Is Welding A Good Career? Read Article to Find Out!

Did you know that according to the AWS, the average age of welding operators are at 57?

Who else wouldn’t want a promising job at that age, right?

This article has gathered up all that you need to know from reliable resources in order to guide you to your desired career path. Each section is hand-picked, just for you!

Grab on to this article and your career with a skyrocketing salary range. Are you ready to get a 5-digit pay?

Question is: Is welding a good career? Short answer: Yes. Keep reading to know all about it!

Key Facts and Figures: Understanding the Welding Landscape

  • 75% of the aluminum produced in the US is till date still being recycled, according to the Aluminum Association. It was also said that recycled aluminum utilizes 95% less energy than its raw state.
  • Welding is required in over 50% of all the products produced in the US.
is welding a good career
  • The most recruited welding jobs are in the manufacturing sector.
  • The average age of welding operators is 57, according to the American Welding Society (AWS). It was also revealed that most of these workers would retire within the next ten years, hence creating a further dip in the job market.
  • Welding is a pretty hefty and strenuous form of labor. Welders can work up to 70 hours per week. Add in the extra hours of overtime, and the hours will increase furthermore.
  • Below is the list of annual salaries and their variation amongst five different welding industries. The highest-paid welders annually on a median range are pipeline welders, followed by certified welding supervisors, underwater welders, and pipe welders. As for military support welders, they’re paid $26.12 – $30.47 per hour.
welding industry
  • BLS confirmed that experienced welders’ median salary was about $41,000, which is just shy above the poverty line, which is at $16,000.
welding salary
  • Welding career paths are extensive, so opportunists have different areas of skills and expertise to choose from.
  • According to a data-driven review, the overall satisfaction of welders is high, the average salary acquired is high, the job growth outlook is mediocre, and requires 0-6 months of education and training. Furthermore, the added personalized skill of each employee is an added bonus.
  • The annual national average salary is $40,240. On average, welders get paid about $19.70 per hour and $40,970 per year. On the other hand, experienced welders with higher certifications or many years of practice can even earn up to $47,919.
  • The top 5 earning annual average salary states involve Alaska, Louisiana, Washington, Kentucky, and Massachusetts. On average, the ultimate earning yearly salary is $63,370 in Alaska with $48,220 securing the last place in Massachusetts.
top five annual avg. salary states
  • Welding is situated at the 90th% of profession grossing at $63,000 as annual per tax earnings.
  • Welders do not necessarily need a professional welding degree to be one. However, they need to be certified and licensed to embark on this journey.
  • BLS has also declared that there may be a growth of welding professionals by 6% by the year 2026.

What is Welding?

It is solely a fabrication process where two or more parts of metals are merged together via pressure, heat, or both. This means of heat and pressure causes the parts to conjoin once it cools down.

Although the most generic parts that are welded are metals, however, they can also be used in woods or thermoplastics.

The basic confusion that arises amongst most of us is brazing, soldering, and welding. While welding melts the base of the material that you’re working with, the other two don’t incline to melt at all.

Historical Overview: The Evolution of Welding Techniques

The path towards welding began in the early 1800s when Sir Humphry Dave discovered the electrical arc between electrodes, and Edmund Davy introduced acetylene. However, welding officially started in 1881. 

It all started when August De Maritens heated up arcs to conjoin leads plates. Afterward, Nikolai Benardos, a Russian student, patented the entire electrical welding process using carbon rods.

When Nikolai extended his knowledge on welding and metal electrodes, the American engineer, C.L.Coffin, introduced the arc welding, which utilized coated metal electrodes. Later on, this discovery became famous as shielded metal arc welding.

Later, in the 1900s, arc coatings became much more stable due to the discovery of lime coating. This was a revolutionary period for welding as many more processes and quick tips and tricks regarding welding and its benefits lurked out.

Even though wielding has well-established itself since its birth, it has advanced in all sectors due to extensive knowledge, greater electrical pieces of equipment, betterment in safety services, and upgraded technology.

With the ease of getting your hands on the big buck, all this has caused many to inquire?

