How Much Do Welders Make?

welder job descriptionWelders basically weld or join metal parts together. The skill required is very similar across industries, making it less difficult for these occupations to transfer from one field to another.

The most common employment for welders is in the field of manufacturing, such as the automobile industry and other production facilities that require the joining of metal objects together.

On the job training, technical school, and a high school diploma are the requirements to become a welder whose work is mostly full time.

Welders are also exposed to a few risks in the workplace and they have one of the highest rates of injuries among all occupations.

Welder Salary

How much do welders make? The average welder salary is . The lower 10% earns an average of $28,560 and the upper 10% earns an average of $63,740.welder salary

A welder starting salary depends on a lot of factors such as the industry he’s working in, his skills, and his experience.

Those who are trained in the latest technologies usually earn more and have better job opportunities. Those who work longer hours, during evenings and holidays also earn more than the average.

Top 5 Paying States

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Alaska FlagAlaska2.16$34.57$71,910
Hawaii FlagHawaii0.80$28.42$59,120
Wyomin FlagWyoming8.63
North Dakota FlagNorth Dakota6.77$24.19
Delaware flagDelaware

Top Paying Industries

IndustryPercent of industry employmentHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Electric Power Generation – Transmission and Distribution0.29$33.23$69,120
Natural Gas Distribution0.81$32.90$68,420
Transportation of Crude Oil 0.40$29.80$61,980
Postal Service 0.01$27.88$57,990
Artificial Synthetic Fibers and Filaments Manufacturing 0.04$27.88$57,990

Welder Job Description

what do welders doWhat do welders do? A welder’s job involves heating metals, melting them, and fusing them together to create a single shape. They fill holes, repair indentations, and join metal objects with the use of hand-held heating equipment.

The work environment of a welder involves working in outdoor spaces, and indoor spaces that are confined. Some welders work on a scaffold, high off the ground.

A welder’s specific duties involve studying blueprints, specs, and sketches; calculating dimensions to be welded; inspecting materials to be welded; igniting heating equipment; monitoring the welding process to prevent overheating; and maintaining equipment.

Most welders work in the manufacturing industry where 61% of all welders were employed in 2016. 

Since the skills of a welder are similar across many industries, they have the ability to jump from one field of work to another. For example, a welder who gets laid off from an automobile manufacturing industry can still work in another field such as construction.

The industries that use welders the most are shipbuilding, automotive manufacturing and repair, construction of buildings, houses, and bridges, and thousands of other industries. This means that a welder has lot of industries to find employment into.

Welders, however, are more prone to injuries than the average occupation. They are often exposed to a number of hazards such as exposure to direct heat where a single mistake can lead to disastrous results. They’re also exposed to intense light that pose a risk for extreme health consequences if they are not careful.

Due to these dangers, welders must wear a number of protective gear when they work.

Among these are heat-resistant gloves, goggles, masks, and other important equipment and gear to protect them from burns and eye injuries, as well as from falling objects when working at a construction site.

Most welders work full time. Most construction firms have 24/7 operations and they have 2 to 3 8-12-hour shifts, including weekends, overnight, and holidays when the needs arise.

Welder Job Outlook

The projected increase in welder employment from 2016 to 2026 is , which is average. About 22,500 jobs are expected to be created during these years.

Employment growth is seen to be caused by the needs of manufacturing facilities, as well as the construction of new infrastructures such as bridges and buildings.

Repair and maintenance of aging structures are also seen to provide more employment for welders.

Future construction of new power generation facilities will also provide job opportunities.

Those who have the most experience and those who are trained in the latest modern technologies are also seen to have the most job prospects in the future.

Welders who are willing to relocate and work in different locations will also be more preferred by manufacturing and construction firms.

