engineers are welders who are well trained and possess extra knowledge in math and science.  They are responsible for coming up with procedures the welders will use. The welding engineers will be spending most of their time training welders and not doing the welding job themselves.

Welding engineers earn extremely well.  According to previous research findings conducted back in 2018, welding engineers earn up to $76,000 and have an average hourly rate of $27.44.

Welding engineers will definitely be in need of more education when compared to the education levels of regular welders.  It is important that welding engineers know about the ins and outs of all the welding processes types together with having great problem-solving skills.

What State Pays Welders the Most?    

Welding jobs are always available in different states. In case you are a starter, the Upper Midwest is known to have a continuous bastion when it comes to welding works. Right from Minnesota to Ohio, you are able to get thousands of welding contracts. This can also spill to Dakotas together with West Pennsylvania.

There are welding manufacturers such as Lincoln Electric and Miller Electric who are situated in the Upper Midwest. Hence, there are high chances the welding jobs will not be going anywhere. With the recent return to manufacturing in the United States together with the retirement of older welders, the welding jobs are expected to increase in almost every state.

The welding jobs are known to be plentiful along the coast especially in the towns that have a reliable shipbuilding sector. Texas, Virginia, California, Louisiana and Florida are known to have lots of welding jobs.  Texas is known to have lots of welding jobs thanks to natural gas and oil drilling. Alaska promises a very steady stream of welding works thanks to the growth of the oil industry.

Cities having the most welding jobs are scattered throughout Texas including Dallas, Houston, and Fort Worth with the Chicago region being full of several welding opportunities. In case you are in need of job security in the welding field, then you can always count on structural and architectural welding jobs especially with stick welding. 

According to the research findings conducted back in 2013, there were up to 41,770 welders who were employed in the field. This represents 12% of the welding workforce in that particular industry.

When you have $17 as your hourly rate, it will never put you into a six-figure yearly income. However, there are high chances you can always pick up over time and there is always a great value in knowing you can get work faster in different places.

Pipelines and shipping are still important segments when it comes to welding in the market. With the recent boom in gas and oil industries across the United States and Canada, there are high hopes of getting a steady stream of welding jobs as extra wells get trapped. Shipping is still considered a cost-effective method of transporting goods, hence, you will not have to worry about the shipyard jobs moving away too soon.

Highest Paying Country for Welders    

The pay of welders will always vary depending on the country they are working in.  Within the US, the pay of welders will always vary from one state to another.

The welder’s payment will always vary depending on the welding type they are required to perform. For instance, you will always earn less than $40,000 overseas when working in structural metals.  However, you can earn more than $70,000 when working in establishments distributing natural gas.

For instance, in Canada, you can make as much as CAD 85,000 when working as a welder.  When in Australia, you can always make up to $51,000 as a welder. In case you are interested in serious money, you should consider working in Europe.

Most of the welders in European countries like Norway and Switzerland are known to make up to $118,000. However, this is the higher pay end. The lower pay end will always be more than the average in the US and most of other countries.

Conclusion

Welding is considered to be a great career that anyone can pursue since it comes with several benefits. Apart from paying well, welding offers one the opportunity of traveling to different places which you might not imagine visiting under normal circumstances. 

With the different types of welding in the metal industry, you can always work in any field you want to, offer support to the military, perform underwater welding, help in robot construction, and work on ships or even in the plumbing or mechanic industry. Since you can now answer the question, do welders make good money??

In case you are considering getting into the welding field, you will have to register in an appropriate welding school where you will be educated on important things you have to do and be issued with the certification.

Brandon M. Fox

I have completed Diploma at Welding. I have spent 10+ years in Welding. Now love to write about welding and welding products and share my own experiences. Find me: Twitter | Facebook

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