How Much Do Welders Make on Average (Salary)

How much do welders make? What's the average annual salary of a welder? Welding is a hands-on skill that can be used in a number of industrial and construction contexts. If you want to work as a welder, you should be aware of the various incomes available, which vary depending on your region and expertise in the industry.

how much do welders make

What is a welder?

A welder is a trained tradesperson who uses strong heat and gas to connect metal pieces together or fill and repair holes in metal structures.

Welders operate on a wide range of industrial, manufacturing, and construction projects, including underwater repairs of oil rig foundations, ship hulls, and other subaquatic structures. Welders are in great demand all around the world due to the near universal necessity for their abilities.

What does a welder do?

A welder's particular job responsibilities vary based on their skill level and the sector in which they operate.

  • Unskilled welders: Unskilled welders conduct repetitive welding jobs on assembly lines. They can use robots to connect body panels from a car or truck or to execute spot welds on specialized equipment during building. They can have little or no understanding of metal characteristics or the types of gas, wires, and settings that are needed to create a solid, strong weld.
  • Skilled Welders: Welders that are skilled are familiar with the welding requirements for a variety of metals. They learn sophisticated welding methods through apprenticeship or schooling and can hand weld or utilize robots to weld metal components.

Those who utilize robots are typically restricted to working in factories, but those who weld by hand can operate in practically any setting. Welders in the construction industry link steel I-beams for high-rise buildings, skyscrapers, and other metal-based structures.

Welders can also work with a motor racing team, fixing or manufacturing a new chassis for a damaged car. Even highly experienced welders are employed by NASA to work on aeronautical applications.

Welders utilize one of more than 100 welding processes depending on the project. Workers use either a hand or a machine to weld in arc welding. It is the most popular type of welding, in which two metal components are joined by an arc of electric current using a specific welding rod. Gases and oxygen are used to create the heat needed to melt and connect metal parts in oxy-fuel welding, oxyacetylene welding, or gas welding.

how much do welders make

Resistance welding, shielded metal arc welding, submerged arc welding, and the more contemporary laser beam welding methods are some of the others. Welders can specialize in one or more of these kinds, as different metals necessitate different welding techniques.

Welders typically work from blueprints or specifications, then use their knowledge of base metals and joining techniques to select the appropriate material for the job. They cut, position, and spot weld the metal in preparation for one of the many welding processes. The job's difficulty is determined by the type of metal used and the location. Hard metals like titanium and steel tend to warp less and are therefore easier to join together.

Malleable, soft materials like aluminum are easily warped and subject to damage if the surface is not thoroughly cleaned; special care must be taken on the part of the welder to prevent imperfections in the weld.

Welder average salary

Welders make an average of $38,014 per year. Wages generally range between $26,365 and $54,808.

Welder wages per week

Welders can earn an average of $731.03 per week. Wages can vary depending on the state.

Welder wages per month

Welders can earn an average of $3,167.83 per month.

Earning more as a welder

When it comes to welding, the highest-paying professions are generally the most difficult, demand specialized welding skills, or are conducted in the most hazardous conditions. Or becoming a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI), which can lead to 35-40% in increased wages.

Wage outlook

Wages are expected to increase based on higher demand for the job. A shortage of workers is expected to start in 2022. The American Welding Society (AWS) projects a nationwide shortfall of approximately 400,000 welders.

how much do welders make

By state

In the United States, a welder's average hourly wage is $17.90. However, it varies per state. Here are the average welding wages in each state:

  • Alabama: $15.75 per hour
  • Alaska: $31.04 per hour
  • Arizona: $18.98 per hour
  • Arkansas: $14.35 per hour
  • California: $18.71 per hour
  • Colorado: $18.52 per hour
  • Connecticut: $18.54 per hour
  • Delaware: $22.62 per hour
  • Florida: $18.12 per hour
  • Georgia: $16.40 per hour
  • Hawaii: $47,434 per year
  • Idaho: $17.32 per hour
  • Illinois: $17.24 per hour
  • Indiana: $16.41 per hour
  • Iowa: $19.07 per hour
  • Kansas: $16.70 per hour
  • Kentucky: $16.94 per hour
  • Louisiana: $21.84 per hour
  • Maine: $17.53 per hour
  • Maryland: $18.20 per hour
  • Massachusetts: $20.13 per hour
  • Michigan: $16.95 per hour
  • Minnesota: $18.17 per hour
  • Mississippi: $15.88 per hour
  • Missouri: $16.36 per hour
  • Montana: $22.20 per hour
  • Nebraska: $16.40 per hour
  • Nevada: $17.48 per hour
  • New Hampshire: $19.00 per hour
  • New Jersey: $20.28 per hour
  • New Mexico: $21.32 per hour
  • New York: $18.97 per hour
  • North Carolina: $17.70 per hour
  • North Dakota: $20.61 per hour
  • Ohio: $16.06 per hour
  • Oklahoma: $19.13 per hour
  • Oregon: $18.45 per hour
  • Pennsylvania: $17.25 per hour
  • Rhode Island: $26.40 per hour
  • South Carolina: $17.08 per hour
  • South Dakota: $17.19 per hour
  • Tennessee: $16.94 per hour
  • Texas: $18.10 per hour
  • Utah: $18.18 per hour
  • Vermont: $37,035 per year
  • Virginia: $18.08 per hour
  • Washington: $20.03 per hour
  • West Virginia: $14.54 per hour
  • Wisconsin: $18.00 per hour
  • Wyoming: $21.62 per hour