Welder Salary by State

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Alabama FlagAlabama4.755$17.67$36,740
Alaska FlagAlaska2.16$34.57$71,910
Arizona FlagArizona1.539$18.54$38,560
Arkansas FlagArkansas3.712$17.21$35,790
California FlagCalifornia1.655$20.45$42,540
Colorado flagColorado2.116$20.96$43,600
Connecticut FlagConnecticut1.174$20.82$43,310
Delaware flagDelaware1.143$22.99$47,820
Florida FlagFlorida1.579$17.99$37,410
Georgia FlagGeorgia2.225$17.05$35,460
Hawaii FlagHawaii0.796$28.42$59,120
Idaho FlagIdaho3.642$16.92$35,200
Illinois FlagIllinois2.488$18.13$37,710
Indiana FlagIndiana4.558$17.91$37,250
Iowa FlagIowa5.746$17.36$36,110
Kansas FlagKansas4.434$17.80$37,020
Kentucky FlagKentucky3.647$17.88$37,180
Louisiana FlagLouisiana8.67$21.08$43,840
Maine FlagMaine3.081$22.16$46,080
Maryland FlagMaryland0.976$22.18$46,140
Massachusetts FlagMassachusetts0.961$22.00$45,760
Michigan FlagMichigan3.037$17.70$36,820
Minnesota FlagMinnesota3.144$19.52$40,600
Mississippi FlagMississippi5.726$19.91$41,420
Missouri FlagMissouri2.561$18.54$38,570
Montana FlagMontana2.968$18.72$38,940
Nebraska FlagNebraska4.295$17.29$35,960
Nevada FlagNevada1.339$21.28$44,260
New Hampshire FlagNew Hampshire1.701$20.19$42,000
New Jersey FlagNew Jersey0.93$21.97$45,710
New Mexico FlagNew Mexico2.777$22.48$46,770
New York FlagNew York0.958$19.98$41,550
North Carolina FlagNorth Carolina1.999$18.50$38,470
North Dakota FlagNorth Dakota6.772$24.19$50,310
Ohio FlagOhio2.991$18.15$37,750
Oklahoma FlagOklahoma6.682$18.64$38,780
Oregon FlagOregon2.854$19.41$40,370
Pennsylvania FlagPennsylvania3.077$18.93$39,370
Rhode Island FlagRhode Island2.617$20.46$42,560
South Carolina FlagSouth Carolina3.144$18.19$37,840
South Dakota FlagSouth Dakota7.271$16.09$33,470
Tennessee FlagTennessee2.378$18.01$37,470
Texas FlagTexas4.643$19.66$40,900
Utah FlagUtah3.718$19.44$40,430
Vermont FlagVermont1.302$17.25$35,870
Virginia FlagVirginia2.22$20.22$42,050
Washington FlagWashington2.209$22.15$46,060
West Virginia FlagWest Virginia3.598$21.52$44,750
Wisconsin FlagWisconsin4.966$18.89$39,290
Wyomin FlagWyoming8.636$25.47$52,980

Top paying metropolitan areas

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Anchorage, AK1.35$34.15$71,030
Honolulu, HI0.90$29.59$61,550
Peabody – MA, NECTA Division0.53$29.20$60,740
Fairbanks, AK 2.04$28.14$58,520
Charleston, WV2.83$27.77$57,770

Top paying nonmetropolitan areas

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Railbelt – Southwest Alaska nonmetropolitan area4.70$36.14$75,180
Southeast Alaska – nonmetropolitan area 8.98$35.22$73,260
Southeastern Wyoming – nonmetropolitan area 5.02$31.96$66,480
Far Western North Dakota – nonmetropolitan area 7.54$31.53$65,580
North and West Central – New Mexico – nonmetropolitan area 1.89$29.90$62,180

Welder Career Video

Noel Griffith, Ph.D.
Noel Griffith is a Doctor of Philosophy with a strong interest in educational research. He has been an editor-in-chief of since 2014. Noel is an avid reader (non-fiction), enjoys good food, live theatre, and helping others make wiser career decisions.
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