Explore this Career Guide:
- How Much Do Welders Make?
- How Much Do Welders Make a Year?
- How Much Do Welders Make a Month?
- How Much Do Welders Make a Week?
- How Much Do Welders Make an Hour?
- Welders Pay by Location
- Welders Pay by Experience
- How Much Do Underwater Welders Make?
- How Much Do Pipeline Welders Make?
- How to Become a Welder
- The Best Welding Schools
- How Long Does it Take to Become a Welder?
- How Much Does it Cost to Become a Welder?
- What Do Welders Do?
- Skills Welders Need
- Pros and Cons of the Welding Profession
- Similar Occupations
How Much Do Welders Make?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a part of the United States Department of Labor and the US Federal Statistical System. The BLS handles data, surveys, and statistics regarding jobs in the United States.
The information that the BLS gathers is important for the government and the public. It gives important insights into the economy and job market in the country.
According to data found by the BLS, workers in the United States make a median wage of $976 a week and $49,764 a year.
The BLS also has specific data on how much welders make. They found that the average welder in the US makes about $817.20 a week and $42,490 a year. These numbers are a little lower than the national average, but not by much.
Overall, a career as a welder pays pretty well. Especially considering that this is the median pay and not the highest pay welders can work up to receiving.
How Much Do Welders Make a Year?
- How much does a welder in the lower 10% make? $29,470 per year
- How much is a welder’s median salary? $42,490 per year
- How much does a welder in the highest 10% make? $64,240 per year
How Much Do Welders Make a Month?
- How much does a welder in the lower 10% make? $2,455 per month
- How much is a welder’s median salary? $3,540 per month
- How much does a welder in the highest 10% make? $5,353 per month
How Much Do Welders Make a Week?
- How much does a welder in the lower 10% make? $541.20 per week
- How much is a welder’s median salary? $726.40 per week
- How much does a welder in the highest 10% make? $1,046.40 per week
How Much Do Welders Make an Hour?
- How much does a welder in the lower 10% make? $13.53 per hour
- How much is a welder’s median salary? $18.16 per hour
- How much does a welder in the highest 10% make? $26.16 per hour
Welders Pay by Location
- How much do welders make in Texas? $46,940 a year
- How much do welders make in California? $47,910 a year
- How much do welders make in Florida? $41,650 a year
- How much do welders make in Arizona? $44,070 a year
- How much do welders make in Colorado? $49,870 a year
- How much do welders make in NC (North Carolina)? $42,620 a year
Welders Pay by Experience
- How much do entry level welder’s make? $15.32 an hour
- How much do welder’s make with 1–4 years of experience? $16.89 an hour
- How much do welder’s make with 5–9 years of experience? $18.73 an hour
- How much do welder’s make with 10–19 years of experience? $20.07 an hour
- How much do welder’s make with 20 or more years of experience? $22 an hour
How Much Do Underwater Welders Make?
How much do underwater welders make? $72,500 to $200,000 a year
Underwater welders are professional welders that know how to weld and how to dive. They specialize in welding work that needs to be done on structures that are underwater. Underwater welders often work on repairing marine structures.
Because of the added specialization that underwater welders must have, they get paid more than other welders. They have to become professionals in two fields—welding and diving. Working as an underwater welder also comes with added dangers and necessary safety measures because they have to work in an underwater environment.
How Much Do Pipeline Welders Make?
How much do pipeline welders make? $69,841 to $133,500 a year
Pipeline welders specialize in welding pipes. Pipes are a major part of many infrastructures which is why many welders specialize in this area. Pipe welders have to know how to work with all kinds of pipes in all kinds of scenarios. They have to know how to lay, fit, and permanently bond pipes together.
How to Become a Welder
Step 1: Get a High School Diploma or GED
One of the reasons the welding profession is so great is because it doesn’t require long expensive years going through school.
The only thing you need in order to start working as a welder is to get your high school degree and get trained as a welder. There are even high school technical education courses you can take in welding. That way you can get your high school degree and your technical training done at one time.
Step 2: Get Technical Training
In order to work as a welder you have to learn the skill. Welding requires many technical skills. You can learn these skills by joining an apprenticeship program or by taking technical courses in high school or in college.
In your courses you’ll learn all about blueprint reading, creating blueprints, shop mathematics, mechanical drawing, physics, chemistry, metallurgy, electricity, computers, welding, soldering, brazing, machine operators, and programming computer-controlled machines.