Average welder salary by job experience

The more experience you have, like with most occupations, the greater your compensation will be. Despite the fact that the average wage for a welder in the United States is $17.90, this figure applies to all welders polled, regardless of their degree of expertise. Here's an example of what you can anticipate to get paid based on your degree of experience:

Entry-level

Welders at the entry level might earn as little as $7.25 per hour. These welders have only recently begun their careers. They will most likely just have a high school diploma or GED and a welding certificate at this level of expertise. Apprenticeship programs or associate degree programs can provide them with extra experience.

Mid-level

Welders in their mid-career can expect to earn approximately $17.90 per hour on average. They are experienced welders with a good deal of experience in the field. They are more qualified than entry-level welders, despite not being advanced, because they have more years on the job.

This additional experience qualifies them for a higher-paying position. Welders in their mid-career are also more likely than entry-level employees to take on greater responsibility.

how much do welders make

Experienced

Welders with more experience might earn up to $35.45 per hour. An experienced welder must have both theoretical and practical understanding of welding equipment and numerous types of welding operations. In this field, an experienced welder is called advanced.

As a consequence, you'll get paid more in line with your expertise. In addition, like with other professions, the more experience you have, the more duties you will be assigned.

Highest-paying welder jobs

Highest salary for a welder based on job title:

Welder helper

$13.53 per hour is the national average wage.

Welder helpers have a variety of responsibilities, including operating welding equipment, cleaning equipment, and carrying materials as needed. At its heart, they help welders by maintaining their equipment and ensuring that they operate in a clean atmosphere.

MIG welder

$16.24 per hour is the national average wage.

MIG welders employ gas metal arc welding to connect several metal components together. In other words, in their different metal tasks, they employ an electric arc welder as well as inert gas. They're frequently seen in industries and construction sites. MIG welders must be physically healthy and willing to operate in hazardous situations.

Fabricator

Average hourly wage in the United States is $17.76.

Fabricator/welders are responsible for a variety of jobs including metal cutting, designing, and shaping. They work on projects of various sizes, from conception to completion. They're also in charge of interpreting designs, maintaining and inspecting equipment, and overall metal structure and project production.

Welder

National average hourly wage: $17.90

Welders' primary responsibilities include assembling metal using a variety of high-heat gear. They're also in charge of overseeing the welding process, maintaining all equipment, deciphering blueprints, and polishing welded-together metal surfaces.

how much do welders make

Welder/fitter

Average hourly wage in the United States is $19.25.

Welders/fitters are in charge of laying out, fitting, and manufacturing numerous metal components in order to create or assemble various structural shapes. They can work on a variety of structures, including pressure vessels, bridges, and tanks. Welder/fitters, like other welding professions, should be physically fit.

Structural welder

The national average hourly wage is $20.55.

Structural welders are responsible for designing and fabricating the metal framework for a variety of structures, such as bridges and skyscrapers. They're also in charge of fixing and putting together metal components like beams and columns. Structural welders, like other welders, should pay great attention to detail and be in good physical condition.

Pipe welder

Average hourly wage in the United States is $24.50.

Pipe welders use welding equipment to put together and repair pipelines. They're also in charge of structural unit maintenance and installation. Pipe welders must take the appropriate measures since what's within a pipe has the potential to be hazardous. They should also be capable of solving problems and properly interpreting blueprints.

Pro tip: An underwater welder is a true profession. Believe it or not, underwater welding is feasible. Due to the high cost or near-impossibility of bringing big ships or other metal constructions onto land for repair or testing, welders must travel underwater.

Similar careers and salaries

Similar careers as someone pursuing a welding job. Average base salary of each career path:

  • Gem worker: $41K per year.
  • Logging worker: $42K per year.
  • Drill press operator: $39K per year.
  • Machine assembler: $39K per year.
  • Metal caster: $39K per year.
  • Welder: $38K per year.
  • Log grader: $37K per year.
  • Quarry rock splitter: $36K per year.
  • Fork lift operator: $35K per year.
  • Molding and casting worker: $34K per year.

how much do welders make

Favorite Resources

Our favorite resources are included below.

Job interview resources

Resume and cover letter resources

Job search resources

free interview question and answer full guide

Interview Question and Answer Guide (PDF)

Get our full interview preparation guide. Complete with common interview questions and example answers. Free. No email required.

Grab the PDF
author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

Share

Help us by spreading the word