Is Welding a Good Career?

It all boils down to if you have it in, you do accomplish this hardy job. The right person for this job can flourish immensely with staggering paychecks. This could be your next big and best move yet, in your career.

However, there are a few checkpoints that you must look into to know if welding really is your best fit and career option.

For the most part, you will get a definite timeline of your question. And here’s why!

Yearly Salary

On an average, welders in the United States are labeled to be acquiring an estimated amount of $42,989. Although the range alters with each passing year, the current scenario in 2020 is thus.

In addition to this, the average estimation also quivers due to the employees’ knowledge base, education, and experience.

However, the highest-paid welder jobs, which boosts the entire mean chart is due to pipeline welders, aerospace welders, underwater welders, military support welders, and certified welding supervisors. Thus, the salary range also varies according to each profession and industry.

Job Growth

According to projections and forecasts of the job market, welders’ employment is estimated to boost by 3% within the year of 2019-2029.

welding job growth

Due to the increasing infrastructure of countries worldwide and exclusive growth in skill and education in this area of expertise, both moderate-term welding jobs and permanent workers’ rates increase.

Currently, most growth has been seen in the pipefitters’ specialized field. These welders are exceptionally high on demand due to the increasing demand in natural gas, oil, water utility, and electric industries.

Salary Based on State

According to ZipRecruiter, the highest-paid state for welding is New York, with Massachusetts and Washington just a bit shy of the annual salaries paid. The amounts paid by these three top states are $40,457, $40,074 and $39,795, respectively.

At the very bottom of the list is North Carolina, with its annual salary stepping in at $29,671. All the states listed below conform to 5-digit pays, with a starting amount of $40,457 and ending at $29,671.

welder salary state

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What Knowledge Is Needed

In the US, some of the states do not abide by specific welding-based knowledge certifications. These non-credential needs can be easily eradicated with further extensive background and physical experience in welding in the past by fellow candidates.

On the other hand, many other welding recruiters look for high school diplomas and their equivalents along with welding and technical pieces of training, which may be provided on the job.

top welding exprience

Furthermore, there are plenty of schools and universities that offer courses and programs on welding. Along with teaching students about the hook and crannies of welding, they also provide certifications and training.

Which US states have a high demand for welders?

According to the BLS, the following five states have the highest number of welding employment. The top-most accumulated number of employment is in Texas. Houston, specifically, has the highest ratings.

And it’s not a big surprise as to why this is the scenario, as Texas is populated with many pipelines, manufacturing, automotive, boat, ship, and architectural welding industries.

California is closely behind this execution of employment. California is the home to many water infrastructures and manufacturing opportunities. Bakersfield, specifically, has the highest numbers of top-paid welders.

Where Mostly Job Offered

Pennsylvania houses multiple steel, gas, and oil companies, which gives a steep increase to the welder’s demand. On average, Pennsylvania is dominated by 18,060 welders.

Next up, we have Louisiana. Surprisingly, Louisiana’s annual mean wage is higher than the national mean. To be fair, Louisiana s dominated with the highest concentration of jobs, welding being one of the top ones.

Lastly, we have Ohio, with leading the state employment opportunities at the fifth position. Frankly, Ohio isn’t a big city, to begin with, but if you’d like to operate in one of the highest concentrated areas by welders and don’t mind the lonesomeness, then go for it.

Is welding right for me?

Welding is one of the most in-demand trades in America. The average income for welders is $19 an hour. Some welders earn as much as $34 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The welding industry continues to expand and create new job opportunities. Welders are in demand in a number of industries including construction, shipbuilding, solar energy, and mining. With a shortage of qualified welders in the United States, it is a great time to get into the field. If you’re ready to start a career that pays well and offers plenty of opportunities for advancement.

In conclusion,

Welding is a good career because it can be very rewarding, you can make a decent living off of it, and it is not limited to only one type of person.

Welding is a very interesting field that has many twists and turns along the way, but the rewards are great. The sky’s the limit when one goes into welding as they can do anything from designing to fabricating steel or other materials.