What type of welding pays the most?

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Welding is a technique of joining different metals using tools that generate very high temperatures. It is a very important technique of modern times. From the industry to construction, it is widely used everywhere.

That’s why a lot of people want to build their careers as welders. However, there are different types of welding jobs. And people often want to know which will bring them a lot of money.

So, here I am going to talk about it and let you know what type of welding pays the most.

Let’s start digging.

A quick check of welding salary

What type of welding pays the most

What are the different types of welding?

There are four fundamental types of welding techniques. These are MIG, TIG, Stick, and Arc welding. Each of these types is used for a different purpose.

MIG welding is a widely used technique. It is mostly used for repairing different types of vehicles such as cars, motorbikes, etc. The TIG welding technique is used mostly for space materials and it is a very efficient welding technique. However, it must require a skilled person to operate.

For welding thick materials like cast iron, the Stick welding technique is used. It is also used in construction sites for some heavy repairing. And Arc welding is also used on construction sites. But it is not suitable for thicker metal. So, it is used to weld thin materials including different types of machinery.

Well, I must say in recent times welding has a pretty very good career. There is a wide range of work opportunities available for a welder. Although the salary depends on the type of welding and the level of your experience.

The average salary of an entry-level welder is around $7.25 per hour in the United States. And in the middle of your career, this figure may double. A mild-career welder earns around $17.90 per hour. However, with time and experience, your wages may rise to $35.45 per hour.

Careers in welding

What are the highest paying welding jobs?

Well, now you know how much a welder usually earns. However, some of the welding jobs pay the most. And I listed some of them according to their wages. So, let’s get started with the highest-paying welding.

• Pipeline welding

Pipeline welding includes the joining of tubular shape pipes or metallic components. Also, this welding plays a great role in building construction for assembling different parts. Pipeline welders are also known as pipe-liners.

In recent times the demand for pipe-liners is in a surge. Different industries and construction of nuclear power plants authorities are hiring them. So, I think you can now guess how much pipeline welding can earn you.

Now the question is how much pipeline welders earn? Well, the wages of the pipeliners have almost doubled in past decades in the United States. According to Career College of Northern Nevada, a pipeline welder earns on average $34 per hour, making it the highest paying welding job. However, in some cities, the wages are very high for a pipeline welder.

These include different parts of the United States such as California, North Dakota, Massachusetts, Alaska, and New York. Sunnyvale (CA), Watford City (ND), Santa Rosa (CA) cities have an average wage for pipeline welders from $41 to $43 per hour.

In cities like Cambridge (MA), Vacaville (CA), New York City (NY), Fairfield (CA), Anchorage (AK) the average wages of pipeline welders vary from $37 to $39 per hour.

To start your career as a pipeline welder in different industries, you need to have a high school diploma and certification from the American Welding Society (AWS). A few years of experience in pipeline welding will add more advantages to getting the job.

• Nuclear welder

Nuclear welders usually work on different nuclear power plants. The average wage for a nuclear welder is around $32 per hour and annually around $66,97. Although it is a highly rewarding job, you need to be a certified nuclear welder by the American Welding Society

• Underwater welding

Underwater welding is one of the most difficult types of welding jobs. This is because the welders have to survive extreme underwater pressure and at low visibility. Also sometimes work at a freezing temperature with an oxygen tank and obviously within a limited time frame.

This thing makes it one of the extreme and challenging welding jobs to do. However, you may have heard of the quote that no risk no gain. So, this type of welder earns a good amount of money depending on their skill levels.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average earning of an underwater welder is around $25.96 and $53,990 per year. However, with the highest level of underwater welding jobs, such as saturation diving, one can earn up to $100,000 annually.

Underwater welding also needs additional scuba diving training and certification along with welding training. And that’s why its compensation is higher than the regular welder. The duration of underwater welding is generally 6-24 months. However, a very small number of schools offer this course.

• Certified welding inspectors

Do you want to earn money with welding and at the same time want to travel across the world? Then becoming a welding inspector could be a great choice for you. These guys mostly work on contracts. They usually travel and inspect welding operations in different industries or the construction site.

According to ZipRecruiter, the average wage of a welding inspector is $30 per hour and they earn around $63,197 annually. So, it is one of the highest-paid welding jobs of recent time. However, to be a certified inspector is not that easy. I think you may have guessed it seeing the pay scale.

To become a certified welding inspector, you must pass the test conducted by the American Welding Society. However, not everyone can sit for the exam. If you have a bachelor’s degree in welding technology, you can sit for the exam with a one-year of work experience.

And you have a diploma in welding technology, you will need a minimum of 3 years of work experience. People from vocational backgrounds need at least 4 years of work experience to register for the exam.

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• Military support welders

Military support welders work on contract with the military. They usually repair military equipment, tanks, or outfitting vehicles. The average wages of military supporting welders are $23 per hour. However, in places like the middle east, their wages may go way too high.

• Aerospace welder

Aerospace welders worked on assembling different parts and equipment of planes. Their work includes various metals such as titanium, aluminum, magnesium, stainless, and carbon steel. They must have expertise in both gas and arc welding.

It is also considered as one of the high-paid welding jobs. Aerospace welders earn around $21 per hour and around $44,260 annually, reported by ZipRecruiter.

What are the most lucrative welding positions?

I have mentioned different types of highest-paid welding jobs above. But it should be considered that welding most often is teamwork in different industries. Your salary also depends on that. So let’s have a look at different welding job positions and their wages in the below table.

Welding PositionAverage salary/per hour
Pipe welder$24.50
Structural welder$20.55
MIG welder$16.24
Welder helper$13.53


I guess now you have understood how much you can earn money with welding and what type of welding pays the most.

Perhaps, you need that much experience and skills for getting these high-paid welding jobs. So, work hard, get skilled. I wish you all the best.


  1. https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Pipeline-Welder-Salary
  2. https://www.ccnn.edu/welding-program/lucrative-welding-positions/#:~:text=Underwater%20welders%20often%20use%20shielded,underwater%20welders%20is%20around%20%2426.32.
  3. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/pay-salary/welding-jobs-salary-and-highest-paying-positions
  4. https://toughnickel.com/business/Nuclear-Welding-Certification
  5. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/pay-salary/highest-paying-welding-jobs
  6. https://gowelding.org/articles/facts-about-career-welding/
  7. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/pay-salary/welding-jobs-salary-and-highest-paying-positions
  8. https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Nuclear-Welder-Salary