Step 3: Become Licensed and Certified
At the end of all your technical courses you’ll receive certifications. The American Welding Society offers many certifications for welders. Depending on what kind of welding jobs you want to do might impact which certifications you need to get.
The Certified Welder certification, the Certified Welding Inspector certification, and the Certified Robotic Arc Welding certification are just a few examples of certifications you might need.
The Best Welding Schools
Much of welding school involves working in shops to gain practical experience and build manual skills. Welding school also teaches students soft skills they’ll need to have in the technical industry like, communication skills and technical writing.
There are many tech schools in the world that have great programs for prospective welders. Many community colleges near you often have technical courses you can take to start your career as a professional welder.
There are literally countless options out there for technical schools you could go to. Here are just a few popular welding schools you could possibly attend.
- Institute for Printed Circuits
- American Welding Society
- Hobart Institute of Welding Technology
- Lincoln Electric Welding School
- Apex Technical School
How Long Does it Take to Become a Welder?
Welders can earn their technical degrees in as little as 1 and a half years. How long it takes to become a welder depends on the length of the program and courses you decide to take.
Some programs take longer than others to provide certification. So do your research into the programs available near you beforehand.
How Much Does it Cost to Become a Welder?
The national average for how much welding school typically costs is about $6,850. The price of tuition at welding school will of course depend on which school you go to.
What Do Welders Do?
Welders use both hand-held, remote-controlled, and computer-programmed tools and machines to join and cut metal parts. They also study blueprints and create specifications for the projects they work on. They have to know how to calculate dimensions properly and work with different tools and types of metals.
Welders can also specialize their skills. Some welders specialize in working with pipes, other welders can specialize in welding underwater, and some specialize specifically in cutting, soldering, and brazing.
- read and create blueprints
- calculate dimensions
- inspect structures, materials, and equipment
- maintain equipment
- join metal parts together
- fill holes
Skills Welders Need
Welders cannot afford to make mistakes. The work they do is crucial to the integrity of the structures they work on. The work they do must be precise and complete. Flaws in their work can lead to disastrous ends.
The work of a welder requires a lot of physical stamina and strength. Welders spend much of their workday on their feet and working with their hands. They need the physical strength and stamina to work for possibly long hours on their feet.
They also need physical dexterity in order to perform their jobs. In order to weld correctly they need a steady hand and coordination.
Welders have to be able to read and interpret blueprints. This requires special skills in spatial orientation. They need to be able to read a 2-dimensional piece of paper and envision its outline correctly in a 3-dimensional space.
Pros and Cons of the Welding Profession
Every profession comes with its own pros and cons. It’s up to you to decide what are deal breakers for you.
Some people love to work with their hands, making this a part of their personal pros list for a welding career. But other people might not love the idea of being on their feet so much, making this a part of their cons list for welding careers.
|welders can specialize their skills in many ways||welding can be dangerous work at times|
|there are lots of options for training to become a welder||welding work involves a lot of physical stamina and long hours on your feet|
|welding skills allow you to work for yourself if you want to||some projects will involve working outdoors in all kinds of weather conditions|
|welding school isn’t typically as expensive or long as other degrees|
The world of trade is rich with great professions that pay well and offer rich and fulfilling careers. There are many professions available in the technical industry. The technical industry is especially good for you to look into if you are interested in more hands-on careers.
|Profession||Median Salary||What They Do|
|Assemblers and Fabricators||$33,710||put assembly parts together to create a finished product|
|Boilermakers||$63,100||put together, install, maintain, and repair boilers, vats, and other industrial liquid and gas holding vessels|
|Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Machinery Maintenance Workers, and Millwrights||$52,860||take care of industrial machinery|
|Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers||$40,870||design, create, repair, and inspect all kinds of jewelry and precious stones and metals|
|Machinists and Tool and Die Makers||$45,750||manage the machines that create parts, instruments, and tools|
|Metal and Plastic Machine Workers||$36,990||manage the machines that create metal and plastic parts|
|Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters||$55,160||manage the installation and repair of pipes and pipe-related systems|
|Sheet Metal Workers||$50,400||create and install anything made of thin metal sheets|
US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers,” “Occupational Employment and Wages, Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers.”
The Balance Careers. “Average Salary Information for U.S. Workers,” by Alison Doyle.
PayScale. “Average Welder Hourly Pay.”
Career Trend. “How Much Do Underwater Welders Make a Year?” by Carolyn Gray.
ZipRecruiter. “Pipeline Welder Salary.”
Advanced Technology Institute. “Welding School Programs: What is it Like to go to Welding School?”
lessons.com. “How Much Does Welding School Cost?”