Wondering how much do welders get paid? Welders make a decent living with the income they earn, even at an entry-level basis. The job opportunities for welders are needed nationally but are estimated to increase slower than other leading occupations.
How much do welders get paid? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, welders made an annual medium pay of $41,380 in 2018. That breaks down to $19.89 per hour, working 8 to 12 hours per shift. In this industry, the level of experience can also influence the average salary.
Like most manufacturing firms, the pay range will increase with the employees experience level. Although there is on-site training and entry-level acceptance, the pay will be greater with more experience in the field.
The type of welding position and geographical location also play an important role in welders income.
Do Welders Get Paid Weekly?
The majority of manufacturing firms offer weekly pay. However, it is not governed that these companies pay weekly and is left for the jurisdiction of the company, whether they pay weekly or not.
For those companies that do not offer weekly pay, they typically pay biweekly or twice a month. This could also vary by location. The companies I have found by researching popular job search engines like Indeed.com for welding careers pay weekly.
Most welding companies offer full-time positions as well as overtime, which will affect the wages. This includes weekends hours, and in some locations, three working shifts are available. Typically, there is a pay differential for the night shift, which is usually one dollar more.
Some companies will accept entry-level education with a high school diploma. Where some positions may require more skill, others offer on the job training.
Some high schools offer trade schools that give students the opportunity to learn skills in a particular area, like welding, that can be used once they graduate and proceed to find a career.
More experienced results in higher pay because they are looking for personal who do not need to be trained and can come in and begin the job with prior knowledge.
This saves the employer valuable time and money on their end to utilize their time elsewhere.
Just be careful because if you apply for a position where the skill set is higher than your level, you may not get paid the higher end of the scale. Inversely, if you are overqualified for a position, you may be overqualified and not get paid to match your experience level.
Although welding pays pretty decently above the national average for starting wages even at entry-level, it all depends on the company’s desired starting rate, but they will look into a persons background experience and education to ultimately decide.
Highest Paying Welder Careers
There are a variety of welder opportunities, including small to large manufacturing firms, but it doesn’t end there. There are some pretty high paying welding industries out there.
From highest paying to lowest, here is a list of top-paying welding industries:
- Underwater Welders
- Military Support Welders
- Nuclear Welders
- Industrial Pipeline Welders
- Certified Welding Inspection
- Aerospace Welder
Underwater Welding is not only unique, but it is also the highest paying welding industry. This career is dangerous but paid well for the risk. It requires a lot of experience and certain qualifications.
It definitely needs more than a high school diploma for this job choice.
Not only do you need experience from welding on land, but you will also need scuba diving experience with a commercial diving certification as well as real experience training.
This can all begin with becoming an apprentice and taking years worth of school.
However, the income range of anywhere between $54,000 and at peak $300K, this job pays for the danger involved.
Military Support Welder
Not fond of water? The next highest paying welding industry is in the Military. However, just like underwater welders, danger surrounds this field. There is a huge demand for this industry and high paying at $160,000 annually.
Some positions are riskier than others, and combat may not be seen, but it is always a risk. All branches of the military need welders, so there is a variety of jobs available.
The Army, Air-force, Navy, Marines, National Guard, and Coast Guard all need welders but require training.
The safer positions are the National Guard and the Coast Guard. You do not even have to be required to in the military to become a welder for the Coast Guard. Marines are risky but often rare.
Army welding positions are more abundant and high risk of danger because of the demand to go into the field to repair broken equipment.
Nuclear Welders vary in price because they cover opportunities for pipelines, underwater welding, and military. However, with that said, these are still highly compensated.
This career requires extensive knowledge and training to become certified. Nuclear welders are known to have one of the most dangerous jobs of all the categories.
Becoming certified in this field, you must pass FBI clearance. Sounds intensive, not to mention the risk exposure to radiation. This is one of the most difficult positions to get due to all the certifications.
The pay is high for the risk associated and experience required, though.
Industrial Pipeline Welder
Industrial Pipeline welding requires certification and training. Some companies may offer training depending on the position, but the more experience and education will offer a larger pay day ranging between $36,000 to $106K.
This career choice requires you to be uncomfortable and work long days in unpleasant places. Most pipelines are in areas that make welding difficult.
Certified Welding Inspection
Certified welding inspector are the most popular position in the welding industry. This job pays well for a important reasons.
Inspectors are required to at least have an associate degree in engineering technology and have 3 years experience.
Their job is to ensure durability of the welds safety of the material. If an accident occurs, it could come back to the weld.
So this career choice holds a lot of responsibility and pays to match that starting at $70,000.
Another important branch is Aerospace welding. This job pays a little less then its competition, but that doesn’t mean it’s less important.
They are responsible for welding airplanes and space craft that demand specialized welding skills.
The maximum salary averages $60,000. Just like the other job choices, the more experience in the job field, the higher the overall salary will be.
Learn More About Welders Salary – Here, you can find an article from our website about: How Much do MIG Welders Make? Average MIG Welders Salary
Geographical Location Influences Income Rate
In the United States, some regions offer more money than others for the same position. There are many factors that influence this, but it could be beneficial to know where you make the most of your trade.
The top-ranking states for welding include:
The average pay in Wyoming is around $61,000, giving an average hourly range of $27.59. This state has a low population and increase need for welders due to the increase in the manufacturing industry.
Alaska offers a high annual salary around $67,000 with $44.22 maximum hourly rate. The perks of Alaska is there is a 20 to 30% bonus for working in the harsh winter conditions.
A lot of shipyards are in need of welders, and those with experience can benefit greatly.
West Virginia pays more to those who have more experience increasing the annual salary near to $75,000. The industry is becoming more popular with aerospace and energy services that need experienced welders.