Welders: Salary Overview
Simply stated, welding is the technique of joining or cutting metallic parts through the application of heat or pressure.
Practically welders fuse by belting two pieces of metal.
We should mention that there are many welding methods, from MIG welding through the stick, TIG, plasma, gas, electron, laser welding.
As a welder, there is a wide area of work sites for you to choose from, from working on ships and pipeline installations to cars, underwater, and jewelry welding.
Welders should be able to study blueprints, sketches, to calculate the dimensions of the parts to be welded, to inspect the pieces for structural qualities, and to maintain a safe working place.
As a welder, you will be working full time and overtime is common, so you may have to be available during evenings and on weekends.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for welders was $42,490 which means that half the workers in this profession earned less than this and half earned more.
Salaries vary depending on a wide range of factors, including the welder’s level of experience and expertise and the industry of employment.
The lowest 10 percent of the workers in this profession reported salaries below $29,470 while the highest 10 percent made more than $64,240 a year.
Welder Salary by Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the biggest employers for welders were manufacturers of fabricated metal products and manufacturers of machinery.
The report shows that the mean annual wage reported by welders who worked for architectural and structural metals manufacturers and for boiler, tank, and shipping container manufacturers was $42,570 a year.
Welders employed by manufacturers for forging and stamping, manufacturers of cutlery and handtools, manufacturers of hardware, manufacturers of spring and wire products, and manufacturers of other fabricated metal products reported an average annual wage of $41,910.
The mean annual wage reported by welders in the machinery manufacturing field was $43,180.
Motor vehicle body and trailer manufacturers paid welders, on average, with $39,860 per year.
Welders who worked in the field of employment services reported a mean annual wage of $42,610.
The highest average annual wage was reported by welders who worked in the scheduled air transportation field and by those in natural gas distribution.
Scheduled air transportation companies paid welders, on average, with $89,110 a year.
Welders in the natural gas distribution field reported a mean annual wage of $80,620.
Higher-than-average wages were also reported in the field of electric power generation, transmission, and distribution, in the field of petroleum and coal products manufacturing, and in the field of other pipeline transportation.
However, welders don’t hold many jobs in these higher-paying fields and you may have better chances at finding employment in this sector if you already have some experience in a different field.
Salaries for welders also vary depending on the region of employment.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top-paying states for welders were Alaska, District of Columbia, Hawaii, and Wyoming.
The average annual wages reported by welders in these states were over $60,000.
The average salary reported by welders was below $40,000 a year in Idaho, South Dakota, Iowa, and Georgia.
You can improve your earning prospects as a welder by earning a certificate offered by the American Welding Society or by the Institute for Printed Circuits.
In some cases, your employer may pay the cost of training and testing.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers is projected to grow 3 percent from 2018 to 2028.
New jobs are expected to occur in the manufacturing industries that produce metal products and transportation equipment.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Welders. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.