Welders have different kinds of job roles, and most of them work in shops, on oil rigs, and even underwater. The welder can earn top dollar, but again, for that, you will need to invest in your training and certifications. Welding is one of the high-paying jobs.
In this guide, you'll get a highlight of the salary data from the BLS.
The BLS report suggests that the average welder salary in 2020 was $46,690. This amount turns out to be almost $10,000 a year lower than the national average. Welding salaries vary based on numerous factors. Many welders start making $16-$18 per hour. The highest-paid welders make six figures.
A highlight on payscale of various welding professionals
- Welding Apprentice
The income is low. Welder apprentices make an average of $20,000, and this apprenticeship lasts four to five years.
- Welder helper
Welder helper earns $13.53 per hour as the national average wage. The duty is handling operating welding equipment, cleaning equipment, as well as carrying materials as needed.
- MIG welder
A MIG welder earns $16.24 per hour is the national average wage.
Fabricator earns an average hourly wage of $17.76. They can do jobs like metal cutting, designing, and shaping.
- Structural welder
Structural welder earns a national average hourly wage of $20.55. The job role is designing and fabricating the metal framework.
- Pipe welder
Pipe welder earns an average hourly wage of $24.50. These professionals consider putting welding equipment together and repairing pipelines. Also, they carry out the job roles like structural unit maintenance and installation.
- Certified Welder
As an AWS-certified welder, you can start earning more income than an apprentice or non-certified welder. Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers earned $43,650 on average in 2020.
Welders in natural gas distribution earn more. The pay averaged $77,850 in 2020. BLS reports mention that the top-paid welders, solderers, cutters, and brazers who work in air transportation make more than $90,000 a year, on average.
- Welding Technician
Welding technicians with welding experience and AWS certification earn more than $63,140 a year on average.
- Welding Supervisor
AWS offers certification for welding supervisors, and the average is $62,280 a year.
- Welding Inspector
Welding inspectors serve the role of monitoring welders' work to ensure quality and compliance. Associate inspector, inspector, as well as senior inspector certifications, earn a decent amount. Certified welding inspector salaries average more than $67,500 a year.
- Welding Engineer
Welding engineers are the ones who have the right knowledge and expertise in welding engineering, manufacturing, or something related. Welding engineer earns an average of $77,344 a year. 2021 updates mention that the average salary range is between $37,796 and $48,719.
Impact of The Pandemic
2020 findings are being taken as the face value because the pandemic affected most Industries last year and especially the construction, manufacturing, and services industries.
Welding is a great profession that can earn one a comfortable life. There is no way to become rich overnight. However, financial management and a strong work ethic ensure that as a welder, one can get a comfortable and fulfilled life. The average annual income of welders is $40,000. Evaluating the data based on the industries employing welders, it can be said that the annual income range falls between $30,000 and $60,000. The per-hour income is $21.37 but varies depending on your location and Industry.
As a beginner, one can expect to earn between $14/$18 an hour. However, as an experienced professional, there are chances that you'll earn more than the Welder average salary. You can start with making an average of $38,014 per year. Wages between $26,365 and $54,808 are a decent salary in the initial stage.
Calculating The Welder Wages Per Week
Welders earn an average of $731.03 per week, but you cannot rely on this data as the income varies depending on the state. Welders earn an average of $3,167.83 per month. The highest-paying professions are most difficult and demand specialized welding skills. Also, in some industries, there is a need to do the job in hazardous conditions. Becoming a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) led to 35-40% in increased wages.
Wages increase based on higher demand. The American Welding Society often determines the wages for the welders. Also, the rates vary based on experience. The Average wage as per the standards of the American Welding Society is $17.90. However, the rate completely varies depending on the degree of experience:
Welders at the entry-level might earn $7.25 per hour. Usually, they have a high school diploma or GED and a welding certificate.
Welders in the mid-career can earn approximately $17.90 per hour on average. Such welders are generally more qualified than entry-level welders. Also, with time, they get the scope to upgrade to the higher-paying position.
Welders with an advanced level of experience earn $35.45 per hour. Such professionals have a theoretical and practical understanding of welding operations.
A short note on the income potential of pipeline welder and underwater welder
Pipeline welders serve as the highest-paid field workers. In the United States, pipeline welders make $24.65 per hour of work. The average pipeline welder makes about $64,000 to $71,000 annually. However, the income potential varies depending on the industry and location.
An underwater wet welder does the job of insulating electric cables twice. The salary ranges between $25,000 to $80,000 yearly. Top Underwater wet welders get almost $83,740 on average. On the other hand, the bottom Underwater wet welder earns around $30,700 on average.
Highly skilled underwater welders charge more money.
We've listed the commonly paid amounts for the welders in the different job positions. However, based on the expertise and the industry, the rates are highly varied. Welding is a high-paying job and has been given the scopes of higher earning.